It’s that time of year again, when the hair on your horse comes off in curry comb abundance. The curry comb is probably one of the most popular horse shedding tools out there, but there are a few others too.
One thing I did not know is that shedding is not connected to the spring time even though this is when it mainly occurs. I for one thought it was. It is actually linked to light, in a word photoperiods. There is certainly always something interesting to find out in the horse world.
I will talk more about shedding and photoperiods and as it has something to do with the horse’s health as well, later in this blog. For now let’s talk a bit about the tools.
I had not heard about this one, but it’s all over the internet, available at pet supply places and feed stores. It has a small teeth comb and a nice handle. It is said to bring out the horse’s natural skin and hair oils and works to make the coat shiny. Sounds to me like a good tool to have in the grooming bag, though a heads up, this is pretty spendy, around $50.
Hard Rubber Curry:
I use to have one of these, but I had lost it. I replaced it before this blog was published. It is small and fits the hand nicely. It has rubber teeth that grips the hair and can be used in a circular motion to get hair off. It is good for knocking the clumps of dirt off as well.
A Grooming Block:
This is another tool I had not heard of. Amazon.com carries a brand called Slick ‘N Easy Horse Grooming Block. It can be used for the finishing touches of sleeking down the coat.
A shedding blade is like the name implies. The blade is curved in an oblong circle and held with a durable handle. The groomer simply scrapes at the hair. This can be used during a shampoo as well to help scrape off the water.
A Couple More Ideas:
I read about horsemen using a shop vac. I thought this one was kind of ingenious.
An item for the horse’s face is a pair of contractor’s gloves, the one with the dots. It works good to rub down the face and around the ears.
I had not heard of using either one of these items, but they prove to be good ideas and I would give them a try.
I have a blog about grooming the horse here.
A Health Issue Concerning Shedding:
A horse shedding is not caused by the spring’s warming temperatures, as I have always thought. Rather, as I mentioned above, it is caused by the length of the days, the light. This is where the photoperiods comes in.
Photoperiodism, according to Wikipedia, is a reaction plants and animals have to the length of a day or night. Since this article concerns horses, I’ll keep my explanation to the animals.
Photoperiod will determine the changes in color of bird’s feathers, migration, hibernation, and even sexual habits. Thus it tells when the horse sheds.
As your horse sheds the hair can be uneven. This is okay if it’s his normal shedding cycle. When there is a cause for concern it comes in the form of him not shedding like he usually does. If the hair is not coming off or it comes on in patches, this could be Cushing’s disease. This can happen in older horses especially.
If your horse has Cushing’s he could also contact laminitis. Have the veterinarian check this out as soon as the suspicion arises. The sooner it’s caught, the better and treatment can be started. If caught soon, the horse has every reason to be able to lead a normal, active life.
I hope using one or all the tools and ideas above will help get you through another shedding period without wearing out your arms. I only use the curry comb and tenacity to brush that hair off. I understand other horse people may need to hurry up the process for upcoming horse shows and such and that’s fine. That’s why there are other tools to use.
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