What does "under lights" mean?

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What does "under lights" mean?

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    05-18-2010, 11:42 PM
Question What does "under lights" mean?

I have heard the term of a horse being "under lights" at shows recently and I don't know what it means, can anyone explain? Thanks in advance.
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    05-18-2010, 11:50 PM
Its when a horses environment is controlled so that they don't grow winter coats. Growing a winter coat is based on the sun cycles, so if they are under a constant source of light, they won't get that extra fur.
    05-19-2010, 12:22 PM
Green Broke
People who show their horses (or work them hard) through the winter don't want a thick winter coat. In some disciplines it's considered a huge no-no to body clip (quarter horses in particular). A horse's winter coat comes in when there is less daylight. So people put lights in their horse's stalls to increase the amount of "daylight" when the days start getting shorter in the fall/winter.
    05-19-2010, 04:15 PM
Mares are also put under lights to encourage them to come into season earlier in the year, especially TBs, where the competitive advantage of a January birthday is huge. Mares normally don't cycle in Jan/Feb. Coat growth and a mare's heat cycle are both triggered by Circadian cycles, the seasonal fluctuation in the amount of daylight and dark. So putting horses in stalls with lights on timers to fool their bodies into thinking it's spring by the length of daylight keeps them from growing winter coats and brings mares into season.
    05-19-2010, 04:18 PM
Green Broke
Really? I just learned something new! I figured they controlled their cycles with hormone injections. I know when it comes to growing coats some horses don't respond THAT well to lights. Are lights pretty effective/accurate?
    05-19-2010, 04:25 PM
The lights are very effective in terms of getting mares to cycle. I never had very good luck with the hormone injections bringing up a breedable follicle back when I worked at a breeding farm. The mistakes a lot of people make are 1.) not having enough wattage - the light needs to be *bright* - ordinary stable lights won't work. There may also be something about the color spectrum of the light, but I'm not sure and 2.) not starting early enough. We usually put the mares under lights in September.
    05-19-2010, 10:51 PM
Thank you all, this definitely cleared things up.

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