It’s the annual winter horse coat blow-out! Barns everywhere are overwhelmed with old winter coat hair. While wild horses naturally lose their winter coats, our domesticated equines need our attention to enhance their overall coat condition for the warmer weather.

See how much you know when it comes to your horse’s coat condition below!

Horse Winter Coats 101Wild Horses in the Pasture

Our animals depend upon their guardians for their overall health, well-being, comfort and happiness. Test your knowledge below when it comes to horse winter coats 101.

What triggers a horse’s winter coat to shed?

Horse Outside Wearing a BlanketIf you think it’s the warmer spring temperatures, think again! It is actually the amount of daylight that causes a winter coat to shed (longer daylight hours equals shedding). The same before winter, shorter daylight hours cause a natural reaction in growing a warmer winter coat in preparation for winter. According to The Horse, increased body temperature (from blanketing) does not help a horse shed faster.

Can fat supplements help your horse’s coat after winter?

Absolutely! Especially after a cold, dry winter. According to The Horse Journals, “fat supplements such as vegetable oil or stabilized rice bran is much more energy dense than cereal grains … and will also help improve skin and coat conditions.” Fat supplementation also helps reduce dandruff and flakiness.

Some horse owners swear by feeding flax or black oil sunflower seeds because of the oils they contain. However, this is no scientific evidence behind these claims.

Why is my horse shedding their winter coat so slowly?

There are a few reasons why your horse may be shedding slower than its barn mates.

  1. Not enough rigorous grooming.
  2. Not enough exercise.
  3. Too much time in the barn and less light.
  4. Additional nutrition is needed.
  5. Potential Cushing’s (or PPID). (Work with your vet to get bloodwork done.)

Woman Brushing Out Horse's Winter Coat

Click here to see how the EquiGroomer tools

make easy work of removing

your horse’s winter coat!


Never clip a horse’s winter coat! This one is not true. According to Pro Equine GroomsHorse Eating a Mouthful of Hay, you should clip a horse that’s uncomfortable with its winter coat when the temperatures warm up.

Feeding older hay? Your horse may need this nutrient!

Other vitamins and minerals can help improve your horse’s coat condition including Vitamin E, biotin, silicon, zinc and copper explains VetLineEquine.com. These nutrients can often be missing from older or store-bought hay.


Did You Know?

Shedding by our smaller companion animals – cats and dogs – creates another health issue … hairballs!

Yes, your dog can get hairballs too! Help both your feline and canine avoid hairballs with daily grooming along with increased fiber and water intake!



Your horse’s coat condition says nothing about his overall health.

This is a falsehood. Yes, it is not the sole indicator of your equine’s health, but it is an important marker of health!  HorseIllustrated.com offers some potential reasons (like nutrition, stress, endocrine issues and even worms for a lackluster coat condition along with suggested remedies.


The EquiGroomer Grooming ProductsDuring the COVID slowdown, we made some significant changes to our grooming product line based on comments and recommendations from customers like you!

Changes included:

  • The shape of the handle making it more comfortable to hold.
  • A new name, EasyGroomer for our 5″ version; and
  • Better packaging to reflect the customers who purchase this smaller size.

Our EquiGroomer tools make grooming your pets easier, stress-free AND pain-free!

To order individual EquiGroomer tools or professional kits for your pet shop, tack shop or barn, call 860-573-0604, send us an email or visit our website today!


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InspiredImages from Pixabay 

Rebekka D from Pixabay 

Pezibear from Pixabay 

Courtesy of YouTube Video

Rihaij from Pixabay 

Product Image Courtesy of EquiGroomer

Our last blog focused on how to protect your horse from spring mud and the abundance of moisture in paddocks, pastures, and stalls. Today’s post will focus on another common spring issue, shedding! Learn how to survive your horse’s spring shedding AND what it may reveal about your equine’s health.


Spring Means Shedding … and a LOT of It!Spring Shedding Means a Lot of Horse Hair

Ahh, springtime! Warmer temperatures, longer daylight hours, and beautiful new growth every way! But it also means something else, your horse’s spring shedding of their heavier winter coats. 

While most horses will begin shedding with the emergence of spring, this is not true for all horses.

Keep reading to learn why some horses may not shed on time or as quickly as others.

Consistent Equine Grooming Is Critical for Your Horse’s Health!

Equigroomer Grooming Tools Addresses Your Horse's Spring Shedding

Maintaining a regular grooming routine year-round helps ensure proper shedding and new hair growth!

Check out our 20-Piece Equine Tack Shop Start Kit to make grooming your horse easier, faster and more comfortable!

For individual or bulk orders, call 860-573-0604 or click here to send us an email.

Equigroomer Grooming Tools Addresses Your Horse's Spring Shedding

Maintaining a regular grooming routine year-round helps ensure proper shedding and new hair growth!

Check out our 20-Piece Equine Tack Shop Start Kit to make grooming your horse easier, faster, and more comfortable!

For individual or bulk orders, call 860-573-0604 or click here to send us an email.

It’s NOT About Warmer Temperatures

While shedding is a springtime nuisance, it’s actually a “complex physiological process” which can tell you a lot about your horse’s overall health.

Did you know that your horse’s spring shedding is NOT triggered by warmer temperatures? Equus Magazine explains:Shedding by Your Horse is Due to Extended Spring Daylight Hours

Shedding is not triggered by temperature. It’s linked to photoperiods. As the hours of daylight increase, a horse’s winter coat begins to loosen and shed. This process started way back in late December, but you usually won’t see the obvious, hairy results until now.

Each horse should shed on a consistent schedule each year; even though that timeframe may be different for each horse. Individual horses will also shed their winter coat in the same pattern each year (i.e., shedding from their necks first and then along their flanks).

But what if your horse is not shedding as usual? Below we explore some of the health reasons a horse may not be shedding “on time.”

The Johnny-Come-Lately Shedding Horse

Is your horse keeping his heavy winter coat longer this year? There may beSenior Horses May Shed Later a few medical reasons behind it.  

Cushing’s Disease

  • If your horse normally sheds his winter hair at the same time each year, shedding his hair late could be a sign of Cushing’s Disease (especially if your horse is over 7 years old). Cushing’s Disease is a common hormonal disorder in equines involving a dysfunctional pituitary gland which can disrupt timely shedding.
  • Another sign of Cushing’s Disease includes long “cat hairs” under their belly and chin which typically shed last.
  • Contact your veterinarian right away to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan (and to avoid the development of laminitis).

Deworming

Another issue behind a horse shedding late may involve the need for deworming. Usually, administering a dewormer – if needed – will encourage the complete shedding of their winter coat. Your veterinarian can best advise you.

It Might be Your Barn!

If your horse is completely healthy and parasite-free, your barn may be atYour Barn Can Affect Your Horse's Spring Shedding! fault! Since the extra daylight hours trigger a horse’s winter coat to shed, artificial lighting and dark barn interiors may cause a delay in timely shedding. To remedy this issue:

  1. Give your horse 24-hour access to pastures.
  2. Adjust your turnout schedule; or
  3. Use full-spectrum bulbs in your barn’s lighting fixtures timed to turn on and off automatically for providing a total of 16 hours of daylight (natural and artificial).

Not Enough Grooming and Brushing

While medical issues may be behind your horse’s late shedding, it might also be something as simple as not providing enough vigorous grooming and brushing to effectively promote your horse’s normal shedding schedule.

Make sure you keep up with your regular grooming and brushing to help stimulate the hair follicles for shedding the old winter coat and encouraging new healthy growth!


 Always check with your regular vet to properly diagnose and treat your horse relative to their health history and overall condition.


 Additional Reading:

Spring Shedding in Horses: Troubleshooting a Late Shedding Horse

What Shedding Can Tell You About Your Horse’s Health

Cushing’s Syndrome in Horses

Help Your Horse Shed its Winter Coat

 Image Credits:

Photo by Tim Savage from Pexels

Photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger from Pexels

Photo by Brandon Randolph from Pexels

Photo by Rodolfo Quiros from Pexels

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Product Image: Courtesy of EquiGroomer

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