Why do horses grow winter coats?

In many areas of the country, horses begin growing their winter coats as early as September, when light begins to diminish. As the days get shorter, it’s actually the reduction in sunlight hours that triggers the horse’s body to begin increasing the production of melatonin, which prompts hair growth.

Do horses need coats in winter?

Horses that do not live in extremely cold environments – meaning routinely colder than 10°F – will do well without a blanket, provided they are either stalled during the coldest temperatures or have access to a protective shelter.

Do Quarter horses grow winter coats?

A palomino Quarter Horse. … A horse’s hair has important functions, both as part of his largest organ—the skin—and on its own. A year-round barrier to insects and the elements, the coat thins in time for hot weather and grows long enough to provide insulation in the winter.

Do Arabian horses grow winter coats?

But because desert-bred horses (Arabians, for example) don’t always grow heavy, protective winter coats, their owners usually keep them inside a barn during the winter, and keep blankets on them—especially older horses.

What causes horses to grow hair?

Most horses grow and shed hair in a seasonal pattern, producing a heavier coat in response to shorter hours of sunlight in the fall and losing this winter insulation as the days get longer in the spring. By the time warm weather arrives, most horses have their slick and shiny summer hair.

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How do I get my horse’s winter coat off?

Grooming does more than just make your horse look nice, it can help accelerate shedding a winter coat. Spend extra time and elbow grease with a currycomb to loosen winter hair, and consider using shedding blades or other specialized tools to remove dense hair.

How do I know if my horse is cold?

Common signs of your horse being too cold are:

  1. Shivering. Horses, like people, shiver when they’re cold. …
  2. A tucked tail can also indicate that a horse is trying to warm up. To confirm, spot-check her body temperature.
  3. Direct touch is a good way to tell how cold a horse is.

How cold is too cold for a horse?

In the absence of wind and moisture, horses tolerate temperatures at or slightly below 0° F. If horses have access to a shelter, they can tolerate temperatures as low as -40° F. But horses are most comfortable at temperatures between 18° and 59° F, depending on their hair coat.

Should you blanket older horses?

Most older horses are an exception to the rule. An older horse in very good weight with no health issues probably does not need a blanket. Any older horse that is thin going into winter or has any health issues that may increase his caloric needs or decrease his ability to take in calories should be blanketed.

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