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Supplements for a Horse's Coat and Skin

Posted on November 15, 2012 by Dodson & Horrell There have been 0 comments

As a horse owner, you want your horse to both feel great and appear the best with a shiny, smooth coat. After all, a shiny coat is a healthy coat and there are several herbs and supplements that can help with this.

Before giving any herbal supplement to a mare which you suspect might be in foal, double check the label, as many supplements designed to help make a horse's coat and skin look healthier are not suitable for use with mares in foal. To be on the safe side, unless the supplement specifically states that it is acceptable for a mare in foal, err on the side of caution and do not give it to the mare. It's better to be safe than sorry!

Altering a horse's diet is something with which to approach with caution, and all new feeds should be introduced gradually. Regardless of which supplement you choose, make sure to consult your horse's veterinarian or a horse nutritionist before making changes to the horse's diet. Also, keep an eye out for signs of allergies to the new supplement.

Using Supplements
Be sure to check the supplement's label for directions as to how it should be administered to the horse in question. Most supplements can simply be mixed into the horse's food.

Make sure to give your horse only the amount recommended on the label. If you are feeding the horse more than one supplement, make sure that the supplements do not contain ingredients similar to each other.

What to Look For
There are a plethora of supplements available that claim to be healthy and helpful to your horse's coat and skin, but it is best to find one which is as natural as possible. It is important to use supplements that provide the horse with omega fatty acids and protein, especially if the horse is not receiving these normally in their normal grazing diet.

Many herbal supplements for skin and coat contain flaxseed, marigold, seaweed, fenugreek and nettle, while those designed to help relieve itch often also have burdock, chamomile and garlic granules in them. One of the most common causes of a dull, flat coat is a lack of appropriate nutrients in a horse's diet.

Sometimes, if you are unsure of what might be causing the problem an all in one supplement, containing a wide variety of minerals and vitamins, is called for. This is probably best for horses that have a generally poor diet to begin with. As always, you will want to check with your veterinarian or horse nutritionist before starting your horse on this sort of diet.

Other Mane and Coat Issues
If your horse has a lot of flakes in his or her hair he or she may suffer from itchy, flaky skin. Keep an eye out while grooming to ensure that nothing is abnormal, such as fungal infections such as ringworm. If you do encounter a condition, do not apply human lotion to the horse as this may further irritate the skin. Instead, consult your veterinarian.

If you are having issues getting a horse's mane and tail to grow, consider giving them a supplement containing flaxseed and omega fatty acids. Further, keep brushing of the mane and tail to a minimum, using a brush on the mane and tail only to get the worst of the tangles out, as the brush can pull out hair. Frequent bathing can dry out the oils in the horse's hair, causing the mane and tail hair to become brittle and either fall out or break off. Do, however, continue to brush the body daily as this helps to distribute the essential oils in the horse's hair.

If you find that your horse's coat and skin do not improve after a treatment with the supplements, consider discussing the issue with your veterinarian. Certain internal parasites and other types of diseases can affect a horse's coat, and if a change in diet does not improve the horse's coat, then there may be something other than diet or nutrition causing the problem.


This post was posted in Horses and was tagged with horses, herbs and supplements, equine herbs

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