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Discussion on Keeping haircoat short

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Linda Cronk
Username: Lindac

Post Number: 18
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Saturday, Mar 13, 2004 - 1:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

If you wanted to keep your horse from getting a thick coat what is the best time of year to start using artificial light (along with blanketing) to accomplish this? How late should the lights be left on ......9,10,11pm?

Since I live in a cold winter climate area and my barn is open I realize that even with blanketing and lighting chances are my horse will still grow some coat due to the colder temperatures. My goal is (hopefully) to keep it short enough that I won't have to clip him. I would also like him to shed out what coat he does get earlier in the year. In order to accomplish this is there a point where the lights should be turned off for a short time and then turned back on in order to start an earlier shedding cycle?

I've read in the forum discussions that a 200 watt bulb is recommended but I've heard that a 100 watt bulb is sufficient, as long as the intensity of the light is such that you can comfortably read a newspaper. Could you confirm this?

Although my horse has started to shed now, would putting him under lights at this point help him shed out a little faster or would it be a pointless exercise?


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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: Dro

Post Number: 10074
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Mar 13, 2004 - 12:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Unlike how much light is required to start a mare cycling there is no hard research into this so you can only go by folks experiences. Particulars are difficult to pin down because they can be effected by your latitude, when the horses are brought in, the distance the lamp is from the stall, the type lamp you use, and individual varitation of response to stimulation.

It is sensible to minimize a long winter coat you should start with lights 60 days before your horse begins to normally get his winter coat. While some (many?) horses will respond to less, 200 watts to 11pm is often recommended because it consistantly works to get mares to cycle which may be a similar hormonal mechanism.

If the horse has not started to whed you might find a light will speed things up.
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