High Desert Veterinary Service
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Seasonal variation in daylight has a profound influence on the mare’s reproductive performance. Increasing day length improves the mare's reproductive efficiency while shortened days disrupt reproductive regulation. Daylight stimulates the production of melatonin by the brain’s pineal gland, which in turn starts a complex cascade of hormonal events which influence the ovaries to develop and release follicles. For successful conception to occur, an egg must ovulate, be fertilized, and arrive in a uterus which is ready to accept and nourish it. No simple task.
Mares with placid dispositions may not seem affected by the ups and downs of hormonal transitions while others are truly distressed during these phases. Some performance horses exhibit irritable behavior and are difficult to train. Trainer’s may seek ways to stabilize reproductive activity and help these troubled mares achieve behavioral balance. There are many oral supplements available over the counter which claim to improve the demeanor of irritable mares,and subcutaneous cattle hormonal implants have been used, but none of these methods have any scientific basis. Compounded injectable progesterone in olive oil can be used intramuscularly but the injections are irritating and yield variable results. There is a well researched long acting altrenogest injection manufactured by BET Pharm, however the cost is prohibitive for many clients.
So, when your mare is acting like a maniac this month, remember that her behavior may be due to "raging hormones"! Speak with me about management practices that may improve your breeding success or help your mare's disposition.
I believe that education is the key to evolution. I believe that animals are the key to compassion. I believe the learning never stops.