Poor thing looks like a dogs breakfast, she is furry in some places and bald in others, the grey looking patches you see on the shavings are mounds of hair from a VERY light brushing!
This brings me to our next topic of conversation...shedding in the broodmare. I have spoken to different vets about this odd time of the year shedding practice and while some attribute it to the longer days of the approaching spring season, others do agree that pregnancy may have someting to do with it.
My observations/experiences suggest that in this last 30-60 days of a mares gestation, mares tend to have an extreme 'bloom'! They look wonderful and do indeed shed their winter coats, sometimes faster then the new hair can grow in and therefore leaving 'bald' patches!
On the scientific end of things, there is a rise in the hormone prolactin which is involved in the growth and development of the mammary gland in late gestation prior to foaling. This hormone is also involved with hair shedding in all horses.
Some additional information regarding growth/shedding in the horse...
Some people think that a sleek coat is just a thinner coat left over from winter, but this is incorrect. A horse will completely lose one coat and grow another. The reason we only notice the loss of the winter coat is because the new coat is growing in at the same time.
The horse actually has three different hair coats. A summer coat and two winter coats. In the fall the summer coat sheds out and as the horse’s body prepares for winter it produces the two different winter hairs. One is a short, thick layer, and the second is made up of long hairs that will stick up and provide air spaces that serve as an insulating layer against cold winter temperatures.
I think Mother Nature pretty much has things wrapped up!