I want my horse to have that million-dollar-shine, but somehow, it doesn't seem possible! He is a liver-chestnut show horse, and I get really jealous when I see those bay horses with rich dapples. A lot of people say that it's from malnutrition, but his feed is top of the line, and I also brush him daily before and after I ride.
His coat isn't dull or anything, I just want him to be shinier.
I was just wondering if you guys had any tips for me! Thanks!
There are so many things you can do to get a shiny coat. Here's a few:
~Make sure you keep to a de-worming program. Worms most often are the cause of horses not having a shiny coat.
~Curry him every day, before and after you ride. This loosens the old hair and helps bring out natural oils.
~You can feed your horse supplements to help with the shine if you want. I have found out that ground flax seed works pretty good and horses love the stuff! I feed all my horses 1 oz twice a day. You can ground your own or buy it at most feed stores in pretty cheap.
~A winter coat can also make him look dull. Blanket him during any cool weather (use a light sheet during warmer days) & after you ride curry instead of hosing him off. Some people also claim that if you stall them at nights under light you can keep the winter coat away.
~There are also MANY other grooming products to "fake" a shine ;)
Aside from feeding, in the summer before I ride out to see friends, I like to rub Indie down (lightly) with some baby oil. I concentrate mostly on her black points so it really SPARKS on her copper coat, but with a dark chestnut like yours you could do the whole body, just don't make it greasy. A thin coat does the trick... and not too often, just for special occasions.
But that really only works in the warmer months though, like the above poster said the winter coat makes it dull and putting oil on it would only look silly
To the post above^ My 27 yo. Is on full pasture/stall as she pleases and keep steady weight and shine as well.
OP-Is he open to full pasture? I know for show horses a lot people like to keep them stalled, but for a million dollar shine, top of the line feed and hay doesn't always do it. They need that healthy organic grass as well.
I totally understand sun fade. My bay can fade to an ugly orange, but since I started feeding paprika, he doesn't sun fade anymore, and keeps his nice dark rich bay color, even on all day turnout in the heat of summer.
If he's already fed well, and kept groomed, then all I can really suggest would be some added supplements.
And Omega Horseshine are all respected coat supplements, to name a few.
I don't know where you are located, but in many areas the soil is very depleted of vitamin E. Feeding hay rather than pasture further reduces the daily amount your horse is getting.
I had my mare for years, and despite hours of grooming and a good quality vitamin/mineral supplement, she just wouldn't shine. I found out when she went lame and we did a blood panel on her that she was deficient in vitamin E. After only a small amount of time being on a natural (more readily absorbed form) vitamin E supplement, she now shines regardless of when I brush her or how dirty she manages to get.
My new horse seemed to have less of a shine than he ought to, so I recently put him on a vitamin E supplement as well, as I already know that the soil around here is very depleted. He is now much shinier too.
I would suggest looking into it, as like others have said, vitamin deficiency is a major cause of a dull coat and sometimes it is hard to tell if they are getting everything they need even if they are on a high quality food. Hope this helped!