Solving the Mystery of the Winking Mare

What is the anatomical part that winks when the mare is sexually excited? The question likely refers to the behavior known as 'winking' in mares, which involves the mare exposing her vulva by contractions of the vulvar lips during estrus. This is an indication of sexual excitement in mares and is a consideration for breeders regarding mare fertility cycles.

The Winking Behavior in Mares

When it comes to understanding the behavior of mares during estrus, one commonly observed phenomenon is the 'winking' of the vulva. This behavior is a key indicator of sexual receptivity in mares and plays a crucial role in the breeding process.

Understanding the Mare's Vulva

The vulva is the external part of the female reproductive system in mammals. In mares, it consists of the labia, clitoris, vaginal opening, and urethral opening. During estrus, which is the period of the mare's heat cycle when she is receptive to mating, the vulvar lips may contract and relax, causing the vulva to 'wink.'

Significance for Breeders

For breeders and horse owners, recognizing the winking behavior in mares is essential for successful breeding. It indicates that the mare is in estrus and ready for breeding. Monitoring the mare's estrus cycle and understanding her reproductive behavior can help breeders optimize the timing of mating for successful conception.


While the winking behavior in mares may seem mysterious to some, it is a natural and essential part of their reproductive cycle. By being aware of this behavior and its significance, breeders can better manage the breeding process and increase the chances of successful reproduction in their mares.

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