As we are coming to the end of August, so the evenings are starting to draw in. It is this switch in daylight hours – not the cooler temperatures that we may begin to have in the next few weeks – that prompts horses and ponies to begin to change their coats.
Keeping their coats for shows etc. can be a combination of rugging to keep the coat flat and sleek and also having the lights on in their stables for several hours after dark. This tricks them into thinking the daylight is still long into the evening, but only if it is of sufficient brightness. Obviously, this is difficult if the horses and ponies are on a livery yard rather than kept at home, as lighting up a whole barn will make the poor yard owner’s electricity bill shoot up!
As I have some shows coming up with Diva, I decided to buy a lightweight rug to help keep her coat looking good. She is still very shiny and has lots of dapples but is certainly beginning to change her coat so lots of grooming to get the dead hair out is required.
When I began to look for an appropriate rug for Diva, I found one I just couldn’t resist. StormX rugs have got a range featuring the iconic Shetland ponies drawn by Norman Thelwell. I grew up with Thelwell books and absolutely love the fact that my Shetland pony is wearing a rug covered in drawings of Shetland ponies! They do larger sizes too, but I don’t think Mabel would be too impressed with one. I bought a no-fill turnout rug as it is nylon lined and so will polish the coat better than a cotton lined one would, and she doesn’t need it to be thicker as she keeps warm easily.
Despite the days beginning to get shorter, the temperatures are still pretty warm. I had to have a chuckle when Darcy, a cocker spaniel, had got hot running about the fields and took advantage of the open door to Diva’s stable for an impromptu cold bath.
Diva, however, was not so impressed at a pooch in her water bucket. Her grumpy little face made me chuckle even more!