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Lights Program

Getting your mare bred early

Breeders who have a dry mare to go to stud generally want to have her bred as early as possible, so that they can get an early foal.


Reproductive activity of the mare can be divided into four phases: the non-breeding season (winter anoestrus), spring transition (vernal), the breeding season (ovulatory receptivity) and autumn transition. Of these four phases the spring transition is most important. This is the period where mares renew sexual function following the non-breeding season and typically lasts six to eight weeks. When mares are in this phase – often referred to as “transitional” – they are not cycling properly and cannot be served.


One of the ways to short cycle this “transitional” phase is to use artificial lighting to extend the day length to trick the mare’s system into believing spring has arrived earlier. Mares are exposed to an artificial light program to experience 16 hours of “daylight” and so speed up their move into cycling properly ready to breed.


At Pepper Tree Farm we offer this program to our clients to optimise the opportunity for your dry mare to be served early. Our artificial light program runs each stud season from around the middle of July up to the middle of October. Please contact us if we can assist with further information about this program.