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How to get a shiny coat for your horse

mantello lucente per il tuo cavallo

Obtaining a shiny coat is often difficult, as there are several factors that lead to this result. We are talking about environmental factors, dietary factors and not least those of care through cleaning and brushing. So what actions should you take to obtain a shiny coat for your horse? Here are a few suggestions:

Proper diet to obtain a shiny coat for your horse

To obtain a shiny coat, the horse must have the basic nutrients available. As always, quality forage must be fed in adequate quantities. Hay is essential for the production of saliva that has the ability to buffer gastric acidity, which protects the stomach mucosa from erosive phenomena.

Horses with gastric hyperacidosis problems have matted hair. In cases where there is a need to stem this occurrence due to some kind of stress, it is important to use complementary feed low in starch, such as Fat Fiber, and to introduce Trophogast pellets, a complementary feed that promotes healing of the gastric mucosa in the case of moderate ulcers.

Vitamins, amino acids and minerals for a shiny coat in horses?

Sometimes pastures are so overgrazed that they are poor in minerals, the same occurs when there are prolonged periods of drought. Copper and zinc are necessary for the production of melanin, which helps prevent oxidative damage and maintain coat colour. Horses on diets based only on dried fodder may be deficient in an adequate amount of vitamin E. Deficiency of this vitamin may be reflected in poor coat quality, especially with regard to shininess.

This is why it is important to use complementary feeds that provide vitamins and trace elements, or if the forage is rich in minerals, horses can be supplemented cyclically with Vitamin E products such as Evit 300 or Evit liquid, which also provides Selenium.

Amino acids

With regard to amino acids, most forages do not provide an adequate amount of crude protein at all and not all of it is available to the horse, especially in the case of very mature forages. Finally, not all available protein may be of high biological value, i.e. not providing adequate levels of essential amino acids such as lysine and methionine.

The coat is made up of keratin, which is also a protein, so a quality source of protein in the ration must be ensured to help promote good coat growth. This is easily achieved by including a protein balancer such as Mac Breed in the ration, a complementary feed that can provide 27% protein and vitamins and trace elements. Alternatively, powdered amino acids such as Aminotop, which also contains B vitamins, can be administered.

Is biotin needed for a shiny coat in horses?

The absolute first source of biotin is pasture. This vitamin is found in high concentrations in alfalfa, in moderate concentrations in oats, barley and soya meal, and only in low levels in maize. The amount of biotin that horses obtain through the diet varies between individual horses and groups of horses in particular geographical locations. In addition, the amount of biotin produced by the gut microbial flora is also variable. Biotin can help improve coat strength and reduce coat breakage and the useful amount to supplement is 20 mg per day.

The use of fats in the diet for a shiny coat in horses

Fats are used through the use of unsaturated fats, generally in the form of oils, as they are in liquid form at room temperature. Fatty acids are fundamental components of lipids and these include the most famous Omega 3 and Omega 6, which are termed ‘essential’ as they cannot be synthesised by the body. Their intake is crucial not only for the integrity of the horse’s skin and shiny coat, but also because they are the precursors of molecules and substances that modulate the immune system and influence the cardiovascular system.

The presence of fats in the ration reduces skin dryness and the formation of dandruff. Fats are also important for creating a smooth shaft that reflects light better. Equiplanet has formulated Oil Performance, a complementary feed based on a mix of vegetable oils: linseed, soya and rice for an optimal ratio of omega 3:omega 6 in a 5-litre can.

Maintaining a shiny coat in the horse in winter

Winter is definitely the most critical time, as many of us reduce brushing and grooming. In the cold season, it is difficult to do washings that allow the removal of dirt and dandruff. However, brushing the coat is the best method for achieving a shiny coat for your horse, because in addition to removing dirt, it stimulates the superficial blood flow that carries nutrients to the hair follicle. Brushing is also important for the manes, which can be made shiny and bright with a dehairing agent such as Equishine.

Maintaining a shiny coat in the horse in summer

The horse in the summer can be susceptible to sensitisation from insect bites, compromising the integrity of the skin. Action must be taken before injury occurs with products that support horses subjected to environmental climatic variations such as horse allergy fluid complementary feed based on plant extracts such as Echinacea Angustifolia and Ribes Nigrum. Complementary feedstuffs based on omega-3 that provide especially high amounts of DHA, such as Algaphyt, are also useful.

Equiplanet has been involved in horse nutrition for more than twenty years, gaining over the years a wealth of experience that can be put at the disposal of our customers to improve the welfare of horses and their sporting performance. For further information please send an e-mail to info@equiplanet.it


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