hair keeps growing, to clip of not to clip?

Hi all, I have a 12 year old Chambertin mare, dam sire, Lord Calando, black/very dark bay, a little high strung but overall very sweet. We have only had her a few months, she came from Virginia and we are in New Jersey, they told us when we got her that she does not sweat enough. Now I am finding that she seems to sweat fine, but her coat is getting thicker even now when we are entering summer. I am thinking about clipping her but I don’t want to mess up her natural hair growth/shed pattern.

Has anyone had any experience like this? Maybe with a relative of hers? Or one with similar breeding/bloodlines? Might not have anything to do with her genetics, but I wanted to put them on here just to put in as many facts as possible in case someone has had a similar, maybe metobolic problem. The only thing that came to mind for me was cushings, but the hair growth is the only indicator, and I have never heard of a horse this young with cushings. Any input would be great! Or an opinion about whether you think I should clip her or see if she acclimates on her own. Thanks all!

I have a mare that is very hairy too - I clipped her a couple of months ago, and may clip her again. My mare is IR, although I have it managed through diet, supplements, and fitness. I don’t know if the IR makes them grow more hair - have heard mixed stories on that one, but I think her hair has become more dense in the past couple of years.

But - you may want to test her just in case. Although it is rare, young horses DO sometimes get PPID. 12 is not that young - my vet says there are cases of 8 and 9 year old horses with PPID.

If your horse is sweating and uncomfortable - I’d clip.

I would also be testing for metabolic issues.

The other two posters beat me to it, but I would absolutely be testing this mare for PPID/cushing’s and IR, among other things. It is now known that horses of almost any age can have PPID/Cushing’s, we just don’t yet have a test sensitive enough to pick up on it in many younger horses/early onset cases.

I’d also clip and test. I had a cushing’s pony who I clipped once about this time of year, and again later in the summer. He would shed his winter coat completely, but his summer coat would come in as thick and long as a normal horse’s winter coat.

My younger horse has a bit of a weird coat that is thicker and longer than it should be in the summer, especially over his back, sides and hindquarters. I did a reverse blanket clip (so all clipped areas would be covered by a fly sheet) a couple of years. It didn’t affect his subsequent coat growth.

I have since discovered that he needs vitamin E supplemented, and his coat is becoming more normal each time it grows in. His sweat pattern is also becoming more normal. He managed to get through last summer without a clip, but this year it is forecast to be very hot and I am looking at clipping soon so that he has some coat grown by the time it gets brutally hot (which will allow him to not wear the fly sheet).

I too would have the vet do some testing.

Thank you for your feedback! How did you know to supplement vitamin E?

I have a PRE that has been tested for cushings with negative results but has an unbelievable coat and gets clipped 3 or 4 times a year. His coat could be 4 inches long over the winter!

Vit E isn’t going to solve it but Vit E is necessary for Selenium uptake so if your forage tests low for that, you’ll want a Vit E Selenium supp.

Sounds like your horse either has a high parasite load or has a metabolic issue.

Good luck!

Thank you for your feedback! How did you know to supplement vitamin E?[/QUOTE]

Vitamin E is a pretty safe supplement - you can always add it to your horse’s diet. Selenium OTOH is something to be very cautious with. I had my mare’s selenium levels tested - they were fine. I do give her Vit E - it is one of those “safe fats” that is good for skin and coat.

Thank you for your feedback! How did you know to supplement vitamin E?[/QUOTE]

He was having some serious issues with persistent lower leg fungus, and testing his vitamin E and selenium levels was something the vet suggested. Initially he was at the extreme low end of the normal range. He’s been retested every six months for a couple of years now and we seem to have found the amount that he needs. The number was still very low after the first six months (0.1 lower in fact), but the lower leg fungus had cleared and not returned.

I didn’t expect any other changes, but his coat has definitely improved with every change. I can’t say why it made a difference, but the vitamin E is what changed going in. Started with 2000 i.u. and went up to 3000 i.u. after the six month test results. For the last six months he’s had 4000 i.u. as I started supplementing selenium after last fall’s test. This spring’s test looked good and I have backed off slightly on the selenium, which drops the vitamin E a bit also. I’m using KER’s Elevate and Elevate Se.

My other horse has Cushings. He was not showing any obvious signs, but the vet tossed it out as a possible cause of his difficulty in building back muscle. The test came back positive (but low positive) and Prascend has been keeping it controlled ever since. Cushings is degenerative - it causes damage to the body systems. Prascend controls the production of the damaging chemicals, so the sooner Cushings is diagnosed the better. If you can’t find another cause, the test might be worth doing.