The horses I've owned over the years have very often had different hair textures, some thicker and coarser, others much sleeker (and easier to keep clean.) It doesn't necessarily seem to be breed related.
My chestnut mare (50% TB x 50% WB) has the sleekest, finest coat hair I've ever encountered. It also has a metallic sheen to it. I barely need to bathe her to make her look smashing, and she's jokingly referred to by others as "the shiniest horse at the horse show."
She is not ticklish -- loves to be groomed -- but even a paper cut on a cannon can make her leg puff up.
Her son, a dark bay (25% TB x 75% WB) has a slightly coarser hair coat and no metallic sheen, but is still shinier and softer than most. He loves grooming to the extent of leaning into the curry comb and groaning, so definitely not ticklish.
The retired old fart is seal brown and 100% TB. He is the most ticklish and skin sensitive guy. A small scratch needs to grow the hair back in white. A new pallet of shavings can have him out in hives. And heaven forbid you touch him with a hard brush! Oh the histrionics!
Not only do horses have different basic hair feel to them, their hair also may change with their nutritional state, the seasons, age and in different spots on each horse.
One salient example of that last, tobiano paints tend to have white hair and colored hair of different textures.
You can see it when they shed in the spring, when they look like a relief map, one color already shed, the other still very hairy.
A boarder in my barn has a chestnut and white pinto. He grows in and sheds out his different colors as different times. The chestnut grows in longer first and then the white starts to grow. The chestnut hairs never get quite as long as the white hairs.
I have a grey & white pinto that is all white now. He does not stain the same way many greys do. He gets plenty dirty but it brushes off well. When he does get manure on him a wet sponge without soap will remove all traces.
We had another grey at the same barn so access to the same mud and he frequently had a brown tinge to him unless the owner soaped him up twice.
My horse is always very soft to pet. He is soft enough I have had other horse owners comment on it. The other grey was had a normal feeling coat. Not coarse but not soft.
Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)
I haven't seen anything scientific but I would have to agree that horses do have different hair textures.
My mustang has the most dense winter coat. It isn't long and shaggy its kind of in that velveteen rabbit stage but is so thick down toward her skin. Its interesting. Of course she puffs up depending on the temperature but it is a different texture and thickness.
Decades ago we started an arabian colt for a breeder and he didn't have "normal" horse hair, but was soft and fuzzy like a stuffed toy.
His hair never did lay shiny and pretty, it was always that fluffy soft down feeling kind of strange hair.
He was also a little harder to cool off, it held moisture longer than normal horse coats do.
His hair felt more like the undercoat on a double coated dog, that stuff you brush out by the handful, except his was not hardly ever shedding and was fairly short.
Never found another horse with hair like that, must have been a rare mutation.
I have a sorrel sabino/overo Paint with very finely textured hair in his mane, tail, and also his forelock, what little there is of it. His mane gets cut because there is too little, and it's too fine, to pull. His white always starts to shed out first ahead of the sorrel. It also grows in first, and he looks sort of like a fluffy trapunto quilt. He does get extremely fuzzy in the winter so when he's been lollygagging about in the mud or standing in the rain, he gets somewhat curly.
Thanks for your stories.
My horse used to get very thick but very fine hair in the winter.
Now it gets very long also. It don't make me no nevermind. If he gets too smelly I just take a sponge and get the smelly spots off.
Sometimes we have days where it is warm enough to bathe but I hate getting the undercoat wet cause it takes forever to dry.
I can't wait to see what he looks like tomorrow. They out today in the pasture today after being up for the past three days.
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