Spring Shedding: Readers Report, Share Tips

More than 1,600 readers of TheHorse.com responded to a poll asking, "Has your horse started shedding yet?"

results of poll on shedding horses

Results were as follows: 

  • Yes 76.93% (1,254)
  • No 22.15% (361)
  • My horse never grew a winter coat 0.92% (15)

Readers shared their shedding tips in the comments below.

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  • seemed to start early this year
  • A good soak with warm water helps to relax the hair folicle and allow the dead hair to detach
  • I just keep my mare blanketed so she's warm (not hot) and don't body clip unless you must.
  • Groomming blocks work well with shedding horses. Saves time and energy when grooming!
  • shed blade and if reallyheavy coat feed Mirra coat
  • flaxseed
  • use a curry comb and brush daily.
  • The furminator , I own 24 horses and it is the best tool I have ever owned quick easy and most impor
  • Except for the Foundation-Bred Appaloosa 3-yr-old that's barn-kept. He thinks 30degrees is summer.
  • under lights
  • Shedding blades, bot egg erasers and allowing a horse to roll!
  • my two ponies started before my horse
  • let nature do it
  • brush a little or a lot every day-sleek & shiny will be here before you know it!
  • Blankets on when under 60 degrees
  • furminator! before and after riding
  • The furminator is the best thing I could've bought last year. It works GREAT!
  • i use a wet/dry vac on my horses, cheaper than horse vacumns.
  • I use a shedding blade and a jelly scrubber, but the best things are my fingertips.
  • Furminator!
  • brush many times
  • Just starting to shed out.
  • stress medicine
  • lots of grooming!
  • Light haired horses seem to start shedding earlier than dark coats.
  • shedding blade and curry with lots of use of both!
  • too early not before end of April at least in Canada
  • just lots of grooming!
  • nw 1 has been, 1just started other no
  • They sell a black pumus type stone that really helps shed the hair. You just scrape it off.
  • I like to start adding Coccasoya oil to their grain.
  • I brush her every day and spray with olive oil to help pull out loose fur
  • sm amts only, chest and rump
  • Sriously sounds weird but shop-vac it off!!
  • Patience
  • Iy always makes me smile when my hands look like wolf-man !
  • Hair is coming out by buckets. Thankfully it means spring is coming (WI).
  • but I wish he would
  • I don't do anything-the longer days help.
  • Sort of shedding-one w/Cushings (no) 3 Arabs w/sh. thick hair (no), one Appy from snow country (yes)
  • The white on my pinto starts very early
  • my horses usually start in January
  • rubber curry everyday during her dinner (Mule)
  • Add food-grade flax to help with shed, and watch the shine!
  • couldn't live without the vacuum!
  • clipping
  • A good scrubby bath helps as does an inexpensive shop vac
  • a Slicker dog brush works great for brushing out loose hair
  • Actually started in December but is falling out heavily now
  • They usually start right at the beginning of Feb.
  • yes, the gray horse is always first to start the shedding process
  • I use a small rubber curry for face,legs & body & a metal mud scraper with small teeth for the body.
  • do not apply lip balm before grooming.
  • we live in North East Texas and my gelding has been shedding for about 3 weeks
  • Elbow grease!!
  • I love my furminator!
  • almost done thank goodness
  • yes, even though we've had an exceptionally cold & snowy winter in Western Colorado
  • still very cold here but slight shedding has started
  • One of my seven horses is shedding. He is a Fjord. Eastern WA state.
  • My SSH sheds yr. round but is shedding his winter coat now before the other horses.
  • My 27 year old QH stallion is shedding by the handfulls. He is on ADM Senior Glo w/extra fat.
  • We only had 2 weeks of winter here in NW Washington this year.
  • mares are under lights!
  • Here in Western WA we have had a mild winter--so all 3 are shedding out. Bath as soon as the sun shi
  • Oregon has be unusually warm this winter so not surprising
  • I like the rubbery spiked kind to do circle in thier coat
  • and here in mn. they still need that hair!!!
  • Even my Cushings horse is blowing his coat big time. This is in So. Calif.
  • Scrub hard with a small soft rubber curry.
  • Daily Brushing
  • Brush, Brush, Brush
  • not much hair to begin with, is blanketed early
  • Days are getting longer!
  • She has been shedding for about 3-4 weeks as of now
  • just a little bit
  • Furminator is one awesome tool!
  • My black Morgan gelding, nothing; the Morgan cross paint mare, EVERYWHERE!!!!
  • Some start to shed right after the Solstice
  • so fl horse-no winter coat!
  • I de-shed my old Arab every morrning before I turn him out.
  • big dog slicker brush
  • The flower shaped plastic grooming tool by Epona sheds really well without being to rough on them.
  • Its still below zero in good old Iowa at night.
  • Always in ealrly february
  • My QH started weeks ago, the Perch/Tb won't until May
  • It has been my experience over the years that by increasing hay intake during winter helps greatly
  • It's still pretty cold out but the stallions and broodmare who just foaled are all shedding like cra
  • About two weeks ago
  • Nebraska/they start a little bit in February
  • Don't wear fleece!
  • a good shedding blade and lots & lots of brushing until you get down enough for a finishing clip
  • He is my weather central,shedding or adding within 2 weeks of a change.Owned him for entire 23 years
  • Yes and it only Feb in SE Michigan, hopefully spring is around the corner
  • My mule doesn't finish shedding until late July, so I clip her before her summer coat starts
  • my horses started shedding last week and now its -15
  • frequent grooming with curry comb & shedding blade
  • On our super fuzzy outside horses we like to use a shedding blade to gently scrape away mud and hair
  • To finish...coat horse with mineral oil, leave overnight, warm bath next day...all loose hair gone!!
  • fur, fur everywhere fur LOL
  • Starting shedding 3wks ago
  • I live in Texas. I use metal and plastic curry combs with lots of elbow grease.
  • He started shedding about 2 weeks ago.
  • daily grooming
  • One began in mid-January
  • early than normal because we moved from Wisconsin to California
  • Wear a rain jacket when grooming to keep the hair off you and in the barn.
  • she started back in Jan, never had one that early. I think it's b/c she's pregnant
  • Horse starts in early February, mule waits until May
  • Lots of grooming... especially on those days when it's too nasty to ride.
  • I use a shedding blade every time I groom as soon as I see them start to shed.
  • Hastings, mn
  • I'm so glad! At almost 32, shedding means no Cushings!
  • 3 of my 5 are shedding and there is snow on the ground!
  • wwork up a sweat, then groom, groom, groom!
  • Closed mouth and lots of elbow grease...snowy Ohio
  • has been for about 3 or 4 weeks now
  • I have owned my TB mare for 15 years and she ALWAYS begins shedding by january 4 each year.
  • brush lots and vacumns are great too
  • We live in Michigan and it's too early to help with their shedding.
  • Clipping my draft cross helps. I use Omega Horseshine which has significantly decreased the hair.
  • Started in January
  • no, but usually start towards the end of March, early April.
  • Back around Christmas all of my horses started dopping guard hairs. Totally normal and consistent.
  • Give them a good, old-fashioned curry, or a quicker and pleasant vacuuming. Then, de-fur yourself.
  • IT'S GOING TO BE BELOW ZERO TONIGHT IT UTAH, GLAD SHE'S KEEPING HER COAT!
  • We live in Northrn Idaho and have NO SNOW. 3 horses shedding for past 3 weeks. Very unusual.
  • My mare holds her coat till cold is over then sheds all at once
  • Yes,but they're under lights, so no surprise
  • 2 weeks ago!
  • Shedding and it's 18 degrees tonight
  • OH! YEAH!
  • Rode my horse 4x a week all winter, shed started early & is almost done! (WA State)
  • my thb/qut has but my arab has not
  • started shedding 2 weeks ago. never blanketed, he's 26 years old. We live in FL
  • I've already had to add the shedding blade to grooming sessions.
  • maybe by June
  • strew shed fur near trees for bird nests
  • Just started here in Southeast Indiana
  • They started shedding the first week of February.
  • Alot of brushing helps it move along faster
  • Gotta love the rubber curry mitts!
  • One mare always starts early, but the other 2 are also shedding now.
  • and it's getting into EVERYTHING
  • My vet. said not to brush the horse because we have a lt of cold weather coming our way in PA.
  • Lot's of vaccuming and brushing.
  • Both of them about 3 weeks ago - Oklahoma
  • keep your mouth shut while brushing
  • We still have over a foot of snow on the ground in Northern Virginia!
  • I mix atsp. of flax seed with the feedings daily once the weather starts to warm some.
  • Warm blankets seem to help in not so much winter hair comes in.
  • usually always starts in February. After I curry, I vacuum, and that really helps.
  • We're having a mild "El Nino" winter in the NW. Love it!
  • Our horses shipped from Pa to Fla in Nov and usually would have shed out by now
  • Curry/brush every day
  • big time, and for the past few weeks.
  • yes all 4 are starting to loose their long fuzzy hair
  • An unusually warm Washington winter has brought an early spring for plants and animals.
  • like gang busters!!
  • My donkeys will shed about 2 months after the horses finally do
  • Keep the inside of rugs brushed to keep horse comfortable
  • I have a couple of mine that are shedding profusely
  • Lava stones to groom
  • northern Indiana
  • use a shed blade and a block to get hair off and lots of elbow grease!!
  • very slightly losing a little hair
  • shedding blade
  • he's shedding, but his winter coat is very light
  • Our 25+ year old QH is shedding profusly! When he starts spring is on the way!
  • Lots of brushing
  • 4 of the 5 are beginning to shed. I curry a bit everyday so I won't be doing it all at once.
  • Appy cross...always looks like a wooly mammoth in the winter
  • I live in the NW & she is shedding like crazy already. Too early.
  • my horse started shedding a month ago.
  • Five out of ten are starting to shed. Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • My Morgan has, my Quarterhorse hasn't
  • Way too cold in Nebraska!
  • I have one that is shedding and five others that haven't lost a hair. I live in NW MT.
  • California
  • Pregnant mares and mares under lights
  • Some started weeks ago...others have just started
  • Just keep brushing!
  • Grill bricks
  • I am in SOuth FLorida and he is shedding out big time. I love the little Epona shedding flowers.
  • 2 out of 5 horses. I use shedder, groomer, brushes anything that will take the hair off.
  • He doesn't believe in global warming!
  • It's "snowing" grey hair at our place.
  • Tough currying!
  • Use shedding blade whenever horses are outside.
  • My horses are stalled, but not blanketed (south KY)
  • Furminator for horses!
  • w/50 degree days her undercoat is gone
  • I use a curry brush or the rubber one it helps pull the dead hair off.
  • NE NYS
  • 12 horses in the barn are shedding, only 1 is not
  • unfortunately, no, but soon! Next couple of weeks maybe!
  • Don't wear lip balm!
  • It's too cold to bathe so use a Unigroom and shedding blade daily.
  • yes, and they are normally slick by easter. 24/7 turnout, great hay, proper worming, brush, brush,
  • sheddign blades are effective. if horse is in work, a good sweat and bath afterward really helps.
  • While our outside horses have not, we have seen a few area horses that have
  • Omega horseshine
  • Started in January! My TBxID nevers grows a winter coat
  • my paint sheds his white hair first
  • They've been shedding for a month!
  • off and on
  • An Oster rubber round curry does the trick beautifully
  • Cannot do without my rubber curry & Super-14
  • Just keep the curry busy.
  • They will in about two weeks--that'll make the birds happy to have nest lining materials
  • the older ones are
  • All over the place! UGGH!
  • My younger horse is shedding like crazy, but not the teen aged ones.
  • We live in Aiken, SC!
  • blankets and lights and lots of elbow grease
  • Some are, some arent
  • They have lost the long guard hairs, but are still fuzzy.
  • Kansas is still having too much winter for them to start shedding yet :):)
  • Yes and it is still very cold here in VA
  • He was clipped 5 weeks ago and is blanketed so no shedding yet.
  • Here in Maryland we broke all snow fall records this year! Fur coats better stay for awhile!
  • my horse starts in December!
  • his white hair is all over the place -
  • Arab & Old style Morgan both shedding. Modern Morgan not shedding yet. Use shedding blade outside i
  • a dog slicker brush works wonders
  • all six started the beginning of Februyary - Hurrah!! Spring is coming!!!!!!
  • Started shedding 3rd week of January
  • Pacific NW started shedding first week of Feb! early!
  • I use the nobby garden gloves on face neck and legs,it really helps remove dirt and hair
  • yes and with a lot of snow & winter to go.
  • Furrminator! My 23 year old Arabian looks like a mammoth every winter!
  • I use a dog grooming comb instead of a horse shedding blade. Works well and easier to get the hair o
  • Yes indeed they have...but I also worm 6 times a yr.nature talks through our animals and lets us kno
  • I use a shedding blade before and after I ride
  • one started early January, the others in February
  • I can't tell - he is buried under 6 feet of snow!
  • For about 1 month, Ontario Canada
  • My grey has been shedding for 3 weeks, my bay for about a week. We live in southern Massachusetts.
  • I now wish I put blankets on...Aaahhh!
  • One is, one isn't!
  • What a mess!!
  • OMG Yes. She starts as soon as our days get longer.
  • It's still too cold in Southern Indiana!
  • I put her under lights until 9:00 pm, starting 1/1/2010.
  • You're kidding, right??? It's still February, the coldest part of winter!
  • Lots of elbow grease
  • Groom, groom, groom.
  • Only the Shetland, the horses have not
  • Probably in the next couple weeks
  • Florida ;)
  • I'm in the mortheastern part of CT and I noticed yesterday he is starting to shed.
  • Illinois
  • 4 adult horses not shedding, 2 yearlings are. I curry/brush daily once they start shedding
  • Shedding begins as a result of lengthening daylight hours. Silly question.
  • 3 horses 2 shedding one is not...hmmm
  • Shedding blocks work best for me. I don't really brush out all the hair until the weather turns warm
  • HInesburg Vermont
  • He is 29 years old and doesn't shed til May
  • just a few hairs though
  • Started loosing guard hairs 2 weeks ago. We are in SW Missouri
  • Only mainly the one's who had a thicker coat originally.
  • Keep your mouth shut :o)
  • Yes, by the handfuls (in GA)!
  • 1/2-1 cup Black Oil Sunflower seeds, starting in January. Helps them blow their winter coat.
  • losing a few hairs here and there, but nothing I'd call "shedding" just yet.
  • round curry and lots of elbow grease!
  • Live in southern NH and the hair is starting to fly!
  • brush, brush and then brush
  • We have 2 inches of ice on the ground from this weekend!
  • Just in the last two weeks he is shedding heavily.
  • All 5 still covered in yak fur!
  • one is, the rest aren't
  • She sheds her final hair around June 15 and starts the winter coat on July 7.
  • Its almost kinda scary because it hasn't gotten above 40 degrees yet! I feel I need to blanket him!
  • actually a month age
  • I vacume mine with a small shop vac to suck out extra loose hair
  • Tiny bit, yes. LONG way to go!!
  • Some more than others.
  • By the handfuls
  • yes and yes. connecticut
  • one of two, the Pinto has, but my 4yo Morgan looks like a woolly mammoth in AZ!
  • YES! I took enough hair off my horse to glue it together and make another one.
  • slightly
  • In Minnesota nonetheless!
  • yes. just started in last week . we live in Wi.
  • use static guard on your clothing before grooming your horses. It really keeps the hair off you!
  • I'm in Western NC
  • Oh god, yes, and has been since late January.
  • The stalled horses have, pasture horses have not.
  • Yes! Where does all that hair come from, anyway?!
  • I have one(1/2 arab) with very little winter coat, TW is a fuzz ball shedding white everywhere!
  • Shedding for about 3 weeks already
  • Shedding blade, baths with lots of scrubbing with a curry comb, and standing upwind :-)
  • Old fashioned brushing daily - daily is the key action
  • None of hem are - still so cold and gray despite more daylight - not the usual pattern for end of Fe
  • Washington-Still too early
  • I add a cup per feeding a day of a GOOD brand of rabbit feed.
  • South Fl...the shedding starts early here!
  • in NH, one has and one has not
  • Stopped blanketing months ago and my mare already has her summer coat
  • The white hairs on my paint have begun to come out.
  • Just a little "dusting" of hairs so far, when brushed
  • I am in canada. No forced Light shedding this year.
  • we live in a cool area, never extreme, except extremely good weather.
  • lights, either outside or inside
  • after some good currying and using a shedding blade, I bathe my horse with mild shampoo
  • Use Sulfur salt blocks in spring and brush, brush, brush

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

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