There’s a certain level of pride when you see your horse sporting a healthy, glossy coat. The way the sun reflects off the horse’s smooth coat seems to add to the gracefulness and beauty these animals embody. As all trainers know, there are various grooming techniques that create a shinier, more enchanting coat, whether it involves having the essential brushing equipment or using the perfect shampoo. Any trainers looking to add more gloss to their horse’s coat should consider these beneficial grooming tips:
The secret to keeping your horse’s coat as glossy as possible is merely finding time every day to give it a thorough grooming session. Before and after you ride your horse, spend a few minutes picking through its coat with a curry comb, starting at the neck and working your way down using gentle, circular motions. A curry comb is best for daily grooming, as it helps distribute essential oils to the hair, and always remember to brush the hair in the direction of growth. Every grooming session should conclude with a slight combing of the mane and tail, as well as a scrubbing of the hooves.
Finding the right brush
Just like other types of horse equipment, you should invest in a sufficient brush for your animal. Curry combs are the most commonly used brushes for daily horse grooming, but there are plenty of cheap options you should avoid. Picking the perfect curry comb means finding a product that doesn’t have weak bristles, which will fail to adequately scrub out dirt and not be able to help oils reach the hair of the horse. Of course, a curry comb that’s too hard will irritate the skin and cause discomfort. A good rule of thumb when investing in curry combs that promote shine is to find one with teeth that bend slightly when you press your hand against it, but still requires a bit of pressure to move the bristles.
Dandy brushes should be used to groom the horse’s lower body. This type of comb is typically longer and features sturdier teeth than curry combs, so you can easily remove any dirt or thick mud that’s sticking to your horse’s legs after riding. If you’re trying to get the most out of a dandy brush investment, try purchasing a type that has wire-drawn brushes, and a handle that’s divided into two parts, so you’ll never have to deal with loose bristles.
Clean your grooming equipment
Sometimes, maximizing potential for shininess in your horse’s coat depends on how often you clean the combs and other tools. Before you use a comb, make sure to clean it by dipping it in a water bucket and soaping it down. This is simply because your comb will probably have some leftover dirt or oils from the last time you used it, which can affect the shine of your horse’s coat. You should also limit the combs you use to just one horse, as sharing brushes between animals could potentially lead to fungal infections.
Choose your shampoo
Because horses tend to have sensitive skin, the type of shampoo greatly impacts your horse’s coat health. You want a product that contains many healthy ingredients that will efficiently hydrate the coat so the skin never gets dry. One of the easier products to use is First Aid® Shampoo, which contains a number of healthy ingredients such as aloe vera, sodium chloride and potassium iodide that can help promote softer, glossier coats. Trainers looking for a shampoo that’s formulated with essential oils that work to promote healthier skin should consider Howe Clean™, a pH balanced shampoo that moisturizes sensitive skin. After you’ve shampooed your horse, it’s important to rinse it off until there are no signs of suds, as lingering shampoo may produce a lackluster coat.