I have a two-year old quarterhorse mare. She's usually VERY affectionate toward me and wonderful to her pasture buddy. Last weekend, she seemed to be in a bad mood - she wasn't as affectionate and was nippy to her friend. I am wondering if she is old enough to be in heat? When is typically the first heat?
Estrous = the entire cycle from ovulation to ovulation; Estrus = "heat" = the portion of the estrous cycle when the mare is receptive to the stallion; Transitional phase = the period between winter anestrous (no cycles) and regualr cyclicity; Transitional estrus = displays of receptivity to the stallion during the transitional phase, which may or may not result in an ovulation after which ovulation the mare is considered out of transtitional phase and into the regular breeding cycle.
So, what you are actually (I think) asking is if it is a transitional estrus (or "heat"), and the answer is I can't tell you! It is towards the end of the time of year when mares are still transitional, so maybe, maybe not. One can tell, or at least get a good estimate, by using ultrasound, and evaluating uterine edema and follicular diameter, but beyond that there's no real way to know for sure if the mare is still transitional, unless of course a CL is seen per ultrasound on the ovary (in which case she's not still transitional).
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