Frida gets turned out everyday from 6AM to 3:30. The temps here have ranged from 60 degrees to 9 degrees since October. Before I got her she was turned out 24/7 with just a run-in shed. She's an Arab/Paint, age 5. I expected her to grow a real furry coat so I left the blankets off until right after Thanksgiving, because she virtually has very little winter coat. Her face got shaggy, but the only extra hair I see is on her shoulders, a pitiful amount. Is there any reason she didn't grow one? I do groom her quite a bit, (she's half-white) at least once a day. She's fed 2 scoops of grain, unlimited hay, and a supplement of biotin and flax. Her coat is very silky, shiny and fine, not dull or unhealthy by any standards. Now that temps are around 20 degrees she's in a medium weight blanket with a neck cover and a shoulder guard, and the barn manager leaves it on all the time because she remarks about her being almost naked. Is this just baby hair? Should I do something differently? Thanks
My QH/Paint mare (12 yo) always has a thin looking coat for winter, but she has an underlayer that is pretty dense (it sheds out in spring). Next to my fuzzy wuzzy Walkers she looks pitiful, but she keeps quite warm. Look closely to see if Frida has an undercoat; if so, and she's been outside in this frigid air, she'll be fairly good to go (a good sign is the shaggy face). Otherwise, do cover her. She looks very healthy and has plenty of weight to go into this winter. . . .
Some horses get a thicker coat, others don't. Just keep an eye on them, especially for weight loss . .
If you want her to grow a thicker coat, you're going to have to talk to your barn manager about maybe taking the blanket off on warmer days. The only way she'll grow a thicker coat is if she gets cold. Why would her body have her grow one if she's got a nice warm blanket on all the time? If she has unlimited hay in front of her, don't worry about her losing weight. Hay keeps them warm, by eating hay it's like feeding the furnace. I would start unblanketing her on the days when it's not snowing or isn't too windy.
I wouldn't be too concerned. Some horses just don't grow much of a winter coat and there's nothing wrong with that. Just cherish the fact that she's easy to clean and quicker to cool off after a ride than all of her fuzzy friends! I would just continue blanketing her so that she stays warm.
My mare, even prior to body clipping still had a fairly 'flattish' winter coat...she was never cold, so I know she had enough, and especially because she was sweating so badly during work, she definitely was thick enough for winter.