September 15, 2012

Shedding Feathers

Have you ever heard of shedding feathers?  I hadn't, but then, I've never before owned a feathered breed.  I came to the barn on Thursday to find that his left fore looked like this:

See that one wimpy wisp of feather sticking out off the very back of the fetlock?  That's it!  For comparison, the other feet look like this one:

He's been turned out with other horses on grass for the first time since April recently, so I thought maybe the missing feathers were linked to the random grass stains on his coronet band, shoulder, and points of his hocks (it appears he slid down a hill on his hocks.  Or something.)  

When I ran my fingers through what remained and a few strands of feather came with them, I started to get an inkling of what was going on, but it wasn't until I talked to his breeder that I learned that they shed their feathers like the rest of their body (seems so obvious now) and that he's gearing up for winter.  Blegh, winter.  Thanks for the reminder, Connor!


  1. No! Yay winter! So tired of the heat. Love the feathers - they add so much personality.

  2. Yep all of mine have done the summer shed and are starting the winter coat. I see trace clips coming soon.

  3. Weird. I've never seen drafts shed their feathers. Maybe it's just for "lighter" feathered horses.