Updated: Jun 17
The Mare's Estrous Cycle:
The mare's estrous cycle consists of distinct phases that repeat throughout the breeding season. On average, the cycle lasts approximately 21 days, but this can vary between individual mares. The four main stages of the estrous cycle are:
Proestrus: This is the initial phase of the cycle, characterized by the gradual growth and development of ovarian follicles. The mare may display signs of irritability or restlessness during this stage.
Estrus: Often referred to as "heat," this is the period when the mare is most receptive to breeding. It typically lasts around 5 to 7 days and is marked by behavioral changes such as frequent urination, winking of the vulva, and a willingness to engage with a stallion.
Diestrus: Following estrus, the mare enters diestrus, which is a non-receptive phase. During this time, the mare's hormonal levels stabilize, and if she has not conceived, she will not show signs of heat until the next cycle.
Anestrus: This is the period of reproductive quiescence when the mare experiences a temporary pause in cyclical activity. It occurs during the winter months and is essential for the mare's body to rest and prepare for the next breeding season.
Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex agnus-castus):
Chaste tree berry, also known as Vitex agnus-castus or monk's pepper, is a herb that has been used for centuries to support women's reproductive health. This natural supplement has also gained popularity among horse owners for its potential benefits in regulating the mare's estrous cycle. Chaste tree berry contains adaptogenic compounds that influence the production and balance of hormones, particularly progesterone.
By acting on the pituitary gland, chaste tree berry helps regulate the mare's hormonal activity, encouraging regular cycles and minimizing hormonal imbalances. It can be particularly useful for mares that experience irregular heat periods, exhibit signs of discomfort or moodiness, or show resistance to breeding. Regular administration of chaste tree berry in appropriate dosages - 10g - 20g depending on the size of your horse - may help stabilize the mare's estrous cycle and improve her overall reproductive health.
Please note - There are no known side effects for chaste tree berry, however, it is contraindicated for use in horses on the drug Pergolide for pituitary pars intermediary syndrome (Cushings).
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in various physiological functions within the equine body. In relation to the mare's estrous cycle, magnesium supplementation helps to reduce nervousness, irritability, and tension during the transitional phases of the cycle.
A deficiency in magnesium can exacerbate the mare's sensitivity and make her more prone to behavioral changes associated with hormonal fluctuations. By providing an adequate magnesium intake - 30-60g per day - horse owners can potentially promote a calmer demeanor and support a more balanced reproductive system for their mares.
Incorporating natural remedies such as chaste tree berry and magnesium can provide valuable assistance in maintaining a healthy reproductive system for mares. By promoting regular cycles, reducing discomfort, and minimizing behavioral changes, these supplements can contribute to a harmonious breeding experience and overall well-being for your equine companion.
Sound Advise has Chaste Tree Berry and Calm Mix available as a pack. Buy together and save 10%.