Do you look like a giant hairball 5 minutes after grooming your horse or pony? Yup! It’s that time of year when everything – and we mean everything is covered in hair! Never mind clothing and stables … what about the car or even the bedroom (when you take your clothes off hair flies literally everywhere!) But, it’s a necessary evil that’s going to turn your pony from a woolly mammoth into a sleek show pony! We could fill a bin bag every day and knit several jumpers a week with the hair thats currently coming off Trigger alone!
Here are a few things you may not know about moulting:
- Moulting is not triggered by temperature. It’s linked to something called photoperiods which is all to do with the amount of daylight: As the hours of daylight increase, a horse’s winter coat begins to loosen and moult. You probably didn’t realise it, but this moulting process started way back in late December, but its only now that the hairy results are becoming evident!
- It is possible for Mother Nature to “trick” horses into moulting since the trigger for losing the summer coat and growing a thicker one for winter is shortening hours of daylight and its possible that a poor Spring with dark skies and rain clouds can cause them to into moult early.
- Your horse has its own unique moulting pattern every year losing hair from their necks first, for instance, then along their flanks. This can lead to a very unsightly “patchy” period but isn’t cause for concern. However, if your horse isn’t moulting as you would expect at this time of year it could be a sign of Cushing’s disease, particularly if he is older.
There is no set time when your horse will finish moulting, but there are some things you can do to speed it along – all of which involve time, elbow grease and plenty of flying hair!
There are all sorts of “magic brush and blade” type products on the market to help you, but you can start with the traditional curry comb, working it in circles across the body to loosen the dead hair. Use a blade gently to lift out the hair and finally, use a body brush to remove it and smooth the coat. Repeat this every day till the shedding hair stops.