Horses coat has no waterproof quality whatsoever

MiniMilton

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I'm looking after a rescue horse. Rescued last summer with the worst rain scald imaginable. Hair has grown back and skin is healed, and the horse has been rugged all winter. On the mild sunny days I take the rug off for a few hours for some fresh air, but as soon as I see clouds I put it back on. His coat is very soft, fine and fluffy, even on his neck where it's been exposed all winter. I can't imagine it has any waterproof quality to it at all. Is this just genetic or can anything be done to improve it? He is fed linseed oil. He lives out. I would have thought it unusual to have rain scald in the middle of the summer, so I assume his fine coat was a contributing factor. Are some horses just destined to be rugged all year round?
 

Moomin1

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I would be inclined to leave the rug off on warmer days even when it's raining. Let the coat get it's natural oils and grease back.
 

MiniMilton

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Normally I wouldn't be too precious about horses being out in the rain unrugged, but photos of this horse at its worst has freaked me out and scared me off!
 

Moomin1

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Normally I wouldn't be too precious about horses being out in the rain unrugged, but photos of this horse at its worst has freaked me out and scared me off!

Rain scald is usually caused by getting too moist under rugs etc though so it may be best to brave it and try without. If it doesn't work out can always pop the rug back on :).
 

dogatemysalad

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A horse that came to me from the WHW years ago, had lost its mane and tail from extreme starvation. Its skin, coat feet and guts (worms) were very poor as well.
After the initial nursing stage of treating infestations and condition, he improved tremendously by fresh air, grazing and lack of stress.
Leave the rug off as much as possible,if you can. My TB mare is very fine coated, with a soft hair and she has been unrugged all winter, though she is stabled at night. Now spring is here, her coat is black and glossy, while some of the heavily rugged horses on the yard have bald patches and scurfy, dull coats.
I'd only put a rain sheet on if we have prolonged very heavy rain. The fresh air and rolling in the dust will condition his coat along with good feeding and minimal grooming.
 

swilliam

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We had one come to us like this, but with proper care, his coat recovered its waterproofing - it took three changes I think before it was back to what it should be. This winter he's lived out without any rugs, or any problems.
 

fattylumpkin

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I think it's best to leave the rugs off as much as possible too, much less likely to get rainscald that way since fresh clean air helps limit the fungus from growing. Keep all his brushes pristine clean and disinfected and use a rubber curry in circular motions on him every time you groom to bring oils from the skin into his coat :) there's also sprays knocking around with allantoin, I'm using a vetinary spray now to fight eczema and it's amazing stuff, would probably do good things for a horse prone to rainscald too.
 

Gloi

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Maybe his current coat is still suffering the effects of his previous lack of care and when he casts this coat his summer coat will be of a more normal appearance now he's had a good diet all winter.
 

suestowford

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I agree with Gloi, purely based on an experience I had with a horse in poor condition. He was VERY thin and manky when I got him, and during his first summer with me he too got rain scald. I didn't rug him, just treated the infection as best I could. It did clear up eventually and he never got rain scald again.
It took me a year to get him into what I'd call good condition, and during that year he had a lot of vet visits for various things. I suspect he had a low resistance to things, due to his poor state. Certainly his health improved once we got past that first year.
 

MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

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Awww..... just couldn't by-pass this thread without saying that this horse - and the other horses mentioned - have so obviously had such an awful time of things, and THEN they've gone to people who care.

Brought a lump to my throat TBH (OK so I'm a silly sentimental old thing): but you hear so many awful stories that sometimes when horses DO get what they deserve its like the sun coming out from behind the clouds.

Good luck with yours OP. Sounds like you're doing the very best you can; hope it all works out. Lets hope we get plenty of nice sunshine so your horse can get it on his back and his coat will grow back nice & shiney. Wotta lucky horse :)
 

MiniMilton

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Ok so it looks like fresh air is the answer. Now the only thing is, when I say rain scald, I mean not a single hair was left on his back. Hence the worry! He's not my horse so it's not my place to post the pics online, but when googling images, he was as bad as the very worst pics on google. Its hard to believe that his hair ever grew back from such bad skin damage. There is no hint of a new coat coming through just yet, so fingers crossed it'll happen soon.
 

MiniMilton

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Thanks MiJodhs. I can't take any credit for rescuing him, and he is old and has so many other issues that many would wonder what was the point. But he has such a lovely temperament that it's an honour get the chance to spoil him for his last few years
 

Gloi

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If, as you say, he's old it would be worth getting him tested for Cushings if you haven't already done so. That could be having an effect on him.
 

Brightbay

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You may be surprised how waterproof the coat actually is :)

My horse has a very fine (but dense) silky coat. In fact, I attacked him with a Furminator last week and raked out a lot of the shedding hair, and then spent 20 minutes stroking his beautiful silky neck and flanks... but he lives out, usually unrugged, all winter and on really wet days the coat does exactly what it's supposed to do, diverting rain down the correct channels and remaining dry at the hair roots.

He has several pals who have thicker, coarser hair, but they're no more waterproof than he is, just different breeds (he is ISH or TBx, they're all cobs and natives).

It must be very satisfying for you to see how well your lovely horse has come on :) Keep an eye on him in light showers and see how the coat is coping - you may be surprised, but if not, you know to keep rugging for rain :)
 

soulfull

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Just to throw a spanner in the works. I knew if an ok mare with cushings. She was very well looked after. But had a long silky coat that was NOT waterproof. The smallest amount if water would soak right through to the skin
Surely you cannot leave an old horse like this to get wet and stay wet for hours while the coat dries?!
 
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