I know it may seem a little bit early to be discussing your horse’s upcoming summer coat. But honestly, right now your horse is working hard to produce that beautiful (and short) summer coat. And by starting now, you can ensure your horse will have a beautiful, shiny coat this summer.
A shiny coat comes from a healthy coat. And you can give your horse the best help by making sure he is getting what he needs, calorie wise. He should be getting plenty of roughage. And most of his calories should be coming from his hay.
And remember, not all hay is going to provide the same amount of nutrition for your horse. Spend some time getting familiar with the different types of hay that is available to you so you can get the best hay possible for your horse.
Horses need 1-2% of their body weight every day in roughage. So if your horse weighs 1000 lbs he needs a minimum of 10 lbs per day in hay. My horses are not lacking in this category. They get about 10 lbs of hay for their breakfast and their dinner. They also get a ‘lunch’ when my husband turns them out for me. Its more like a snack, but it gives them something to do while they wait for me to get home and feed them their dinner.
I keep them eating longer by feeding them from slow feeding hay nets. My favorite is the Shires slow feed hay net. The holes are 2″ wide and it easily fits 3 flakes of hay, which is what my horses get for the meal. And by using the feed net, they have hay available for longer periods of time. And the horse is designed to eat a small amount over a long period of time. Which is why I love these hay nets. Another huge benefit to using a hay net is there is a lot less waste of the hay. And I don’t know about you, but where I live hay is expensive. And I want to make sure my horses are eating it, and not wasting it. By using the hay nets, I have a lot less wasted hay.
Water is so important for our horses. And during the winter, they may not drink as much as they should. So making sure our horses are getting the water they need is vitally important. Not only for their coat, but also for digestion.
One way to encourage your horse to drink more is to add electrolytes to his feed. I have been doing this for the last several months and I have noticed that my horses are drinking more. My horses like Apple Elite Electrolyte. It has an apple flavor, and I simply add 1/2 a scoop (1/2 ounce) to their morning and evening feed.
Not only does it help keep them drinking, but it also replaces lost electrolytes from sweating and exercise.
I am a huge fan of a coat supplement called Horse Shine by Omega Fields. This is by far the best and most affordable supplement to give your horse a shiny coat. A 20 lb bag costs about $58.00 and it last me with 2 horses, about 2 months. To me that is well worth it.
Not only does it help their coats, but it also gives them strong hooves, thanks to the biotin that is in it. Horse Shine is an Omega-3 stabilized ground flax seed supplement for horses and is made with stabilized and freshly milled flax to help maintain a shiny healthy coat, strong solid hooves, and top performance Omega Fields provides the best stabilized ground flax that is stabilized using proprietary flax stabilizing technology.
This supplement has been custom designed nutrition advised by equine professional Dr. Kristina Hiney, PhD. Horse shine is recommended as an effective Omega-3 supplement for horses with Cushing’s and IR horses. And it’s a recommended safe source of essential Omega-3. Which is probably why it works so well.
I love this supplement and will always make sure I have it for my horses. It really has made a difference in how beautiful their summer coats get.
As an example, last summer, Frisby had dapples. And rarely have I seen a dark horse with dapples. I just love how incredible my horses look since I have been using this supplement.
Regular Deworming Schedule
If your horse is battling a large worm infestation, he won’t have a super shiny coat. So getting your horse on a regular schedule of deworming is a must.
A good schedule is to deworm your horse in the spring, when he starts to shed, and then again in the late fall, when he starts to get his winter coat. This is the schedule that I keep my horses on and it seems to work really well.
In the spring I use Zimectrin Gold, which is a 1.87% ivermectin dewormer paste.
And then in the fall I use Qwest Gel, which is a moxidectin dewormer and boticide. I switch up the types of wormer that I use to get the best defense against all kinds of parasitic worms that could potentially infest my horses.
Lots Of Grooming
And of course, one of the best ways to get a better coat on your horse is to do lots and lots of grooming. A little bit of elbow grease goes a long way to help your horse’s coat.
Spending a little bit of dedicated time grooming your horse every day will really help with his summer coat. Yes, even in the winter. It also gives you some time to inspect your horses body for any cuts, scrapes, or injuries that he might have. And the more you groom, the better your horse will look.
Not only does the grooming help with your horses coat, but it also gives you bonding time with your horse. So make a goal to spend at least 10 minutes a day grooming, if you can. I love grooming my horses. Not only because it’s fun to hang out with them like this, but I can tell when I have been doing a great job grooming them. Their coats lie flat, and are shiny, and they just look their best. I feel I owe that to them you know? I mean they bring me so much joy, brushing them is the least I can do to return the favor!