Principal Body System: Reproductive
Definition: The mechanism by which the thread of life is sustained. Organs (ovaries) that produce reproductive cell,s and other organs that transport and store reproductive cells.
Function: Reproduces the organism.
In natural horse-world, mare-ness is completely normal, but for us human caretakers, half a ton of domesticated girl with hormonal attitude can be, shall we say, interesting.
Mares are seasonally polyestrus creatures. This means they undergo hormonal cycles during certain seasons of the year (spring, summer and autumn), but not usually during the winter months, which some say is nature's way of preventing the arrival of a foal during bad weather. Most mares will have 21-day equine estrous cycles, which is the duration of time between each ovulation.
A mare will remain in estrous, or in season, for 3 to 5 days each time, as part of the overall equine estrous cycle. Known as the follicular phase of the estrous cycle, this is the period where the mare is fertile for breeding, which ultimately is what nature is intending.
A quick reminder here of the Circadian Rhythm - this is the 24-hr life cycle in the physiological process of all living beings, determining sleeping/feeding patterns, brainwave activity, hormone production, cell regeneration and other biological activities.
Horses live in these very rhythms of nature, which means their physical, emotional and mental health respond to the changes between the seasons, and change according to the cycles of light and dark, sunlight and temperature. Mares know exactly when Spring arrives – as the days get longer, their sex hormones respond (the estrous cycle), and one of the big behavioural messages their hormones start telling them to do is to find a mate.
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