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Mid-Atlantic Area - Horse Already Starting to Get Heavier Coat?

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  • Mid-Atlantic Area - Horse Already Starting to Get Heavier Coat?

    I noticed this week that I can feel my horses's coat getting a little bit denser. It seems early in the season to me that his winter coat would be starting to come in now. Usually we have temps in the 90's thru October.

    I've seen predictions for a colder, snowier winter in the mid-atlantic this year, and I'm not sure if this has anything to do with it? Or is this the normal time to start noticing slight changes to the coat?

  • #2
    There is a great saying, something to the effect of "No horse looks well at blackberry time." The blackberries are ripe, and I'm starting to see a few of our horses' coats get that coarse look. I don't think it's at all unusual. I'm in CA and we are actually heading into our summer season --- it's the hottest here from now to mid-October.

    Time to get your bodyclippers sharpened!


    • #3
      They start shedding their winter coat when the days start getting longer and start shedding their summer coat as the days get shorter. It has nothing to do with temps, it's all about the light. He is right on schedule.
      McDowell Racing Stables

      Home Away From Home


      • #4
        ^^ yep. My old gelding is already starting to get fuzzy. With how thick and heavy his winter coat gets, its no wonder he has to start promptly to get it grown in in time.
        Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


        • #5
          Ditto to Laurie. And why some of our three day bound horses get clipped in late September.


          • #6
            Mine are getting fuzzy too and shedding the summer coats like crazy.


            • #7
              Mine start shedding in early August, every year, for as long as I've paid attention. The Shetland has a fairly thick coat already and will be clipped multiple times before the snow flies.
              Click here before you buy.


              • #8
                Yep, June 21/22, depending on the year, is the Summer Solstice, longest daylight hours day of the year.

                After that, light hours become shorter, first very slowly, then it picks up. Mine shed all Summer, very, very lightly, but as DW said, starting around early August, without fail, it starts picking up.
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                • #9
                  light hours become shorter, first very slowly, then it picks up
                  Do the days not get shorter/longer at a constant rate?
                  Click here before you buy.


                  • #10
                    Actually, no, it's not constant

                    For example, today's sunrise here was 6:49am. Tomorrow is the same. Wednesday is 6:50, then the next 4 days are, respectively, 6:51, 6:52, 6:52, 6:53. It's not truly "no difference, no difference, add another minute" as it's really partial minutes difference, either less than a minute or more than a minute.

                    Likewise, the sunset times for the same time period as above are: 7:51, 7:50, 7:49, 7:47, 7:46, 7:44, 7:43.

                    At the Vernal Equinox, the sun is rising and setting at the equator. As time moves towards the Summer Solstice, it rises/sets further North of East and West, and rises higher. Heading to the Autumnal Equinox it goes back towards the equinox for rise/set, and rising less high. Then heading to the Winter Solstice, it rises/sets farther and farther South of East/West, and continues to rise less and less high.

                    All that works to having a inconsistent (but predictable) time of rise and set.

                    Ever notice how sunset in the Summer seems to last forever, but you blink in the Winter and it's gone?
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                    • #11
                      Sounds pretty constant to me, just not in units (minutes) that are precise enough. It's not like the earth tilts faster or slower depending on the time of year. Right?

                      I understand the astronomy, but was always under the impression this was a smooth, gradual thing and that any observations of days shortening/lengthening "suddenly" or "slowly" were purely subjective, assuming one's position on the earth was constant. I get it that the velocity of sunrise/sunset is different depending on one's latitude, for instance.

                      Are you saying that in July the days shorten more or less quickly than they do in November?

                      Ever notice how sunset in the Summer seems to last forever, but you blink in the Winter and it's gone?
                      I think this is more a function of latitude, isn't it?. Faster sunsets the closer you are to the equator? But I am always at work in the winter when the sun is busy rising or setting.
                      Click here before you buy.


                      • #12
                        But being as it moves in a sinusoidal pattern, the rate of change at the extremes (Winter and Summer Solstice) is at its lowest, and that rate of change speeds up as it moves towards the middle of the extremes (Vernal and Autumnal Equinox)
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                        • #13
                          My black stocky full bodied 5 yr Rocky Mt mare has been shedding and getting new fur for the last 2 weeks now. She is looking mighty fine now. Our temp yesterday was 93. I am in N. AL, not sure if I can remember the last time we had rain. So hot and dry dry here. I have had her since she was 1.5 yrs old, and I bought her from northern IL. She always does this shed grow fur when it is hot, and this time of year. She takes a long time to shed out, and will start to shed early.

                          My arab grows fur in a day or two of cold weather and sheds in about a week or 2 once the weather is warm.


                          • #14
                            Our two are shedding also, lightly for now.

                            Suits me, I HATE our gray OTTB's summer coat! It gets patches of brown in it...it is ugly!! Gross.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JB View Post
                              But being as it moves in a sinusoidal pattern, the rate of change at the extremes (Winter and Summer Solstice) is at its lowest, and that rate of change speeds up as it moves towards the middle of the extremes (Vernal and Autumnal Equinox)
                              Hmm, my math-impaired head just BARELY fits around that. But thanks.
                              Click here before you buy.


                              • #16
                                ditto what everyone else has said. My mare started shedding in earnest in July, she's definitely got a denser, longer coat. Still not full blown winter coat, but I imagine that is coming soon since when I bought her last October, she already had the coat that she went through the winter with.


                                • #17
                                  Don't you know that the Japanese earthquake altered the Earth's axis? So horses are getting fuzzy early and my man goats decided not to wait for fall to go into full rut. See no math needed, just good old fashioned speculation.
                                  "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer


                                  • #18
                                    What's wrong with you people. You cannot tell the severity of a winter by a horse's coat.

                                    It's the wooly worms. They cannot see/feel/hear an 18 wheeler as they cross the road but can forecast what kind of winter looms ahead .
                                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                      Hmm, my math-impaired head just BARELY fits around that. But thanks.
                                      LOLOL, think of it as sort of slingshotting something that is still anchored by a rubber band. As it reaches its extreme limits, its forward momentum and rate of change will slow. As it comes around the extremes, where its movement is slowest, it will pick up speed again as it moves back to the other extreme.
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET