How Often Do Horses Go Into Heat?

Last Updated on March 1, 2022 by Allison Price

Are your mares acting strangely suddenly?

Are you unsure if your mare is in heat

If you are the first horse owner, it is crucial to understand her estrus cycle.

If you don’t know what signs to watch for, horses in heat can be stubborn and dangerous.

This article will cover everything you need to know regarding the heat cycle of horses. This article will provide you with helpful tips for how to manage your mare during this period.

Let’s get started!

Horses have their first heat cycle around the time they turn one-year-old. The cycle ends at the age of 20. The heat cycle lasts for three weeks and horses will be in heat for between two and five days. However, this can vary depending on their age, location, and season.

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What Time Do Horses Get into Heat?

Horses usually begin their breeding season between April and September. During this time, the mare might produce one or more follicles.

Horses are not in breeding mode during the four seasons.

Other factors, aside from the seasons and when horses go into heat, also affect their timing. A year old filly will usually have her first heat season.

Horses Go Into Heat

Some women may begin their cycle earlier than others. It all depends on whether mares or stallions are in the area and if they are ready to enter heat.

All stallions are available and willing to breed at any time. Most mares stay in heat for between 2 and 5 days. However, it is not uncommon for some to feel heat for as long as 8 days.

Signs of a Mare in Heat

Mares that are in heat can be aggressive to their owners and behave bizarrely.

These are signs that you should be paying attention to.

First, notice how the horse lifts his tail to reveal a winking vulva. The vulva will kinda pulsate, opening and closing.

Horses will also produce lots of mucus around their pulsating vas and may urinate more frequently or with greater pressure.

Horses in heat can also appear lethargic. A mare in heat might not be able to do the hard work or play that she used to. You might also notice a distracted horse, which could make it difficult for her to pay attention for a few days.

The mare will become irritable and sensitive a few days before she heats up. This is a time to be cautious with your horse. She will bite and kick more and may not even care about the owner.

Poor mare can become easily distracted by the raging hormones. The growing follicles and pulsating vava might cause her pain in the ducts, just as women may experience cramps during menstruation.

Your horse may be more sensitive to touch, and may kick if you suddenly touch her from behind.

Heat signs in a mare will intensify over several days, but they will cease abruptly once her ovulation period begins.

Handling Mares In Heat

Mares in heat can prove dangerous and difficult to handle, especially for those who are not experienced or new owners.

If you treat the mare well, the heat season will be short and easy.

If a hare has heat, you don’t need to do anything except to pair her with a stallion to breed.

However, there are certain DON’TS to be aware of when handling mares in heat.

  • Avoid approaching the horse from behind. If a mare is caught unawares, she can be easily startled and throw severe and possibly fatal kicks.
  • Begin by rubbing the neck and shoulders. Then work your way down to the flanks for grooming. You should be gentle. Horses may become disoriented if they feel tangled, pulled, picked, or in pain.
  • Do not force your horse to do the same thing in heat. You can distract your horse by engaging in low-key activities. You can do things like changing gait, jumping combinations, or using ground poles during this period. Long, easy rides are also possible.

Give your mare pain relief medication like a Banamine to lessen discomfort and irritability. You should consult your veterinarian if you aren’t sure what to do with this medication.

When will a horse’s heat cycle stop?

Horses may stop entering heat at different times. The horse will usually stop the estrus cycle at 20 years of age.

Some horses may not experience the heat cycle when they turn 16-18 years old. Higher chances of a mare becoming pregnant are the older they get.

Horses will be in heat from two days to eight days, as mentioned previously. The mare’s reproduction cycle is shorter than that of a human female, usually lasting three weeks.

Horse owners often wonder if they can stop their horse from getting into heat.

A horse can be stopped from getting into heat. This can be done for many reasons. You might be interested in showing your horse at a competition. This can be challenging when the horse is on heat and there are other horses (or stallions) around.

Horse and rider can be injured if a mare is in heat. The horse can be distracted and irritable, and may engage in unpredictable behavior.

You can stop the horse from getting into heat if you have to show it or ride it. You can either use medication or sterilized margarine.

How to stop a horse from getting into heat

1. Medication

The fastest way to stop horses from showing in heat is to use medications. These work just like birth control pills.

Regumate is a popular choice. Regumate is used when the horse is not expected to be bred in the near future.

Temporary infertility can be caused by this medicine. It may take some time for the drug to wear off and the horse might not regain fertility. Show mares are best suited for regumate.

Regumate can reduce sexual behavior that is disruptive to work or show. Regumate does not control horse irritability and sensitivity. It can make horses feel worse.

Regumate should not be applied to your skin. Regumate can cause infertility in both men and women if it is absorbed into the blood.

Oxytocin is another option. This hormone is responsible to conception and birthing. The horse will no longer show estrus if oxytocin is administered to it.

2. Intrauterine Marbles

Intrauterine margarines are small glass marbles measuring 35 mm in size that are placed inside the horse’s uterus in order to reduce sexual behavior.

Marbles are mostly made of glass. However, some marbles can also be made from plastic or stainless steel. They function in the same way as intrauterine devices that females use to control their birth.

After ovulation, the corpus luteum is retained by the ball. The mare will not become heat if her progesterone levels are high enough.

This process can be assisted by your veterinarian. After sterilization in an autoclave, the ball is then passed through the cervix into the uterus. This is done while the horse remains in heat.

To determine the optimal time to insert the marble, veterinarians use ultrasound and palpation. To ensure that the marble is effective, it is crucial to choose the right timing.

For three months, intrauterine margarine can cause mares to have a sterile behavior. Contrary to medication, the horse will almost immediately regain fertility after the marble has been removed.

However, if the marble is left in for too long, it can lead to infections and infertility.

3. Supplements

Supplements may be recommended by your veterinarian as an option to IUDs and medication.

These supplements are not only used to suppress sexual behavior and keep horses from showing estrus, but they also control pain levels and irritability.

Horses also don’t need herbal supplements to maintain their fertility. The horse will often regain its fertility if you stop giving them the supplements.

Summary: How Many Horses Get into Heat?

A mare’s three-week reproductive cycle is called “The Three Week Cycle”. Horses will enter heat between 2-8 days after which their estrus will cease almost immediately.

These are only guidelines. Every horse is unique. You can learn more about your horse’s life cycle to help you manage her properly during this time.

This article should have helped you understand the horse’s reproductive cycle. These tips will be useful if you have to stop your mare getting into heat.

Allison Price
Allison Price

I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!