Understanding the Mare's Transitional Period
Nature has timed the mare’s breeding season to maximize her foal’s chances of survival during winter. This evolution has led the mare to be a long-day, seasonally polyestrous (meaning her estrous cycles depend on the season) animal whose regular ovulatory cycles occur in response to increasing day length. During winter, or increased periods of darkness, the small pineal gland in the brain releases the hormone melatonin, which plays a pivotal role in seasonality of reproduction. The exact mechanism by which melatonin acts, however, is unclear.

At the same time, the mare’s hypothalamic-pituitary axis beg

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com. Start your free account today!

Sign UpAlready have an account?