My horses are actively shedding already. We've had a crazy mild winter - hardly any snow, mild temperatures well above freezing most days (going to be +9 degree Celsius on Sunday!). It's only January. In Alberta. And they're dropping their coats like bare hands on a hot pot. Anyone else in colder climes experiencing the same thing already? This is the earliest any of my beasties have ever started shedding. It's a bit worrisome considering February is usually blustery and can be rather bitter.
It has nothing to do with the temps - its all about the amount of sunlight. Days started getting longer a little over a month ago - my mare starts shedding then! My gelding has started too - it's completely normal . I should add that i'm in New Hampshire - not exactly balmy temps in winter (though it has been milder than normal).
"When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered."CANTER New England
I know the shedding has nothing to do with temperatures. My first post wasn't clear, sorry. The mild temperatures have had them all sweating a bit though. The length of day up here is only 8.5 hours, if that. Not long enough for them to be shedding this vigorously.
As I said, shedding this early is not normal for my Alberta locale, it's usually around the end of February. The hair loss will become a problem if we get another -30 to -40 cold snap.
I'm wondering if anyone in the northern lower-light locales have horses shedding already?
I'm in AB, too! What a great winter up here! I'm only sad we didn't have a white Christmas, but I'll take it!
No shedding for my guy. He likes to hang on to his coat like a tightwad clutching a hundred dollar bill. The earliest he ever sheds is April, no matter what. When we were showing, I had to clip his winter belly hairs for the first shows of the season! Now he has them until mid-May.
It's odd that people always say it has nothing to do with the temperatures...I was always taught - and read - that it's a combination of temperature and lengthening/shortening day light hours. I first bought my horse in Feb when he had been stalled at night all winter (not under lights) and he barely had a winter coat. He was turned out 24/7 (blanketed) at the new barn and started growing a winter coat in March. By April, he had a full winter coat. I'd think temperatures had something to do with that, otherwise why would he have grown a coat in Feb when the days were lengthening once he went from being warm and cozy at night to 24/7 turnout?
Mine are shedding like crazy. As are most of the horses in the barns where I board. We haven't had as many bitter cold days as we had last year but it isn't exactly balmy here most of the time. I just keep blanketing my horse like crazy since he lives outdoors and is trace clipped.
Daylight hours and temperature. When horses from here go to California they laugh at their thick winter coats a year later. When we send a horse up counry for the winter, they grow a better coat their second year.
My boys (12 yr old QH and 19 yr old TB) have been shedding since early January. At first it was just a few hairs, but now the hair is really falling out. We're not in the huge piles of hair at the end of a grooming session yet (thank god) but that won't be too long!
Montana is always a late shedder. He doesn't even start until mid March most years. I often end up just clipping him in the spring out of frustration when it gets warm enough to make him sweat in the field. The upside of that method is that I get most of the annoying, hairy mess out of the way in one day!