FOR successful breeding outcomes, timing is everything. As we approach the 2023 season, the focus is now on what steps we can take to optimise breeding efficiency in the spring.

Correct use of light therapy regimes can have many benefits for our breeding stock. In the thoroughbred sector, early ovulations mean the production of early season foals and increases in the economic value of youngstock. In the sport horse sector, timely conception means less disruption of competition schedules, reduced workload managing multiple cycles and increases the chances of success using valuable semen.

To help make the breeding process that little bit easier, Equilume provide breeders with simple-to-use tools - award-winning light masks and smart stable lights - that ensure maximum success for breeding programmes, as well as optimum health and well-being for horses using these products.

Day light exposure

Equilume’s scientifically developed blue light technology mimics the sunlight wavelengths that normally strengthen the horse’s body clock and stimulate the reproductive system. Both the quality and the duration of daily light exposure is improved and this has important applications for barren and pregnant mares. It is exposure to optimum daylight intensities and wavelengths, and their suppressive effect on the production of melatonin, which influence’s when a mare will start cycling, as well as positively influencing her health and well-being.

When blue light enters the horse’s eye, specialised cells in the retina send a signal to the brain, which in turn, sends a time-of-day message throughout the body, ensuring that every cell functions optimally and in harmony with the environment. The result is improvements in health, behaviour and coat condition.

Reduction in stress

Published scientific studies confirm that extending day length for barren mares using blue light from Equilume light masks advances reproductive cycles as effectively as standard stable lighting, with the bonus that mares can be kept at pasture, where the reduction in stress and increase in exercise also benefits improved fertility. For pregnant mares, extended daily light from light masks has been shown to prevent prolonged gestations (reduction of 10-15 days) and optimise foal birth weights (average four kilogram increase) and foal maturity while improving post-foaling fertility.

New research has also shown that pregnant warmblood mares wearing Equilume Cashel masks in the final 100 days of gestation had shorter pregnancies, earlier post-foaling ovulations and more mature foals at birth. The blue-light stimulated mares developed larger follicles and ovulated five days sooner post-foaling. The exciting studies also found that foals from mares wearing light masks stood 15 minutes faster after birth than foals born to mares that did not receive additional light.

Physical development

Foals born from mares wearing light masks also had shorter hair coats, demonstrating that the light perceived by the pregnant mare is transmitted to the foal and influences their physical development in utero.

For barren mares, blue light treatment should begin approximately 70-75 days in advance of when they are required to cycle, around Dec 1st, and for pregnant mares 90-100 days before their due dates. For optimum results, the mask should remain on until the mare is scanned back in foal.

Now is the perfect time to contact Equilume and choose the right product for your horse ahead of the 2023 breeding season. Visit or contact, 087 097 8083