Horses shedding in the springtime.
I love this time of year! The onset of spring and warmer weather means that horses will start to shed their winter coat. It also means that fields will start to bloom with green grass and wild flowers. There’s not too many green pastures in Arizona but there are certainly plenty of wild flowers blooming. We had a really wet winter and it’s probably not over yet. In Northern Arizona, we don’t accept that winter is over until Mothers Day. Some people try to get a jump start and put away the snow shovel or plant their summer vegetable garden and outdoor plants but we have seen freezing temperatures even in May. As much as I love winter and especially snowfall and cuddling in front of a fireplace- I do love the thaw out and the warm sunshine!
Grazing horses on green pastures
As I mentioned, there’s not too many green pastures in Arizona so there’s not too many equestrians that have to monitor the drastic changes in their horses diet or the time they are spent turned out in the pasture eating rich green grass. Purina gives the recommendation to “Take it slow: Keep in mind that going from dry hay and grain to lush, green pasture is a drastic change in diet and may increase the risk of founder or colic. Horses that are in the pasture full time will gradually become accustomed to the emerging green grass as it comes up. But horses that haven’t had green grass should only be allowed to graze for an hour or two at first, then gradually increase grazing time by an hour every couple days until the horses are out full time.”
Horses shedding reveals health issues
I’ve also heard that Horses shedding could reveal certain health issues. Equus Magazine had an interesting article about what horses shedding could tell us about the horse. “Forget blooming flowers and robins. One of the surest signs of spring around a barn is horsehair—and lots of it. By now your horses are probably actively shedding, leaving a layer of hair in the aisle, on your clothes and inside your truck. Shedding is more than just a nuisance, though. It’s a complex physiological process that tells you a lot about your horse’s health.”
Tools to deal with Horses shedding
We have several styles of brushes and blades to deal with our dog shedding. There’s also a slew of tools to deal with horses shedding. Companies like Oster, Farnam and Smartpak have great brushes and blades for shedding horses. I can recall many years ago going out to the barn and grooming horses in the spring and coming home covered with hair. So do not wear black, unless your horse happens to be black. Do not wash your clothes or jackets in the same load as your other clothes unless you want horse hair all over everything. A good tip is a little white vinegar, and baking soda and softener in the washing machine helps to deal with all the hair on your clothes.
Springtime Horse Photo Shoots
It’s typically late spring or early summer that is ideal for photographing horses in Arizona. The weather has not reached 100 degrees yet. Owners can give their horses a really good bath before the photo shoot without having to worry that they will get too cold and of course all that long fur is gone. The days are longer as well, which means scheduling photo shoots during the golden hour just before sunset is easier.
So get ready! Spring has sprung and the horses are shedding!
Jody L. Miller is a professional photographer specializing in Horse Photography, Equine Photography, and Equestrian photography. Her work can be viewed online here in her gallery section, and she is also featured at these Arizona Galleries: Van Gogh’s Ear Gallery in Prescott, Arizona , The Phippen Art Museum, Hart of AZ Gallery and Dragonfly Arts in Old Town Cottonwood, Sedona Artist Market and Coops Coffee House at Talking Rock Ranch.