Life Cycle of a Horse: Lesson for Kids

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tiffany Hightower

Tiffany is a certified elementary school teacher. She has a B.A. in English, education certification and a master's degree in education from Central Michigan University.

Horses have a life cycle that is different from yours. They grow up quickly during different phases in their lives. Continue reading to explore the fascinating milestones in a horse's life cycle.

A Horse's Life Cycle

Have you ever wondered about the shorter life spans of some animals? If you have a family dog or cat, you may notice that puppies and kittens grow much more quickly than people. They also reach adulthood and older ages a lot quicker too. This kind of life span is similar to what horses experience.

Horses grow from birth to an adult like you do. However, they spend shorter amounts of times at each stage of their lives. The process of a horse growing and changing from birth to an adult horse is called its life cycle. The different stages in a horse's life cycle are birth, foal, yearling, colt (for a boy horse) or filly (for a girl horse), adult horse, and elderly horse. Let's take a closer look at the different stages in a horse's life cycle.

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  • 0:04 A Horse's Life Cycle
  • 0:51 Birth to Foal Stage
  • 1:28 Yearling, Colt & Filly
  • 2:10 Adult Horse
  • 2:40 Lesson Summary
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Birth to Foal Stage

Human babies are born after nine months. However, baby horses, called foals, are born after eleven months. When you were born, you depended on adults to carry you around because you couldn't walk. Foals have the fascinating ability to stand about one hour after birth, and even start walking and running very soon after birth.

Can you imagine being close to your full adult size, or as big as your parents, at just one year old? Well, horses experience this unique, fast growth. By the time a foal is one year old, it's already over eighty percent of the size that it will be as an adult.

Yearling, Colt, & Filly

A horse is called a yearling between one and two years old. During this time, a horse experiences growth spurts to finish growing to its adult height and weight. Their legs grow longer and they gain extra weight, which causes them to have the appearance of an adult horse. But they are not adults yet.

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