Herd living

The family

The family, also called a harem, usually consists of one stallion (or two in case of a partnership), one to three mares, the foals born that year and young horses up to the age of two or three.
The young males join a group of celibate stallions. The young females may join them, be taken over by another stallion or remain in their original herd if their sire is not at the head of the group.
The family is a stable and multi-generational structure.

The group of celibate males

It consists of young horses that have not yet got their own group and males of all ages. Here, they learn about social codes which may be useful in their future lives: fighting, leading, playful mounting, rituals around feces, etc.

This structure is less stable than that of the family because of the regular arrivals and departures.

Solitary life

Young males leave the group of celibate horses around the age of five. They may then live alone for a while before building their own harem or taking over another. The older overthrown male might have to live alone for a bit.