Winter coat maintenance/removal come spring
Okay, wasn't sure where to put this, so I just did "eenie-meenie-minie-mo." lol
Anyway, I was really looking at Aires' winter coat yesterday and noticed that he has a double coat. He's got the longer guard hairs associated with a normal winter coat, but then he's got downy fluff under that. It was seriously like looking at my aussie/st bernard's winter coat, only not quite as long. My old gelding (who was 3/4 arab and 1/4 saddlebred) only ever got the longer guard hairs, never the downy undercoat. Looking at his winter coat was basically like looking at his regular coat, just longer.
So, has anyone dealt with a double coat like Aires'? Is it normal for half-drafts (or full drafts) to have a double coat? When it comes spring and he sheds out, will it shed out like a normal winter coat, or will I have to do anything special to remove it? I got him in May, so his winter coat had already shed out completely (it was already in the 70s to 80s when I got him), and the BO (who sold me Aires) said he's never seen his coat get like it is right now before. The BO even said that Liberty, the full Percheron filly that came from the same farm that Aires did, has never gotten a coat as thick as Aires' is right now.
I guess it's nice 'cuz I won't have to worry about blanketing him...unless it's to keep mud off him. I swear he lays in the muddiest place he can find (especially now that his coat is all long and fluffy), just to aggravate me.
Yes both my horses have the long guard hairs and massive downy stuff too. Be prepared to get hair in your mouth, eyes, nose, ears and be covered in shed fur from head to toe come spring. I recommend a furminator shedding brush and a big grooma curry. I had even developed tendonitis from spring shedding/grooming and had to take glucosamine!
Well, at least with a Furminator I can use it on my dog too. His coat is a pain in the butt when it blows out in the spring! I get enough hair out of him to make a whole new dog...or two...or three. :-P
I'm not really "concerned" about Aires' double coat...more just preparing myself to do battle with it come spring. ;-)
Yep, it's a battle LOL. Dobe has one of the thickest winter coats I've seen on any horse of any breed. I try to avoid him until he should be nearly shed out completely, then I just pull it off him in clumps with my bare hands LOL.
The barn joke is that Aires is part wooly mammoth. lol I LOVE digging my fingers into his coat, though. Sooooooooo warm and soft...where it isn't caked with mud.
Have you noticed his white patches are longer than his dark coat?
Yes! OMG! I seriously just thought he was weird like that. Sooooo glad someone else's horse is like that! lol Actually, I kind of figured that the white parts are longer because white reflects heat from the sun, so it grows longer to compensate because the black parts absorb heat from the sun.
He also sweats more on his black parts than he does on his white parts.
Yay! I got something right! lol In all honesty, I kind of thought about it like a car. I drive a white truck and the interior hardly gets hot in the summer, even sitting out in full sun. My mom's black SUV, on the other hand, becomes an oven after five minutes in partial sun.
It's gonna be a hairy spring for you, and it should be okay come Spring, just be prepared to groom A LOT. It should be a normal shed though. It's pretty funny to see the clumps lying on the ground afterwards :D
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