25 Jan How Light Affects Coat Growth
The duration of day-length and environmental temperature both change over the course of the year and regulate the length and density of a horse or pony’s coat in different seasons. Artificial lighting is often used to help optimise coat growth in our equine charges, to help with heat regulation when in training and visual aesthetics for the show ring.
Horses that have been exposed to a shortened winter daylength are responsive to long day light treatment in the spring to transition to a summer coat. This process can be brought forward by fitting an Equilume Light Mask. Using an Equilume light mask, a horse will completely shed out and produce a summer show coat in approx 6-8 weeks. Additional warmth in the form of blanketing will aid this process.
In order to prolong the summer coat, day length must be maintained at 16 hours of light and 8 hours of darkness, from the summer solstice onwards. There is a 1-month period after the summer solstice where extended day length can be applied in order to maintain a summer coat. Light masks should be fitted prior to Jan 21st for Southern Hemisphere clients in order for the summer coat to be maintained.