Can Horses Get Stretch Marks? Facts You Didn’t Know


Did you know that horses can get stretch marks just like people can? This rare sight is mainly seen in obese horses, mares who have given birth or who are pregnant, and horse’s who’s body condition fluctuates constantly.

Can Horses Get Stretch Marks?

Horses can in fact get stretch marks just like people can, and the marks are caused by similar things in both horses and humans. Horses can get stretch marks almost anywhere on their bodies with the most common places being their hindquarters, their bellies, and their necks. Just like in people, stretch marks can appear on horses for a variety of reasons. The most common reason why a horse might have stretch marks is due to excessive weight gain, excessive weight loss, and pregnancy. The stretch marks that you might see on a horse are very similar to those seen on people besides the fact that in horses the marks are often bigger in bigger patches.

Why Do Horses Get Stretch Marks?

Horses get stretch marks for the same reason why any human or other animal might get stretch marks. Stretch marks are caused when the body can’t produce enough skin cells in time to accomodate for sudden weight gain, pregnancy, weight loss, or growth so the skin stretches instead. The most common causes for stretch marks in horses are:

  • Pregnancy
  • Growth
  • Weight Gain
  • Weight Loss

Pregnant horses are the most common horses to get stretch marks because they have a baby growing inside of them and the growth of their stomach can be much more rapid than what the horse’s skin can keep up with thus causing stretch marks.

Just like in children, young horses have growth spurts which basically means that they will grow a lot in a short period of time. Because of this, stretch marks can be seen in young horses who grew a little too fast for their body or skin to keep up with.

Obese horses are frequently seen with stretch marks all over, especially if their weight gain was rapid or sudden. This is because the amount of fat that is being stored all over the horse’s body is much more than what the horse’s body is used to carrying. The skin might have to over stretch over the fat pockets that form on the horse’s body which in turn can cause these marks to appear.

Where Do Horses Get Stretch Marks On Their Bodies?

Because of weight gain, weight loss, pregnancy, and even growing, stretch marks can be seen virtually anywhere on the horse’s body. The most common places however that you might see stretch marks are on the horse’s:

  • belly
  • ribs
  • hindquarters
  • neck

The reason for this is that it is in these places that the most weight difference or growth might occur.

Are The Stretch Marks On Horses A Different Color Than The Rest Of Their Body?

I have actually been asked this once before, and no. The reason someone might as this is because in people stretch marks can be dark, white, lighter than our normal skin color, pink, purple, or another color. Though it is hard to tell the true color of the marks due to the horse’s coat covering the marks, there isn’t really much of a color difference between the marks and the horse’s normal skin color unless the horse has pink skin. If a horse has pink skin a slight color difference might occur.

Is It Common To See A Horse With Stretch Marks?

I would say that it isn’t necessarily common, but it isn’t a rare thing to see either. The most common horses to be seen with stretch marks are usually broodmares, so if you have ever been around a broodmare, then it is almost a guarantee that there are some form of stretch marks somewhere on her body.

What Do Stretch Marks Look Like On A Horse?

Horse stretch marks look pretty much the same as people stretch marks. The stretch marks seen on horses are like long irregular lines that are slightly indented. These marks will generally be in one patch where the skin needed to be stretched to accommodate for whatever extra growth or tissue that the skin still needed to cover.

Do The Stretch Marks Ever Fade?

No, just like in people, stretch marks will remain there for the entire duration of the horse’s life. Think of the stretch mark as a sort of scar. Scars will fade over time maybe in color and maybe slightly in size, but the scar will remain there forever. Stretch marks might smooth over a little bit and become a little less noticeable, but for the most part they never fade and will always remain visible.

Are Stretch Marks Painful?

No. The nice thing about stretch marks is that even though they look like they might be kind of painful to have as the skin is stretching, it isn’t painful at all. Stretch marks seem to just appear on their own so, with this in mind, you can feel better if you notice that your horse is getting stretch marks.

Fun Facts On Horse Stretch Marks

  • Horses don’t have stretch marks as frequently as people do because horses and people have a very different skin elasticity from each other.
  • Broodmares are the horses who are most commonly seen with stretch marks.

Hailey Johnson

Horses have been my passion ever since I can remember. At school, I was known as that weird horse girl, and I would read horse encyclopedias for fun. Over the years since those days, I have only learned more. My experiences with horses of a variety of breeds have taught me a lot. Now I want to share what I know with you!

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