Summer is a beautiful time to get outside, do some trail riding, and take care of your horse. This summer, make sure your horse has a glowing coat with these grooming tips.
Summer Grooming Tips for Horses
With the warm weather and increased dust and pollen, it’s important to maintain your horse’s coat, not only for looks but also for their overall health. Properly maintaining your horse’s coat and hooves will help reduce the risk of infections, wounds, and other skin conditions.
These tips will help your horse look great all summer!
Look at Diet First
While brushing and baths are important, when it comes to your horse’s coat, beauty starts from within. Much like our hair and nails, your horse’s hair health depends a lot on their diet. A diet that’s rich in Vitamin A, Zinc, and sulfur will lead to a healthy, glowing coat.
If you struggle to give your horse enough of these nutrients, talk to your vet, or animal nutritionist, about a supplement. Zinc and biotin can both help the structure of the hair itself, while Vitamin A is readily available in green grass and most commercial horse feeds and is important for healthy skin, as well as some other physiological needs.
Regular grooming is one of the keys to a healthy, glowing coat. This is especially important in the summer when your horse might be shedding more. Brushing and currying regularly work in two ways. First, brushing removes any dust or dirt on the coat. But more importantly, it also helps stimulate the production of sebum and distribute the skin’s natural oils evenly. This leads to an even shine.
In addition, a horse with a clean coat will be able to keep their skin cool in the hot summer because perspiration will evaporate more freely. Of course, horses sweat more during the summer. This sweat can damage the coat because it can be bleached by the sun. Plus, no one wants a sweaty horse! To avoid this, make sure to brush your horse regularly and massage the skin with a rubber brush or curry comb. In addition, this is a great way to bond with your four-legged friend! Make sure to remove any sweat before turning your horse out.
Use the Right Shampoo
Bathing your horse in the summer is important for keeping their coat in tip-top shape. But, make sure you choose the right shampoo for the job. If a shampoo is too harsh, it can end up striping the sebum, secreted by the sebaceous glands, in the horse’s skin, which can leave the coat dry and dull. Look for an equine shampoo that is specially formulated for coat care. It should be strong enough to get the job done, but gentle enough to still maintain your horse’s natural skin. Our equine shampoo is anti-inflammatory, paraben-free, hypoallergenic, and pH optimized for equine coats.
Use a Conditioner
In addition to using the right shampoo, you can also supplement your horse’s bath with a conditioner to really bring out the shine. You can even make a “brace” with PineSol or liniments which stimulate circulation and increase blood flow but also help remove sweat. At the track, lots of horses are rinsed with a brace after a workout, just like an athlete might rub down after heavy exercise with liniment. Bigeloil, Vetrolin liniment, and can also help remove sweat and keep your horse’s coat glistening.
When selecting an equine coat conditioner, avoid ones that leave behind residues, especially silicone residue.
Monitor for Any Skin Issues
Of course, all horse owners want their baby to have a beautiful, shiny coat. But sometimes, there is more to consider than just the outward appearance. This summer, make it a habit to examine your horse for any underlying skin conditions, such as dermatitis, bacterial or fungal skin diseases, especially rain rot. All of these conditions can cause serious skin problems that will need much more than a bath to address. Keep an eye out for:
- Summer sores (often caused by stomach worms)
- Sweet itch
- Excessive scratching
- Bug bites
- Weepy, watery eyes
There are many reasons to take care of your horse’s coat this summer. Not only does it make the coat look great, but it also helps contribute to a happy, healthy horse and reflects all the work and care you put into your friend’s maintenance. Horses require a lot of care and attention year-round, but especially during the summer with the change in weather, allergens, and the length of the day. Take care of your horse’s coat this summer by making sure they are eating a healthy diet, grooming them regularly, using the right shampoo, using an equine coat conditioner when needed, and monitoring for any skin, hair, or hoof issues. Your horse, your veterinarian, and your farrier, will all appreciate you!