Hair, Hair, Glorious Hair - An Ode To Horses Shedding

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Hair, Hair, Glorious Hair! No, not the movie or the play but horse hair everywhere! A few warm days and suddenly at least one of my equines has decided it is truly time to shed.

Crispy the red dun Quarter Horse sheds out to a slick but thick shiny coat. Right now, waves of reddish hair cascade off her as I run the shedding blade over her back, rump and sides. She looks a bit dull from the dead hair sort of sticking up all over right now. And of course, the loose hair sticks to me just fine!

The other horses have nary a loose hair yet, and the donkeys traditionally shed in July.

While I can save dog hair to put around plants to help repel rabbits (note, I said help, not totally keep them away!), I have no clever use for my horse hair. The birds will pick up both horse hair and dog hair for nests but that is about it. The clever uses of horse hair such as for fishing lures, etc refer to mane and tail hair, not body hair.

But while there is no great use for horse hair, it is important to remove old, dead hair off your horse. Your horse will do a decent job herself, rolling and rubbing. Still, a quick curry followed by the shedding blade can help that hair come off much more quickly.

Dead hair left on can help add to ?rain rot? woes if you get some cold rains in the spring. Grooming won?t totally stop rain rot but it helps.

If your horse's hair simply isn?t shedding, you need to look at some health concerns like pituitary problems and adrenal problems, like Cushing?s disease. In fact, a long, often curly coat that won?t shed may be the first sign of Cushing?s in many horses.

Remember, not all horses will shed at the exact same time, so don't panic if one horse is straggling behind in the hair slough area. Still, a long, curly coat that remains into the summer is usually a tip off for Cushing?s. I guess that means I should be grateful for the horse hair flying around my barn!