Why does my horse shed out late?

Why does my horse shed out late?

As horse owners, we enjoy the same pleasures every spring: The battle with the shedding hair!

Finally, we get to look forward to shiny coats and satisfying grooming experience again. Armed with shedding tools and shedding brushes, we help our horses remove the winter coat while they are switching to the short and shiny summer coat.
Depending on the climate zone and weather, this process usually takes a few weeks. The factors that start the shedding process are: temperature, daylight, and the horse's overall health.

But what if your horse does not shed out at all or sheds the winter coat very slowly?

Possible causes of late shedding

1. Age

Some horses shed out more slowly as they age. My old companion Paladin, for example, is 25 years old and has become the last one to shed the belly hair. His 'system' is simply slower than it used to be.

2. Blindness


Since shedding is kicked off by longer daylight hours, it is possible for completely or significantly blind horses to shed out later. Their eyes simply do not register that amount of daylight that normally triggers the shedding process.

3. Cushing's Disease
This disease - also called PPID - is a dysfunction of the pituitary gland, which is responsible for triggering shedding when the days get longer. One of the tell-tale signs for Cushing's Disease is a coat that sheds out slowly.

If you notice that your horse sheds slower than he or she used to, get in touch with your veterinarian and ask which tests they would recommend.

Last not least: Whether your hose sheds normally or not, support your horse through the process with regular grooming. A good, non-scratchy shedding tool and effective grooming brushes will make this time of the year pleasant for you and your horse. 

What is Equine PPID? (BI Canada)
Equine Cushing's Disease (Twin Pines Equine)

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