5 Tips For a Shinier Coat

Artwork by Christina Fowler, grand prize winner in the 2013 Arts Contest.

You’ve worked hard on memorizing your test and your horse has been progressing nicely.  If you want your horse to look as good as he moves, you need to get that coat shiny and beautiful.  Here are 5 tips to help bring out that eye-catching gleam in your horse’s coat.

Elbow Grease

It would be great if a supplement could do all the work for you, but the best tip for bringing out that shine is a lot of grooming.  Your curry comb is your best friend.  Not only does it help remove hair and dirt, but also helps improve your horse’s blood circulation to the skin.

Cut Down on Shampoo

Your first impulse when trying to get your horse shiny may be to bathe him all the time.  After all, you want him clean and shiny, right?  However, bathing him too much can actually have the opposite effect.  His skin produces oils essential to his coat looking it’s best, and shampooing too often can strip the hair and skin of these natural oils. 

Hot Toweling

If you live in an area with cold weather, hot toweling can really help you to get your horse clean when bathing isn’t an option.  Start with a thorough grooming (again, bring out that curry comb!)  Get a couple of buckets of steamy, hot water and soak your towels (typically dish towel or washcloth size work best, as bigger towels can be too bulky.)  The water should be hot but not boiling.  Soak the towels, then wring them out – they should be steamy and damp, but not soaking.  Use the towels like you would a curry comb.  Much like steam cleaning a rug, the steam will help dislodge stubborn dirt from your horse’s coat.

 Good Nutrition

The biggest secret to a fabulous coat starts from the inside out.  Proper nutrition will help your horse obtain that extra glossy look.  Adding oils to his diet, such as sunflower seed and flaxseed, really help bring out the shine.  Make sure you research what will work best based on your horse’s coat color – certain feeds can darken coats, which could be exactly what you’re looking for if you have a chestnut, but not so if you have a palomino!

Deworming and Fecal Monitoring

If your horse is battling worms, they can rob him of his natural luster.  Make sure you keep him on a regular deworming schedule, and you can use fecal monitoring to ensure he is parasite-free and ready to look and feel his best. 

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