I look like a giant hairball by the time I'm finished brushing my very hairy horse and I would rather this not go on for the mext month!
I always took the stand down here in the sunny, warm south that winter can always come roaring back, so I never tried to hurry the shedding process. This means my horses were still reasonably hairy one March when we got over a foot of snow after the Spring Equinox.
I do feel for you, I had to curry a shedding mare yesterday, a lot of hair and a lot of work but she LOVED it so much when I groomed her croup. Luckily she still has plenty of hair since it will be below freezing tomorrow night.
Well, I recall hearing that if you baby oil them, let it sit, then give them a bath, they basically shed everything at once... which could leave you with a pretty bald horse, but it'll speed it up :)
Mags, I have never heard of that approach, but it's worth a try! I'll wait until it gets a bit warmer here, because I can't give him a bath yet.
Jackie, winter always surprises us here too by coming back just when we think it's gone! I have quite the assortment of blankets just in case - many of which I haven't had to use this year - it's been so unusually mild!
My mare is shedding out, she lives inside and is blanketed, however, the little man,who lives outside, naked, isn't shedding yet... he thinks we might yet get some cold weather
I've heard that blanketing in spring helps speed shedding. My guy seems to shed in February regardless of how warm or cold it is. Last year I think we had a cold snap of -18 Celsius and he still was happily shedding. What drives me crazier than the hair is that he thinks the best way to speed the shedding is to roll in the mud (of course he's an almost clean white grey in winter). I don't mind brushing out lots of hair but i really hate chipping mud off, then he rolls again. So this year I am going to try a rain sheet anyway if he will put up with it.
Oh, but Marlene, that mud feels SO GOOD!!! How could you deprive him of the joy.
I have done many breaded veal cutlet coats through the decades.
Good luck with the rain sheet idea. PLEASE tell us if it helps cut down the work!
I hate to interfere with his "horsier habits", but I also hate to see him covered in mud. Then I feel this urge to clean up my baby, like a mom that has to lick that smudge off their kid's face. He looks so beautiful when he's clean, and so neglected when he's filthy. He seems to have mental telepathy too. I can look out the window in the morning looking at my lovely white horse, dreaming of a lovely ride in the woods while preparing breakfast, and bammo within minutes he has rolled in the dirt. Once he starts that, it's practically impossible to get that greyish tinge out no matter how much I brush. Later in spring he looks like the jolly green giant because he loves to roll in the fresh alfalfa (well who wouldn't?). These are things people should think about when they get a grey.
Yes, I've owned greys. They look so gorgeous when clean, but they really show every bit of dirt and grass stains.
Precisely why I like dark, dark bays with little to no white... No socks to keep clean at shows... No manure stains... No one knows if they are dirty or not, really...
So I put a rain sheet on yesterday. Now a year ago he looked all spooky when I just tried to nicely get him used to the idea, so I packed it in. This time he was just like, Oh, that's a bit strange, but OK. I told him how handsome he was in it, the forest green sets off his white coat. No dramatics, or bucking around, he stood napping. Last night we had a really nasty storm, wind, icy rain, enough that he actually stood in the shelter. I felt better knowing he had a sheet on, as I watched the paddock turn from snowy white to brown mud. So we shall see.