A Sure Sign of Spring

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it's not the groundhog predictions, not even if you're listening to my favorite Punxsutawney Phil or the lesser known Pothole Pete. it's also not the robin arriving in the backyard that tells you spring is on its way. ?it's shedding season! That currycomb full of horsehair is my signal that winter is winding down. And I'm thrilled to say that here in the Northeast, it's looking like an early spring. My mare Sally?s letting go of her winter coat like I've never seen before?and she was the first of our horses to start shedding out her summer hair and growing her winter coat last fall (actually, it was August!). That was a signal, I knew, that winter would be a rough one, and she was right. (Boy, was she right!) So, I'm not wearing anything fleece to the barn anymore?at least not if the trip includes a grooming session. That hair clings to my fleece jacket like the dust/dirt on the recent commercials for some dust-mop company (you know the one?where they're singing ?What About Love? by Heart). Instead I opt for a smooth nylon jacket with no soft clingy material. The hair just rolls off. The horses have been on flaxseed all winter to make up for the lack of grass, so that always makes shedding season quick and painless. The resulting summer coats are simply beautiful. We all have our own feeding preferences, but for me, flaxseed and salt are winter musts. I was surprised when we posted this tip on our Facebook page that several people were unaware of flaxseed?s positive effect on skin and coat (www.facebook/horsejournal). We've also tweeted this advice many times. Our new barn is coming along beautifully, albeit slowly, but the big wooden doors with bright windows and red trim are up.? They poured cement yesterday, which boggled my mind. It was supposed to get in the single digits last night. Apparently, the cement doesn't mind. I don't either. I can't wait to get moved in.