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Will I lose automatically if my horse has a bald patch?

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  • Will I lose automatically if my horse has a bald patch?

    My horse had a bad case of rain rot over the past few weeks. It has cleared up now, but his hair has not grown back in. He has two big bald places on his rump and some thin spots on his shoulders. He looks pretty awful, I admit, but it's a purely cosmetic issue at this point. I treated the rain rot successfully. (It's no longer spreading and the hair is starting to grow back.)
    I am supposed to do a schooling show on Saturday and I really, really want to go even though my horse is not looking his best. I'm just doing some walk-trot and WTC classes including pleasure and equitation. Do you think I will lose automatically because of my horse's appearance?
    I'm not expecting blue ribbons or anything, but I'm wondering if I'll automatically be in last place because of his appearance.

  • #2
    Unless your horse looks in poor health and that it is unethical for you to be showing him, I doubt the judge will mark you down.

    A friend of mine used to have a horse with hideous bald spots to to rampant sarcoids, and they showed A circuit very successfully for many years.

    You could consider colouring the bald spots. There are products for this purpose...but be careful they do not irritate the area. Perhaps do a small skin test well before the show if you decide to do this.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


    • #3
      You won't lose automatically. A conscientious judge or steward might ask you about the balding, so you just give your perfectly valid, respectable answer. You won't beat a horse who is immaculately groomed and gleaming with health though, if you both put in similar rides...condition does count.

      That is my experience anyway, with horses who have bad scars. I've never had/seen a horse with rain rot patches at a show, but I've been around a few times when a judge asked a rider about their horse's overall condition (horse was on the very bony side of healthy.) In that case, the judge was satisfied with the rider's response, and the horse seemed to be in fine condition to hold up to the demands of the level.
      Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior


      • #4
        My horse went completely bald last summer on his left side and under his belly. I was devastated to say the least. My vet couldn't come up with anything conclusive other then wash it.

        I tried everything to ge the hair to grow back and I had a big championship show which included a model class and was mortified at the thought that my gorgy horse would be disqualified for essentially needing rogaine. I took a chance on MTG and it actually pulled through for me. The bald patches grew back in (white on his side unfortunately and normal bay on his belly) really in the matter of days/weeks. A year later his white spots are now gone too. You can still see when he is wet where he had lost pigment in the skin, and I'm extra careful (laundry, clean everything, no cross contamination with other horses in case it was fungal bacterial) but he's been fine!
        If only horses would use their athletic powers for good instead of evil. ~ MHM


        • #5
          I've found that baby oil works well for speeding the regrowth process. I don't know why it works, but it seems to.
          Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!


          • #6
            Unless its a conformation class, then no, you're fine. It might not be a bad idea to approach the judge well before your class and just explain the deal to him/her, out of courtesy, so it doesn't look like you just dragged a beat up ol' horse out of the field
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


            • #7
              Just don't put baby oil on an upward facing area of a horse and then put him out in the sun
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for the responses! I emailed the show organizer and told her the situation so she wouldn't think I was showing up with a diseased horse.
                I'll try some of your tips for hair regrowth too!


                • #9
                  Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream is a miracle worker! You will see new growth within one day and it grows in quickly and the same color as the original hair. Its wonderful for cuts that would normally grow back white. Of course, it will be quite expensive if you need it for large areas of the body.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CHT View Post

                    You could consider colouring the bald spots. There are products for this purpose...but be careful they do not irritate the area. Perhaps do a small skin test well before the show if you decide to do this.
                    Just be sure to check the rules first before coloring the bald spots - I know the OP said it was a schooling show but if they follow USEF rules, I seem to remember a prohibition about applying that sort of cover up.
                    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by juliaeverheart View Post
                      I'm not expecting blue ribbons or anything, but I'm wondering if I'll automatically be in last place because of his appearance.
                      Nah, I doubt it. It's a schooling show. Go and have a good time. Report back and let us know how you did.


                      • #12
                        There is a coat rebuilder that works pretty well. My horse managed to rub a chunk of his tail off shipping one time. So I used that stuff and also on blanket rubs... might not get the hair back in time for the show but at least it's something.

                        I don't know what area you live in but I had the same thing happen to my mare. She went nearly bald one year - we did everything changed bedding, meds etc. so she didn't go off the property that summer but from that point on she was pretty suspectible to rain rot. I realized that the less I bathed or hosed her off the better her coat was. I virtually stopped bathing her at all except for shows; even in the hot summer months after riding - if she was sweaty, I rarely hosed her off - I might sponge her if she was really sweaty but most of the time it was a curry comb and elbow grease. I never had a problem w/ her coat again, after I turned the hose off...

                        Sometimes too, I think the more meds, ointments and gels we slap on them it might irritate more than help... sometimes the simplest things are the best.


                        • #13
                          It's a schooling show, you should be fine. But in case you are asked, just explain. Poor guy! Rain rot sucks!