How can I help my horse shed his winter coat? He's a wooly mammoth, and it seems to be taking forever!
There are a few things that you can do to help your horse out as he makes the transition from hairy beast into sleek show pony. These tips also apply to the end of summer shedding that comes along with shorter days and the growth of a new winter coat!
-Use the world famous elbow grease curry comb. You may need to do this, flick off the hairs, then curry again. Some folks like to use a metal curry comb or a shedding blade, and those can be fine in some cases, and they can cause breakage in some cases. I would also suggest not using them over any part of your horse's hips, spine, shoulders, legs, etc where the skin covers bone.
-Invest in a good shedding blade, like the SleekEZ. Just as with metal curry combs, use caution around bony and sensitive areas.
-Make sure your deworming program is up to date. Pararsites affect hair coat and quality. You can now pair a fecal egg count program with targeted dewormers for a more specific worm treatment plan.
-Since the amount of daylight triggers shedding, make outside time available if possible for as long as possible.
-Consider adding canola oil to your horse's diet. Dr. Clair from Equine Summit Nutrition reminds us that other oils can be too high in Omega 6, which promote inflammation. Canola is a good choice.
-Exercise! This will stimulate circulation and coat health. You will also find that you will need to brush off some hair from your tack, I use a stiff nylon grooming brush.
-Marry your vacuum. This will help.
-You may consider using an old shirt to cover your clothes as the shedding process peaks, there is typically a ton of hair to remove. And for pete's sake, don't wear lipstick. Hair loves to glue to that!!
-Use clippers to trim those wacky hairs around joints, ears, chins, and fetlocks. And yes, you can, body clip a shedding horse. It seems weird, but it works for some horses to make them more comfortable as the days get longer!
What types of shedding tips do you have?