Horses reproduce by going through a process which includes fertilization, pregnancy and growth before the cycle starts all over again. Horses also have a hormone cycle that includes several phases to help ready the mare for fertilization.
- Fertilization The first step in horse reproduction is the fertilization process. This occurs when a stallion comes over to a mare and mounts her. This begins a courtship and repeat copulation, which results in the mare becoming pregnant.
- Pregnancy Mares will carry their foals for 11 months before giving birth. Mares usually give birth to single foals, though on occasion twins will be born instead. Most of the time the births are in the springtime, though they can occur at any time throughout the year. Horses are mammals and thus feed their young through milk. It will take several months of milk feeding before the foal will be able to eat on his or her own.
- Growing Once the foal has been born, it has to grow. It takes the foal a full one to two hours before it can stand on its own. Then it will take several months before it can eat on its own and start to live apart from its mother. Once the foal has grown into a mare or a stallion, the process of reproduction begins all over again.