Ok, firstly, i'm new here, so hi everyone!
And also, very sorry for such a long post!
Right, so my pony is now 16 years old. I don't ride her very much anymore, and when I do it is light riding, due to a leg injury she recieived a few years ago where her tendon ripped off her hock (the vet said it was a possibilty she would never be able to be ridden again, but she recovered a lot better than thought she would!)
Now I've had her since she was seven, so a good few years, and i've noticed that in the last few years (maybe even since her injury ie. 4 years ago), her winter coat has become thicker and she doesnt lose it all in the summer. Now, it is a wee bit curly by her neck and her legs. So the first thing that really pops into my mind is cushings...however, when I look at photos of cushings horses, her coat is nowhere near as long or as curly, and she does not look so dull and unhealthy as many can.
Also, last summer she got a case of laminitis, which I read can be associated with cushings...it was identified quickly and we quickly put a muzzle on her to prevent it, and although the muzzle has taken some damage, it worked . There is still a bit of bruising in her hooves, but she's completely sound and happy, and I know it takes a good while to comepletely eradicate, if ever it can be. Now, there's also the explanation that, she hadnt been worked because of lameness from fooling around in the field and with the exceptionally rich grass from the tons of rain we get here, turned her into a huge whale. I have heard cushings ponies may find it hard to keep on weight, which she has no problem in the world doing.
Thirdly! The end of last summer, she got a very bad case of drop, and is still in stables because of that, but she's all fixed up now, has been on hoof supplements for the last few months -cornicrescent feed additive and also the hoof conditioner. Now...I've heard drop and abcesses in general may be from a weakened immune system from cushings, but her hooves are white, and therefore not as strong, and she has got drop a few times in the past, plus, it was seemingly a terrible year for drop from the awful weather we had.
So basically, I'm wondering, is it usual for ponies who are getting older and are not being worked hard, to retain more hair in the summer? I do plan on asking the vet for a blood test next time he's out, but, til then, may as well put it out there.