One question I get asked time and time again is ‘how do I get my horse to really shine?’. The answer is simple, for the coat to radiate health it will need the correct nutrition and lots of grooming, but it won’t happen overnight.
The skin is the largest organ of your horse’s body. It provides a protective barrier against the environment and regulates temperature. There are 3 major layers: the epidermis or outermost layer, the dermis or middle layer, and the subcutis or innermost layer.
- The epidermis is the outer layer of skin, which is composed of several layers of cells providing a physical barrier from infection and disease
- The dermis supports and nourishes the epidermis. This is where hair follicles, muscles, blood vessels, nerves and sebaceous glands are located. The dermis secretes the proteins collagen and elastin that give elasticity to the skin, also present are immune cells that defend against disease.
- The subcutis contains the subcutaneous fat and muscles. The fat provides insulation, and nerves and blood vessels supplying the skin are also found here.
A healthy horses coat will shine naturally due to the oils derived from the skin. The oil is released by the sebaceous glands and will move down to the ends of the hair when you groom your horse.
Good quality brushes like our Equishine Pro range will make a noticeable difference to your horses’ coat. Each brush has its own purpose and although can be used in any order, we use them the following way:
- Start with the Pro Flick. The long bristles will help you remove surface debris, including shavings from the coat, mane and tail. The outer bristles will also help absorb any dust.
- Next, we use the Pro Dust. This brush is made with 100% pig bristles. It is a firm bristled brush which will pull out dust from the depth of the coat whist massaging your horse’s skin. This will release the oils that spread across the hair shaft, which makes the horse shine. Use quick flicking motions, but only be as firm as your horse can tolerate.
- Last but not least the Pro Finish. Made from 100% horsehair this brush will help produce a superb shine. The extra soft tips will soothe your horse and help bring out all those natural oils for a shiny, healthy looking coat. Use long smooth strokes, the more you use this brush to distribute the oils the more your horse will shine.
- We also have the Pro Quarter Mark brush, but that’s a whole different blog!
Grooming has several benefits as well as making your horse shine it’s a great time for you to bond with your horse and to check them over for any injuries, lumps/bumps or skin issues etc. Not only that but the feeling you get when you step back and see your horse gleaming is well worth the time and effort. Now you are ready for that showring….