Do Mares Bleed When in Heat?

All the animals undergo various physical changes after a definite period. These types of changes impact animals in different ways including behavioral and mental fluctuations. A female horse is commonly known as a mare and they also have to face such types of changes once every year. Among them, an important stage is called Heat season or Estrous Cycle.

Do Mares Bleed When in Heat

During this period, a mare faces lots of unusual body changes for which the owner must be conscious about maintaining a perfect health condition of the mare. Though there is a common question about this Heat season which is- “Do mares bleed when in Heat?” there are many more factors that are needed to be kept in mind apart from the bleeding concept.

A mare has to pass through the Heat season once every year. This type of phenomenon is essential for the body transformation of the female horses. So, it is necessary to know about the Heat Season for ensuring a healthy and productive body condition of your mare.

What is a Heat Cycle?

A mare has to pass through various types of changes both physically and mentally. The Heat cycle is such an important fact that is a concerning issue for all horse owners. All the female horses have their Period at a particular time of the year. This body change factor is also known as Heat Season or Estrus cycle. A female horse starts to have a Period during late spring up to autumn. This phenomenon results in lots of physical and behavioral changes in the mare. 

During the ongoing Period stage, the follicles of the horse release a hormone named Estrogen. Besides, another type of hormone is secreted after the Heat season known as Progesterone. These hormones play a vital role in maintaining the proper body change of the horse by this time.

  • Estrogen is the type of hormone that is released by the follicles of horses when they are going through the stage of the Heat cycle. This hormone secretion results in various types of changes in a mare like- repeated urination, tail swinging, winking, etc. Apart from all these changes, a very important change is notable, that is the breeding tendency. A mare tries to attract its neighboring stallion to complete the breeding process. This type of change can be controlled by the owner with different steps.
  • When the period of the mare is over, another type of hormone is secreted through the developing follicles known as Progesterone. This type of hormone is also called Happy Hormone as the mare comes back to usual living days by this hormone. The breeding tendency or ovulation of the Heat season gets eliminated due to this hormone.

The horse period is essentially an indication for the breeding period which occurs once every year. The Heat season lasts for 20-22 days and bleeding occurs on the first six days. The remaining time is known as a recurring period for the mare.

How long does a horse stay in heat?

All the female horses have to go through the Heat cycle once every year. During this time, the mare has to experience a lot of changes in their body for which the owners must be conscious enough within this time. Though the mare faces bleeding for the Period season on the first 6 six days, the overall Heat cycle lasts for 20-22 days. 

During this time, the mare tries to adopt various behavioral changes due to the secretion of different hormones in their bodies. So, proper training and affection of the owners can control the negative impacts of the Heat cycle.

A mare faces her first Period at the age of two years. This phenomenon is also known as the Heat Season. The mare loves to gaze under the sun all day during this time. Heat season usually starts at the end of spring and lasts up to summer.

To be more exact, this Heat cycle occurs between April and September. The days are long compared to nights during summer and this is the ideal time for a mare to undergo Period. For this reason, a mare starts to get attracted towards stallion during this time as the ovulation process starts in the Heat cycle.

What are the types of changes during the Heat Cycle?

Not only human beings but also animals have to face various changes at the time of Period Season. Horses are very well-known for their playful, friendly, and calm characteristics. But at the time of the horse menstrual cycle, a mare has to face lots of physical changes. Since during this time a mare gets matured enough to breed, its body transforms to adopt various fluctuations. These types of changes mainly occur due to the secretion of different hormones in the ovary and follicles.

A female horse in heat usually undergoes two stages. The first one is the bleeding or period season and the second one is breeding season. Due to the impact of these stages, a mare has to adopt different changes throughout the Heat cycle. Let’s check out some of the common changes of the mare during Period Season:

  1. The Heat season of a mare starts in the summer days. During this time of the year, the days are longer than nights. So the sunlight sends stimuli to the brain of the mare to secret Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). The whole cycle starts from this hormone which results in further changes in the mare.
  2. As soon as the pituitary gland starts to form the heat cycle hormones, the first stage of the Period starts. All the horse owners have a common question at the starting of the Heat cycle which is- “Do horses have periods?” Actually, all the mares undergo periods at a certain age. But it is not necessary that bleeding will occur. So the owners don’t have to worry about this factor. The period lasts for 6-7 days and the horses adopt various changes during this time. For example- tail swinging, not remaining calm, cannot run perfectly through the ground poles, winking, etc.
  3. This Period season lasts for 6 days and after that, the breeding season begins. During this time, the mares get attracted to the stallions. Two hormones- 1) FSH and 2) CH form estrogen hormone. Due to this, the ovulation in the ovary starts to process the breeding cycle. Besides, the total time of the heat cycle also depends on the breeding cycle.
  4. When the breeding season is ongoing, the mare in heat shows various behavioral changes like excessive urination, squealing, threatens other horses, and dullness in the movement due to muscle relaxation. All these changes occur for the formation of follicles and ovulation during the breeding period.

To make your horse comfortable and maintain a healthy condition, the owners must take certain actions to minimize the impact of the Heat cycle. 

Symptoms of the Heat Cycle and doings

The owners of the horses must know about the mare in heat symptoms. It will help them to keep a record of the Heat cycle for their beloved horses. Besides, all the mares show some common symptoms during their Periods.

The owner needs to control the negative impacts of the Heat cycle as soon as the symptoms are detected. It will ensure a healthy and safe body condition of their mare and they can go through their Heat cycle without any difficulties. So let’s check out some common symptoms and necessary steps to be taken to minimize negative impacts:

  • Since the mare develops an attraction towards the stallions during the Heat cycle, frequent urination and winking are seen among the mare.
  • The mare also raises its tail higher all the time and swings it in the air. This type of gesture sends an indication of breeding tendencies.
  • The mare may show aggression in their behavior and will try to threaten other horses. During the Heat cycle, the horses do not remain calm as they want to gaze in the sun.
  • The horses lose their focus during this period and become distracted easily. Due to this problem, it becomes difficult to handle the mare perfectly.
  • The horses are found to stand by adopting the breeding position. Ovulation due to the secretion of various hormones is the main reason for such gestures.

These symptoms are commonly seen in a mare when they undergo the Heat cycle. In this case, the owners have to play a vital role to minimize the pain and other disturbance to ensure a healthy condition of the mare. So let’s check out the steps that must be followed to handle the horses during their Periods:

  • The horses may be taken for a walk to maintain a healthy and active nature.
  • The neck of the horses should be groomed gently. This will make them calm and eliminate any sort of distractions.
  • The mare may feel pain due to ovulation and they may fail to approach your commands. In this case, the horses should be given Banamine to reduce such irritability.
  • The horse must go through riding sessions, command lessons like- direction or speed. This technique will help them to remain focused on their usual lives rather than Heat Cycle disturbances.  


All the horses undergo Heat Cycle from a certain age onwards. This stage of the horses is very essential for the body transformation since the breeding process starts by this time. The owner must maintain a healthy body condition of the mare to ensure a healthy foal birth.

The needs of the mare must be fulfilled during the Heat cycle to minimize their pain. In this case, the owner has to be very conscious. Besides, the horse should be kept under observation for the 22 days Heat cycle. In this way, the mare will maintain a sound and healthy body throughout the year.

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