Do Mares have Menstral cycles? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-19-2018, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Do Mares have Menstral cycles?

Curious to know because noticed my Mare has some interesting characteristics:

  • No blood if there is a menstruation
  • Behavior changes during lunar cycles
  • acts sexual monthly, presenting herself


When in a relationship with a women, good to know her cycle for obvious reasons.
I imagine this also applies to horses?
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-19-2018, 06:48 PM
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Mares cycle roughly every 21 days. It is marked from ovulation to ovulation where a woman's cycle is from menstruation to menstruation. Estrus is when the mare is receptive to the stallion's attention, usually 5 to 7 days just prior to ovulation. They will typically only allow mounting the day before, of and day after ovulation but all mares are different and some may allow 2 days prior. The time between ovulation and the estrus is diestrus. Horses are seasonal and have a time of anestrus when they do not ovulate when the days are shorter and nights longer (winter). Mares do not bleed like women do.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-19-2018, 06:52 PM
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Just to clarify further, some mares may be ovulating but not showing the usual signs (squatting, squirting...) unless there is a stallion around and some mares may display even if they are not ovulating (eg. a mare in foal might show for a stallion but will usually not allow him to mount).
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-19-2018, 07:26 PM
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Every mare is different, but yes they do experience "menstrual cycles" similar to women (though without the bleeding post ovulation), every 3 weeks apart from winter months.
Just like humans, the hormone changes will affect their moods differently from mare to mare.
Some mares become very flirty - calling and nickering to other horses or even people when in close contact. They may lift their tails repeatedly when you go behind or brush them, wink their vulva or squirt and be very spacey & distracted when working.
Others, like my mare, exhibit very few outward signs so it can be hard to track her cycle. She never talks, winks or squirts. The only time I know when she is in heat is when I am riding her regularly. During her heat she becomes a little more cantankerous and emotionally sensitive than usual, often getting saucy when I ask her to do certain things or becoming over dramatic, goofy and upset at little corrections lol
Some mares, like a friend of mine owns, become quite stud like when in heat. She would become very dominant, flirty and would even try to mount people. She also became an emotional wreck when being ridden which eventually got to be such a hassle that my friend had her spayed last summer.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-19-2018, 07:27 PM
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Unless your mare acts differently when in heat or, obviously, you're trying to breed I wouldn't bother tracking the cycles. I don't know anyone who does this with humans either aside from medical reasons (bleeding etc)! I have 2 mares and neither displays obvious heats..ok well one is 26 but we have had her for awhile. The other mares we've had have been the same, steady eddy "gelding" types with no obvious cycles. Some mares, and definitely the minority, can be extremely difficult when in heat, either with other horses, people, or when ridden. Once a physical reason has been ruled out these mares are typically put on something like Regumate to stop the cycle.

I find the majority are like my mares, or may be have some slight behavioral changes (acting "flashy" or being vocal or very interested in what the other horses are doing) and nothing more. A young horse will tend to be more obvious than an older horse.
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-19-2018, 07:53 PM
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There are several methods and now apps for tracking women's cycles. Very handy info to have for many reasons. Knowing when to be prepared, fertility to plan for or avoid pregnancy, identify certain medical issues. As for mares as said unless you are looking to breed or have a mare with attitude and you don't want to be surprised then no reason to track them.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-19-2018, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post
There are several methods and now apps for tracking women's cycles. Very handy info to have for many reasons. Knowing when to be prepared, fertility to plan for or avoid pregnancy, identify certain medical issues. As for mares as said unless you are looking to breed or have a mare with attitude and you don't want to be surprised then no reason to track them.
Oh I'm not saying you SHOULDN'T track, after all it's harmless, though I think pointless for many horse owners (or for my mares rather difficult lol). It was more at the "When in a relationship with a women, good to know her cycle for obvious reasons". There are definite reasons TO do it for sure.

To add- my younger mare, who is pretty subtle when in heat was just moved home with my other horses, and "came into heat" promptly. Some horses do this (don't think she does in general lol) it's not a true heat though. But some horses become...screaming hussies when you try to move them lol.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-19-2018, 08:51 PM
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Of the three mares that I have, one you would never even know when she is cycling, one is a crazy flirt with the geldings at that time but otherwise no other displays of emotions and one isn't even two yet and hasn't displayed much of anything.

One season I kept very close track of my mares cycles because I wanted to breed her. After that, I have not given it a second thought as there seems to be no complications from it.
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