April 16, 2009

The importance of sticking to a grooming schedule

I stopped by the stable the other day and Betsy, my stable manager, was in the middle of grooming Martyn. I was amazed by how much he was shedding. Betsy explained that the Friesians develop a full and thick winter coat that begins to shed in springtime. She tries to groom each horse every day because of the volume of hair falling off. It's really important to keep up with this grooming schedule to prevent hair from accumulating. If not removed and the horse gets wet outside, a condition called rain rot could develop, where the skin becomes irritated by an accumulation of dirt found on that loose hair. That hair eventually falls off along with dead skin, causing a mangy look. Betsy says that shedding on a large scale will also occur as fall moves into winter.

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Any loose hair is picked up by the fine teeth of the shedding blade.

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