Let’s face it—we all want a gloriously shiny horse with glossy hair. One that catches everyone’s eye as the sunlight glitters across their coat. But wanting a shiny horse and having a shiny horse are two different things, so how do we get from point A to point B? 

How to Make Your Horse Shine: Guide to a Glossy Hair Coat

It Starts With Diet

First and foremost, a healthy coat starts with a diet. Specifically, horses need fat as well as vitamins A, D, and E. Fortunately, they will get plenty of these vitamins from fresh forage and fortified feeds, but what may be lacking in the diet is fat. You want to feed the right kind of fat, however. Fish oil, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory effects, whereas corn oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids which actually promote inflammation. All fats can create shine, but choose wisely!

Groom, Groom, Groom

Nutrition may be the foundation of a healthy hair coat, but regular grooming is important to really create that luster. For one, daily grooming removes dirt which can make your horse look dull. And two, it helps bring out the natural oils produced by the horse’s skin, which will really add some shine.

A good grooming routine might look like this: begin with a hard rubber curry comb, moving it in a circular motion to loosen dirt. Next, use a stiff brush to pull natural oils into the hair, starting at your horse’s neck and moving toward the tail. For sensitive areas such as the head or legs, use a soft-bristled brush.

Keeping your grooming tools clean is important as well—that way, you’re not brushing dirt onto your horse. You can wash your brushes in a bucket of water with dish soap, separating and scrubbing the bristles to remove dirt, oil, and dander.

Coat Care

Finally, coat care can make a difference in your horse’s shine quality. Bathing can be helpful, especially for a really dirty or muddy horse, but it shouldn’t be done too often as it strips the hair coat of its natural oils. Once or twice a month is plenty. 

When you do bathe your horse, choose natural products as well as those that are pH-balanced for horses. Dilute shampoo in a bucket of water and use a bathing mitt, cloth, or sponge to work the suds into your horse’s hair coat. Follow up by rinsing well. Let your horse dry and then apply a leave-in conditioner on your horse’s mane and tail and comb through.

By following the above advice, you should notice a big difference. But feel free to share any advice you have for getting that shiny, glossy hair coat!

How to Make Your Horse Shine: Guide to a Glossy Hair Coat

Casie Bazay

Casie Bazay is a freelance and young adult writer, as well as an owner/barefoot trimmer and certified equine acupressure practitioner. She hosts the blog, The Naturally Healthy Horse, where she regularly shares information on barefoot, equine nutrition, and holistic horse health. Once an avid barrel racer, Casie now enjoys just giving back to the horses who have given her so much. Follow Casie at www.casiebazay.com or on Instagram @casie_bazay and Twitter @CasieBazay.