By Patty Wilber
Shedding in the spring is a long and hairy trip! Mojo started dropping his coat in early March and the others a bit later.
Winter coat growth (which really starts to show on my horses about mid September just in time for the State Fair Show) is stimulated by decreased day length (photoperiod if you want science speak) and declining temperature. Spring shedding is induced by increasing photoperiod and increasing temperature.
Blanketing a horse, keeping it in a heated barn, and keeping it under lights for no less than 16 hours per day fools the endocrine system into thinking it might be summer. The result is a shiny sleek coat even in the gloom of winter. Of course in New Mexico we have 300 days of sunshine so we don’t actually have a lot of gloom, but we do have cold.
We can also grow some hairy horses!