As an equestrian, nothing beats someone telling you that your horse has a beautiful coat. Now that spring is here and horses are beginning to shed out, it is time to start thinking about how to get their coat looking healthy and shiny for the summer. Keep reading for a few of BarnManager’s favorite tips for a fantastic summer coat.
1. Groom Properly
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to give your horse a shiny coat is to groom them properly. This is especially important if they were not clipped during the winter and are shedding out. Grooming your horse is not only good exercise and helpful for their coat, but it also gives you time to check for any new bumps or scratches. Start with currying your horse, which loosens all the dirt and dead hair and brings out the natural oils. This step is essential for a healthy-looking coat. Next, use a hard brush to get all of the dirt and dead hair off of your horse and also distribute the oils. Going over your horse afterwards with a towel will grab any dirt or dust that was left behind and ensure that your horse’s coat is lying flat. It is also important to clean your grooming tools regularly because dirt builds up quickly, and you do not want to spread it while brushing your horse.
2. Good Diet
A shiny coat often starts from within. A balanced diet is key to making sure your horse has a gleaming coat this summer. It is important to feed good hay that has a nice green color and is not dried out or dusty. Hay is an extremely important part of a horse’s diet because it provides nutrients. Adding supplements into your horse’s feed can also be beneficial. For example, Vitamin E and selenium are two supplements that can help your horse’s coat. If you are not sure your horse has a balanced diet or is getting proper nutrients, consider talking with a nutritionist.
3. Do Not Over Bathe
When it gets warmer it is easy to bathe horses too frequently, especially if they are grey. While it may seem like a good idea to keep them clean, it can dry out their skin and coat. Also, legs that are are not dried properly can be susceptible to scratches and other skin conditions. If your horse does get warm after exercise, try sponging and toweling off where they are sweaty or putting fans in front of them so they dry faster. For owners of grey horses, spot removers are useful for removing stained areas without doing a full bath. If you must bathe your horse during the hot months of summer, consider using conditioner instead of shampoo. This will help moisturize the coat instead of drying it out. When applying, avoid the saddle area as this will make it very slippery. Also, do not put conditioner in the mane or tail if you plan on braiding your horse for a competition in the near future.
4. Protect From the Sun
During the spring, summer, and early fall a horse’s coat can often get sun bleached from being turned out, especially if the paddock is not well-shaded. This can be solved by either doing night turnout or getting a fly sheet to protect your horse from the sun as well as flies. A fly sheet may also help keep your horse a little cleaner so you can avoid daily baths.
5. Invest in a Coat Shine Product
To add a little extra gleam to your horse’s coat, purchase a coat shine product. There are many options that can help make your horse’s coat soft, shiny, and healthy. These sprays often contain conditioner that moisturizes the coat. Make sure to check the ingredients and avoid any products containing silicone, which can actually dry out the coat. Similar to applying conditioner during a bath, be careful about avoiding the area where the saddle goes.
Whether or not you plan on showing, a beautiful, healthy, and shiny coat is something that all horse owners can achieve. Test out these tips this spring to get your horse’s coat looking its best.
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