Last month, we talked a little about the science of breeding in regards to our horses. What we didn’t talk about is how thoroughbred breeders can breed horses whose cycles are tied to daylight. Because of the racing cycle, our horses need to be bred at a specific time of year, but it’s not necessarily their natural reproductive time. Here’s how thoroughbred breeders use light therapy to kick-start the process.

What is Light Therapy

Because of the 11-month gestation time for horses, thoroughbreds shouldn’t get pregnant at just any time like humans or smaller animals because we want to foal as close to January 1 as possible(but not before!). Horses have a breeding cycle based on seasons, specifically when the days get longer in the spring. So, to kick-start a mare’s breeding cycle, experts in the thoroughbred breeding industry use light therapy.

Asking mares to start their cycle earlier than the natural season calls for them to be placed under lights for about two months before being bred. For example, if you’re preparing mares to cycle in February, you need to start light therapy in December. It combines natural and artificial light to expose mares to 16 hours of daylight. 

The Timing of Thoroughbred Breeding

So why do thoroughbreds have this kind of planned breeding cycle? Well, it comes down to how horses are classified for training and racing. All racehorses “age up” on January 1 each year.  This helps to manage the racing classifications, as you don’t want to race a newly turned 3-year-old against older more seasoned horses.  There are many racing categories, allowing straight 2-year-olds to race against each other for their 2-year-old year and then the first half of their 3-year-old season. This helps to level the playing field. With this grouping in mind, it allows yearlings to begin their training program around the same time, sales cycles are the same times annually and thoroughbreds start racing at the same time.

Care of Broodmares

Once your mare is pregnant, they require exceptional care. We talked about it a bit in this blog post. Since horses have a long gestation period of about 11 months, mares bred in February or March will begin foaling in January or February. That means an entire year of caring for a pregnant mare. As we mentioned, the essential aspects of broodmare care include the following:

  • The proper nutrition to support fetal development and then to stimulate milk production
  • A herd of mares in similar stages of pregnancy
  • Trying to maintain a closed herd to lessen exposure to contagious diseases
  • Proper veterinary care throughout the pregnancy and after the birth including deworming and vaccination

Happy Mares and Foals

We are excited about our ability to provide broodmare and foal care at horseOlogy through the facilities at GoldMark Farm. To find out more about our services, contact us today.

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FollowhorseOlogyonline and on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to learn more about our team, thoroughbreds, and services. Call us at 855-HORSIES (855-467-7437) to set up your visit to our facility.

All Available Shares

horseOlogy has only limited investment opportunities in this year’s investment group.

Horses of Racing Age Be A Lady ’21 by Violence

Horses of Racing Age

We love to watch our graduates grow and be successful on the racetrack.

Horses of Racing Age Be A Lady ’21 by Violence

Yearling to Two Year Olds

We can’t wait for you to come along and experience all that these horses have to offer.

Weanlings Available

Weanlings to Yearlings

Get involved early as there are limited ownership opportunities.

Weanlings Available


Allowing our partners to take part in the breeding process from start to finish.

Developing and Training

Our approach is joining up with each horse so that they understand the process of learning through acceptance and not fear.

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Rehab and Layup

Whether it is to let them rest mentally and/or physically or an injury, wehas the means and skill set.

Horses of Racing Age Be A Lady ’21 by Violence

Sales Prep

At horseOlogy, we focus on the tiniest details that can set our horses apart in the sales ring.

Weanlings Available


horseOlogy provides a boutique experience while limiting the number of mares and foals.

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We bring years of experience evaluating conformation and pedigree to uncover the best pinhooking prospects.

Small Share Investing

A business model whereby a group of people can participate in the owning horse, which may otherwise not have been feasible.


Bloodstock Advisors

A bloodstock advisor’s services may include but are not limited to, mating, sale placement, acquisition, trainer placement, and overall management of your horse.

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