Make your horse's coat shine with these tips. Whether you're getting ready for a competition or simply want your horse to look his best, a glossy coat is sure to turn heads.
Claire Swain, professional groom for international dressage rider Laura Tomlinson shares her tips for stunning shine.
1. Lift dirt and grease with a cloth
As part of your daily grooming routine, pour some boiling water into a bucket, adding colder water to ensure it's luke-warm.
Then add a dash of skin wash, such as NAF Love The Skin He's In and mix. Dip a cloth into the solution and squeeze out any excess.
Glide the cloth over the direction of your horse's hair to lift dirt and grease, leaving a glossy shine.
2. Use a wool mitt for dust and scurf
Get into the habit of pampering your horse with a 'polish' every day.
Use a fleecy wool mitt in short, firm flicks in the direction of his coat to remove any scurf or dust left behind once you've rinsed with a cloth.
A fleecy mit like this is also great at events for giving your horse's coat a last-minute polish.
3. An extra shine with a baby wipe
At competitions use one of the handiest and cheapest tools of the trade - baby wipes.
These are great for giving your horse's face a quick wipe to create a shine that will catch the light.
Wipe under your horse's forelock plait and around his eyes and nostrils. Wipes are good for bringing out the shine on any black points on his legs too.
4. Discover the secrets of vinegar
Whenever your horse has worked up a sweat, a dash of cider apple vinegar in water will help remove sweat stains and put a gleam back in his coat.
Simply add a splash of apple cider vinegar to warm water in a wash bucket, and wipe the mixture over his coat with a sponge.
Don't forget to put a cooler rug on afterwards to help wick any moisture away.
5. Shine from within
Common sense dictates that a glossy, healthy looking coat starts with a balanced diet and linseed oil in particular helps condition the skin and coat due to its omega-3 fatty acids.
Adding 30ml of linseed oil to your horse's feed morning and night may not be a quick fix, but has great results in the long term (though introduce it into his diet slowly).
6. Condition his muscles
Grab a tea towel, fold it into a hand-sized square, then hold it and firmly apply pressure.
Build up to a maximum of 20 times over your horse's neck, shoulder and quarters.
Build up to a maximum of 20 times over each area on each side, as part of your daily grooming routine.
As well as adding shine, this helps condition your horse's muscles as he tenses and relaxes.
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