Mare ready?

 

Mare ready?

When is the mare ready for intercourse?

 
Lusitano-052When is the mare ready for intercourse?   A female horse cannot be mounted on by a horse any time he wants to do it.   If she is not ready, she will kick, bite and defend herself like a damsel in distress.   If a stallion attempt to mount her when she is not receptive both of them may get hurt.   He may attempt to do it and she may fight with all her might to keep him away.   The mare is generally receptive to the stallions approaches during the spring and summer months.   Her sexually active cycles are controlled by the photoperiod (amount of light hours during the day) and it lasts between nineteen and twenty-two days.
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Lusitano-019This is where we are again amazed by Nature’s wisdom.   The foal is born eleven months later when the climate is warm and there is plenty of food and water for the mare to eat and stay healthy.   The time when the mare is sexually receptive is called the estrous cycle; the time when she is not receptive is called Anestrus cycle.   The Estrus lasts about five to seven days when she produces and releases a hormone called estrogen.
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Lusitano-014Estrus starts a build-up of fluids in the mare’s uterus, the cervix relaxes and secretes, even more, estrogen as the time for ovulation approaches.   The vagina fills up with blood and swells and finally the vulva opens up and releases all the accumulated estrogens.   The mare is receptive to copulation when she starts to urinate profusely.   The stallion can smell the hormones from far away and he gets excited as he comes near her.   This is when the dance starts, after the stallion has verified that she is in heat by smelling her urine and her vulva, he starts showing off all his attributes, whining, snorting and moving around her.
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Lusitano-018Twenty-four to forty-eight hours before estrus finishes the mare starts ovulating, which is the release of eggs from her ovaries, and she is ready.   The horse will come near her from behind and she will move her tail to the side to make access to her vulva easier.   Finally, after he has courted her for some time she allows him to mount her and deposit his sperm into her vagina.   The sperm travels to the uterus and only one of the wiggly boys is able to penetrate the protective barrier surrounding the egg.
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