We’re looking ahead to the summer showing season, and now is the time to be perfecting your horse’s coat to get that healthy glow. Judge Peter Emmerson gives his advice:

For the best summer coat, clip no later than the middle to end of February.

Bath your horse the day before you clip so that his coat is very clean – otherwise it will affect the quality of the clip and potentially damage the hair follicles.

If your horse is a ‘hack’ type, clip out his legs, but lightly trimming excess hair from legs and heels is fine for hunter types.

Groom every day (yes, every day!) and use a coat conditioner to soften the hair and increase the shine.

Regular grooming keeps grease at bay and encourages good circulation of blood to the skin and coat.

Rug up

Rug up with well-fitting rugs that don’t rub your horse’s shoulders. This helps to maintain a good coat that doesn’t become overly hairy.

It also helps horses and ponies to keep condition on, as they don’t need to burn calories to keep warm.

Avoid turning out for long periods in bad or cold weather, and avoid stable rugs with necks as they can rub out your horse’s mane.

A good rug or two to keep the body warm is sufficient.

Shine from within

Feed the best hay/haylage along with a quality bagged feed. External washing and brushing only goes so far when it comes to skin and coat health.

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