How does a horse lover know the seasons are changing? By our horses’ coats, of course! Now that we’re heading into the Spring season, you’re probably excited about that beautiful new coat coming in on your, but the shedding that comes along with it is no joke. Below we’ll cover why and when horses shed, and how to help your horse shed more effectively.
What Causes Shedding?
Horse hair cycles through three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. During the anagen phase, horse hair is growing. The catagen phase allows the follicles to rest, and the telogen phase is when the hair is falling out to stimulate new growth for the next coat.
A common misconception is that shedding has to do with the temperature. As the weather gets warmer, horses’ bodies sense that it’s time to drop their outer coat. But in reality, daylight—not warmth—is the trigger that tells their bodies to let go of the winter fur. The process actually started back in December, when the days start lengthening again, but it was too gradual to notice back then!
How to Help Your Horse Shed Better:
There are several things you can do to help your horse shed better in the springtime. The following are our tips to make this season go as smoothly as possible.
1. Regular Grooming: Yep, you probably guessed it. Regularly grooming your horse is the best way to encourage your horse’s old coat to shed, allowing the fresh, new coat to come through. Our favorite grooming tool for springtime shedding is the StripHair Gentle 6-in-1 groomer. StripHair is easy to use, and wildly effective at shedding the winter coat quickly and gently.
The StripHair Gentle Groomer is a revolutionary tool for grooming horses, dogs, and cats. Designed with all-natural elements with gentleness being just as much a priority as effectiveness, this tool not only removes hair, dirt, dead skin, and other debris, but also increases circulation, massages the muscles, and naturally conditions the coat.
What Pat says: “StripHair is way more than just a grooming tool or something to strip springtime hair off a horse. The horses love it! It’s a gentle grooming tool that increases circulation, gives them a derma massage, brings out oils, and gets a shine on a horse like nothing I’ve ever seen in my life. I love to say, ‘It’s not fair, because I used StripHair,’ because when I started carrying it in my shops and I would play with little foals, by the third session, they were all over me like a cheap suit, just because they loved me to groom them with StripHair.”
2. Increase Daylight Exposure: If your horse stays in the stall at night, make sure he’s getting enough time outside during the day. Increasing exposure to daylight will help tell his body to start shedding his heavier coat.
3.Give Your Horse a Bath: Baths are a great way to help your horse release extra hair (and extra dirt!). Make sure you can provide warm water and can towel-dry him well in the colder temperatures, though, and use judgment if the temperatures would be too cold for your horse to air dry
4.Supplement: Adding a coat supplement may not necessarily help shed faster, but it will improve the quality of the new coat that comes through (along with the hooves!).
What to Do if Your Horse Isn’t Shedding
If your horse’s shedding process still seems delayed, it could possibly be related to a medical condition. Talk to your vet about deworming your horse, because parasites could cause a delay in the shedding process. Delayed shedding is also a sign of Cushing’s Disease, so if none of the above seem to help and you’ve ruled out parasites, this could be something worth looking into.
Brighter Days are Ahead
Springtime is upon us, but the dreaded spring shedding doesn’t have to be as scary as it has been in the past! Help your horse with some extra time outside and regular grooming with the StripHair Gentle 6-in-1 groomer. With longer days come longer rides!
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