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  • March 30, 2023 3 min read

    It's safe to say that everyone wants a horse with a shiny, lustrous coat; after all, a horse's coat is a reflection of its overall health and well-being. A shiny and healthy coat not only looks great but also indicates that the horse is getting the nutrition and care it needs. In this article, we will give you our top tips on improving a horse's coat condition.

    Proper Nutrition

    A balanced diet is essential for keeping your horse healthy and its coat in prime condition. Protein, copper, zinc, and vitamin A are some nutrients that directly impact your horse's coat condition. Ensuring that these nutrients, along with other essential vitamins and minerals, are fed to your horse in a balanced diet will keep your horse healthy on the inside, which will no doubt have them sparkling like a penny on the outside.

    Increase Omega 3 and 6 Intake

    Essential fatty acids, Omega 3 and 6, can also impact your horse's coat. Feeding a diet high in these essential fatty acids will not only benefit your horse health-wise, but it will also make the coat healthy and shiny. Some of the ways in which essential fatty acids can be added to your horse's diet include:

    • Adding flax seed (linseeds), chia seeds, sunflower seeds, or full-fat soya bean meal to your horse's diet; and
    • Feeding oils such as linseed and fish oil. Other oils such as canola, soybean, coconut, and rice bran can also be fed, but the Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio must be balanced.

    Groom with elbow grease

    Regular grooming can help remove dirt, debris, and dead skin cells from the horse's coat, allowing it to shine. Grooming also stimulates blood flow which helps keep the skin and coat healthy. Start with a curry comb/massage comb to loosen dirt, then use a soft-bristled brush to remove any debris. Finish with a sheepskin mitt, soft cloth, or brush to smooth the coat and give it a shine. Regular grooming also helps to distribute the natural oils throughout the coat, which keeps it healthy.

    Go Easy on the Bathing

    A good shampoo will indeed lift and remove dirt and debris from the horse's coat. But, if you bathe your horse too often, then you are also stripping the horse's natural oils from its coat. This may leave the horse's coat dry and dull and cause skin conditions such as itchiness.

    Keep the flys away

    Flys in themselves won't cause your horse's coat to become dull. But, if your horse is allergic to fly bites or is particularly targeted by them, this can cause excessive itching, which may lead to hair loss. Protecting your horse from flies using fly veil, rugs, and sprays, may help alleviate bites and excessive itching.

    Sun Protection

    Excessive sun exposure can cause a horse's coat to fade and lose its shine. Providing access to shade and using fly sheets or sunscreen (e.g., On pink noses) specially formulated for horses can help protect the coat from the damaging effects of the sun.

    Regular Exercise

    Regular exercise not only helps to keep your horse fit and healthy but can also improve coat health. Exercise increases blood flow to the skin, which can help to promote healthy hair growth and improve the coat's overall condition.

    Health Factors

    If you are doing everything right, for example, feeding a balanced diet and grooming, and your horse still has a dull coat, it may be worth exploring the horse's health. There are underlying health issues that can cause the horse to have a dull, brittle, shaggy, or brassy coat. These include but are not limited to gastric ulcers, worm burdens, and PSSM. A consultation with your veterinarian in these instances would be required.

    A healthy and shiny coat is a reflection of good overall horse health. By providing a balanced diet, adding essential fatty acids, regular grooming, occasional bathing, fly control, sun protection, and regular exercise, you can help to improve your horse's coat condition. Remember, every horse is unique, and some horses may require more or less of certain types of care. Consult with your veterinarian to develop a specific plan for your horse's needs.

    As always we are here to help! If you need any advice with regards to feeding, or need some new brushes for your grooming kit, we can help you! Please visit us in store or online.

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