Why Horses Shed So Much in the Spring
Updated: Feb 3, 2022
If you have ever seen a horse in the spring season, they have likely been accompanied by tufts of hair shedding from their coats—and it is incredible how much they can shed! Horses, like many other mammals, will lose hair throughout the year and should be groomed regularly to get rid of any dead hair follicles.
However, to adapt to life outdoors, they have developed a cyclical hair growth cycle and tend to have a big shed as winter wanes and the spring season approaches. However, there are quite a few unique elements to their shedding cycle that we thought would be fun to share!
Why Horses Shed in the Spring Season
A horse’s coat is influenced by daylight, not temperature. Horses get extremely fluffy in the wintertime and then shed the majority of their coat in the spring season, but temperature actually has nothing to do with the process! The number of daylight hours are what signals a horse to shed, so when the sun starts setting later, their bodies will know to start getting rid of some of that hair.
Horses always shed in the same pattern. The process of horse shedding happens in a pattern, and it can be different for every horse! Some horses will start shedding from their neck and work their way back, while others might start from the top of the body and have the hair shed gradually as it works its way down. While the timeline of a horse’s shedding process can vary from year to year, the pattern will always stay the same.
Humans can speed up the process. Horses can get itchy when their spring shed starts, which can make them quite grumpy—with good reason! Fortunately, shedding can be sped up with a few tricks. Since the light levels are the main signal for horses to shed, adding light to their stalls can speed up the process. Additionally, extra grooming, especially with a curry comb can help clear the shedding hairs out of the coat so they can feel far more comfortable.
If you are ready to learn more about horses and go for a scenic horseback ride, we would love to have you out to the stables! You can book a horseback ride online with us today.
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