Definition of Mare
The word mare comes from the Latin equa, the female denomination of horse (equus). It should be noted, on the other hand, that equus is a classic Latin word that, over time, changed to caballus in vulgar Latin.
In certain social contexts, in Latin America , it is used disparagingly towards women, as an insult. In the case of Argentina, it has been popularized as part of the political- media strategy in reference to former President Cristina Kirchner from her fervent opponents.
Generalities of the mares
When they are in a period of heat or estrus, they usually have a different behavior. During the mating days the mare is predisposed to the sexual encounter with the stallion.
The breeders who are dedicated to the reproduction of horses take special care of the females, since the preservation of the species depends on them.
The purebred horses of English origin are the result of a singular mixture: mares crossed mothers with stallions of other races.
The gestation period lasts between eleven and twelve months depending on the equine race. If the baby or foal is born earlier than expected, their chances of survival are very small. As a general guideline, mothers have only one child per birth.
During the first weeks of life the foals are very close to their mothers and the breeders know that during this initial stage it is recommended that both remain together. In this sense, if weaning of the foal is carried out early, it is likely that the horse develops aggressive behavior (experts believe that the nine months of life would be the ideal time to start weaning).
In equestres competitions
In horse racing, the percentage of males is higher than that of females. This difference has an explanation: the male has a greater wingspan and this circumstance affects the amplitude of his stride and the speed of the race.
Despite this, in the history of the races there have been purebred mares that have starred in great successes. In jumping competitions, mares have a better rating than horses.
In Greek mythology
In the narration of the twelve works of Heracles this hero has to overcome all kinds of difficulties to redeem himself from his crimes, since he had killed his wife and children after an attack of rage. In the eighth job he had to capture the four mares of Diomedes, who were especially feared because they fed on human flesh.
In the best known version of the myth it is said that Heracles managed to bend the mares by offering them the meat of their owner, King Diomedes. After this moment the aggressive beasts lost their ferocity and became gentle mares.
Fotolia Photo: marioav