As the days get longer the horses and ponies begin to lose their winter coats. It is the light that triggers this rather than, as you would assume, the warming weather. Mabel is usually the first to begin to moult in earnest, whilst Diva very sensibly waits a little longer, but by the end of February both are doing their best to cover me from head to toe in their cast-off hair.

Horses

As both Diva and Mabel have been roughed off over winter, they both have extremely long, thick coats to shed. This understandably can get quite itchy and so the pair spend quite a lot of time “mutual grooming” each other. Unfortunately for Mabel, Diva can only reach so far up her body, so the top half is all down to me. Diva has her back and neck groomed by Mabel and the lower parts fall to me as otherwise poor Mabel would have to kneel down!

There are lots of products on the market to help get out winter coats, but you don’t have to spend a fortune. A stiff piece of rubber scraped along on its edge will do just as good a job as some of the items costing pounds!

This cast-off hair is often picked up by the birds for their nests and I have seen on several occasions’ crows standing on Mabel’s back and helping themselves by plucking at the hair. She doesn’t seem to mind and it helps with my job.

I always love to see the transformation of the hairy beast that is Diva in the winter to the sleek and shiny Melland Queen of Scots she is in the summer. It takes quite a lot of work but it is always worth it.

Horses

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