Warm winter causing confusion among horses

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The mild winter that has been experienced up and down the UK is causing major problems for equine insurance customers as mares are reportedly coming into season far too early as well as early moulting taking place.

Horse and Hound vet Karen Coumbe told the publication she was noticing both recued coat growth and early shedding, which was as a result of unusually high temperatures.

Reproductive expert Dr Jonathan Pycock questioned whether the mares were actually in season and said that the overriding mechanism in stimulating ovaries is daylight rather than temperature.

"If a mare is thinking about whether to cycle, she will be encouraged if the weather is mild. You may see the signs such as tail lifting – but she will not be ready to ovulate," he added.

Pregnancy in horses lasts 11 months and according to Horses and Horse Information the best time for foals to be born is between May and July because this is when the most grass is available.

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