Thanks Spirit and Poppy for your kind words
Cowgirls Boots, you could have your horse tested for Cushings and he could come up negative, even though he might just be on the hairy edge of developing the disease.
If you do test him, I would wait until whenever your Spring is and he is starting to shed. If you don't remember anything else on this thread: Do NOT let the vet do a Dex test on him (Dexamethasone).
That can possibly send a horse into founder. The Dex Suppression test involves suppression of cortisol in the horse.
There's a blood test called the ACTH test that is nearly as accurate that the majority of vets prefer.
If you do have the ACTH test done (to check cortisol level) please also have the vet draw blood to check insulin level. If there's going to be a shocker, my money would be on the insulin results over the ACTH results.
The picture "Wanstrom Horses" posted is a classic Cushings coat BUT not all horses develop that coat early on; my friend's horse took a couple years before he finally ended up with that Yak-looking coat. He was a sorrel and initially had tufts of hair that would sort of "stand up" and were off color in a orange kind of way. He looked like someone splatter him with a paint brush and those tufts of hair were always the last thing to shed off him. She finally ended up having to clip him three times during the warm seasons.
As far as your horse sweating on a 50 degree day; that could be normal for his thermostat. My three with heavy coats won't sweat at 50 unless they get to playing in the pasture but 60 degrees will make them on the tacky side, just grazing.
There is also the metabolic disease called "Equine Metabolic Syndrome", a/k/a "peripheral cushings". I don't know why it's pseudo name is Peripheral Cushings because the Pituitary gland allegedly is not involved, like it is with true cushings.
I have a horse with EMS and also a horse with true insulin resistance.
I can't remember but I may have said on your other thread that the laminitis issue might be raising a red flag on some sort of metabolic issues.
It wouldn't hurt to take this horse completely off grain and just feed him a vit/min supplement if his hay is of poor quality. If he's got good hay, I might consider just feeding him 8 ounces, twice daily, of straight timothy pellets in
His feed pan so he thinks he's getting something
I have to do that with my IR horse. The horse with EMS went from an air fern to a hard keeper, plus he's 25, so he gets rice bran and well-soaked timothy/alfalfa cubes, along with a liquid vitamin.
There are some very credible websites regarding metabolic diseases; Dr. Kellon's is right at the top.
It is well written and very informative. It may help you determine just where your horse might be in the metabolic scheme of things. Equine Cushing's and Insulin Resistance Information
When shedding season starts, you will have to watch his shedding pattern. The thing I noticed with my EMS horse was that he was not going to let go of his leg hair OR his personal hair. I have to shave all that off but not as much once I started him on Chastetree. Chastretree works miracles on the EMS horse but doesn't do a thing for the IR horse.
The horse with insulin resistance isn't like that. He never grows a winter coat - so much so that he has to wear a blanket if it's 40 degrees, the air is cold and the wind is blowing more than 15 MPH
He is 17 and his previous owner told me he's been that way all his life. The IR only exploded on him in 2010, so I can't blame that for the lack of his coat.
I wanted to compare both my metabolic horses so you could see that not every horse reacts the same to these diseases. My two don't even eat the same - all they have in common is they eat as little starch as I can possibly feed them. Mr. IR wears a grazing muzzle 9 months out of 12 and severely foundered last March. Mr. EMS only needs one during the spring and has never had even the slightest laminitis issue
I hope this helps some