How To Tell When A Horse Is In Heat

How To Tell When A Horse Is In Heat


Whether you’re a new horse owner or an experienced equestrian, it’s important to know when your mare is in heat. In order to be able to tell when your horse is in heat, you need to understand the signs of estrus, or her cycle. Once you understand how this works, it will be much easier for you to tell when she is ready for breeding and when she is not.

1. The horse is not in heat.

If you’re trying to figure out whether your horse is in heat, you’ll want to look for some specific signs. The first thing to keep in mind is that horses don’t go into heat all the time. It’s only about once every 21 days, and that period of time lasts for about four to seven days. During this time, it will be a good idea to make sure that she isn’t bred by another horse because she could get pregnant before the second heat comes around again.

It’s also important not to breed her during her first heat cycle because there is no guarantee that she won’t have twins or triplets with this pregnancy!

2. The horse is in heat but you’re very bad at spotting it.

It’s possible that your horse is in heat and you just don’t know it. If this is the case, there are a few key signs to look for that indicate whether or not your horse is in heat:

  • The vulva is swollen, red and very open. It may appear wet at times and the horse will be restless (and possibly agitated). She might also be more vocal than usual.
  • Her tail is held lower than usual, which usually means she’s ready to mate with another stallion or male horse of any species.
  • She may also try to rub her back and neck against objects like trees or fence posts; this will help her get rid of any extra skin cells on those areas so they can better withstand penetration by another animal!

3. The horse’s tail is up and her vulva is swollen. She’s a half-way point between being in heat and not being in heat.

The horse’s vulva is swollen and she is showing signs of being in heat. The tail is up, she may be a little aggressive with you or other horses, and there might be a discharge from her vulva. She could be anywhere from three days away from her estrus period to two weeks away. This would not be the time to breed your mare if you’re planning on breeding her this year, but it’s a good sign that breeding season will begin soon!

4. Your horse has reduced appetite, and may eat later than usual or less than usual.

  • If your horse has a reduced appetite and may eat later than usual or less than usual, this is another sign that she might be in heat.
  • You may notice that your mare eats less during her cycle. This is because she’s using energy to produce eggs and will have less energy available for other tasks such as eating and drinking water. The amount of feed you can give a mare during her cycle will vary depending on how hot it is outside, but generally speaking, she’ll need about 30 percent less rations than normal during the first three days of heat (when there’s only one egg released) and up to 50 percent less rations during days four through five (when four or more eggs are released).

5. Your horse’s breathing will change, becoming more rapid, shallow and forceful as she starts to come into estrus.

  • Your horse’s breathing will change, becoming more rapid, shallow and forceful as she starts to come into estrus. She will breathe more often and quicker, taking in larger amounts of air at a time. This is due to the rise in progesterone levels which causes an increase in both heart rate and respiratory rate (breathing).

The increased respiration can also be observed when you watch your mare for signs of heat: she’ll have a greater need for oxygen so she’ll breathe deeper and faster than normal; sometimes this can be mistaken for anxiety or restlessness but if she’s exhibiting other changes as well (such as a swelling vulva), it’s likely something else entirely!

6. Your horse may display an increased level of aggression with other horses and objects around the field or stable during estrus.

A horse may display increased aggression with other horses and objects during estrus. This can occur in the stable, on a trail ride, or in the field. It is often more aggressive than normal, so you should be careful when around your mare at this time.

If she displays an increase in aggression towards people or other horses during estrus, consider having someone accompany you at all times while she is in heat to keep her under control and protect yourself from any potential accidents that could occur because of her behavior change.

7. The mare’s behaviors may include mounting other horses or objects such as fence posts, trees or anything else that she can get on top of.

  • The mare’s behaviors may include mounting other horses or objects such as fence posts, trees or anything else that she can get on top of.

The commonly accepted way to tell if a horse is in heat is by observing its behavior. A female horse that has been recently bred will exhibit several signs of being in heat:

  • The mare may try to mount other horses
  • The mare may try to mount you
  • The mare may try to mount a person that is not a horse (for example, your best friend)

It is important to remember that just because a female has displayed these behaviors does not mean she actually is in estrus (heat). If you suspect that your mare might be ready for breeding consider having her checked by your vet so you can learn for sure whether her hormones are indicating she’s ready for breeding!

Being good at spotting when your horse is in heat is important if you want to breed them, but also be aware that there are some risks involved too!

  • Breeding a mare is risky. A mare can have complications during delivery, which could endanger both her and the foal.
  • Breeding a stallion is dangerous. If a stallion mates with more than 100 mares in one breeding season, there’s a risk that he’ll develop laminitis (a painful hoof condition), which will almost certainly require his death.
  • Breeding geldings only poses risks if they’re too young to be used for breeding purposes—if they’re too young, they won’t be able to produce enough sperm! And if they’re too old, their sperm quality might decline due to age-related factors like reduced circulation and slower metabolism rates which can reduce production output by as much as 40%.
  • A mare who is in heat should be bred as soon as possible—she may not stay in heat very long!


This is one of the most important things to learn as a horse owner. Not only does it help you understand your horse’s needs, but it also helps you track her cycles and anticipate what will happen next. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and have learned something new about your horse!

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