There's nothing more satisfying than admiring your horse's glossy, beautiful coat.
Your horse's coat is one of his most defining characteristics. It's what makes him stand out in the show ring and what conveys the fact that he is a healthy horse.
So when your horse's coat isn't at its best, it can be frustrating. These tips can help you to get that coat into top condition.
Assess Your Horse's Nutrition
A horse will only develop a top-quality coat if his body is nutritionally able to do so. A horse whose diet is lacking in important nutrients or fat will not be able to grow a sleek, glossy coat. Take some time to assess your horse's diet - are his nutritional needs being met?
Most manufactured feeds, when fed as directed, will give your horse balanced nutrition. However, if you don't feed the full indicated amount, or if your hay is nutritionally deficient, you may need to supplement your horse's nutrition.
Confused? It's best to talk with your vet or an equine nutritionist about your horse's nutritional needs.
While you might not want to hear it, good old-fashioned elbow grease goes a long way in keeping your horse's coat healthy.
Spend plenty of time currying your horse, since this helps to stimulate the production of oils which condition the coat. Try to groom your horse every day, even if you only have time for a brief grooming session. You're likely to see results within a week or two.
You might be tempted to bathe your horse regularly to keep him clean, but this can actually negatively affect the condition of his coat. Shampoos, even equine shampoos, strip the coat of its natural oils, which can detract from its shine.
Limit bathing your horse as much as possible. You can always hose him down and spot clean him if necessary.
Use a Quality Coat Conditioner
Invest in a coat conditioner which can help improve your horse's coat.
Try to avoid any conditioner containing silicone, since this will only dry out your horse's coat. Instead, look for a conditioner which adds a shine to and moisturizes the coat to improve its overall quality.
Deworm Your Horse
Poor coat quality can sometimes be caused by an intestinal parasite load. If you can't seem to improve your horse's coat condition, try deworming him to see if that makes a difference.
If your horse still isn't looking shiny and healthy after trying out these techniques, be sure to consult with your vet. There may be another medical issue at hand.
How do you get your horse's coat in top condition? Tell us in the comments below!
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