When I brought my new horse in he was already shedding lightly. The weather here in Maryland has been up and down and over the past few weeks he has started to shed like mad. I can actually pull out the hair with my fingers and even a soft brush just piles up with the loose hair. I used a soft curry on him yesterday and the amount of hair coming out was incredible.
Now, to be fair, he was only being sheeted in even the coldest temps (the barn I bought him from let him grow a pretty substantial coat) and I have him in a medium weight blanket now so that could be causing some over shedding. To say I am covered in hair every night is an understatement :) I washed one of my barn sweater-jackets last night and my dryer lint screen was just covered in horse hair.
What concerns me is that in a few places, specifically directly behind his elbow and in the lower part of the stifle, there are near bare patches. I know is itsn't from rubbing as it is too close to the elbow for a girth and due to a potential abscess, I haven't ridden in 4 days and the bare patches just showed up yesterday.
The skin in the bare/very short hair areas is healthy..no sign of any type of fungal infection and the overall coat itself is shiny and smooth. One of the equine vet students at the barn is indicating it could be a simple nutrition deficiency, he was underweight when I got him, though now I have him on a coat/hoof/joint combo supplement and rice bran pellets along with his regular feed (only by three weeks however).
Is anyone else in the north atlantic region seeing similar shedding patterns as we have all had the most mild of winters?
could he be over shedding due to the blanketing which in turn is causing him to sweat. and then when he sweats it is rubbing on the blanket or blanket straps??
if thats possible i would stop blanketing him or clip him and blanket him...
No, he isn't sweating at all. I thought of that but he is checked daily to make sure he isn't and what little sweating he DID do when I first blanketed him was over two weeks ago. He has shed out enough now that he needs a blanket :)
Shedding is caused by daylight lengthening, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the weather. Winter coat thicknesses can be affected by weather, but not shedding.
The longest day of the year is in June, and after that the days start getting shorter. That is when horses start shedding their summer coats.
The shortest day of the year is in December, and after that the days start getting longer. That is when horses start shedding their winter coats.
It's perfectly normal, and happens every year. It's not early or even unusual; it's right on time.
horses can also go through big/odd shedding periods if they have cushings.
Thats one of the ways we discovered that my firends horse pearl had it.
All other syptions were unoticable and that time.
Sometimes it comes out in huge clumps and the coat undernether is normal and healthy
Ifound this photo online and it est resembles pearls condition.
Pearl was covered with this long coat everywhere but had a few strange stops where the coat had come out.
I just talked to my friend and she said that she is actually going through a shedding period now.
However I hope your horse doesnt have cushing, but its something to look into.
ETA: If you blanket a horse when they don't need it, if they are super fuzzy and they sweat under the blanket in freezing temperatures, the sweat can freeze and cause huge problems. Most of the time, fuzzy horses don't need to be blanketed. Generally more hay to help keep their body temperature up is sufficient. Only if they are shivering or are shorn for the winter should someone blanket. A lot of people over blanket and it is extremely dangerous.
A sheet during snow or rain is an entirely different thing, however.
its not totally a misconception... i think ...
i have been told by vets not only is the length of day that depicts when a horse will shed but also the amount of heat/stress is on an animal which can cause it to shed as well. it gives a false sense of change in the environment around it
not sure how true it is :?
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