Caring for your horse's coat and skin this spring
Horses need a healthy skin and coat all year round as the horse’s skin is his first barrier against external threats such as the weather, biting insects and disease.
With a lot of horses rugged over winter it is a good feeling in spring to strip off those thicker layers and see your horse start to lose his winter coat (unless of course he was fully clipped). Some horses may come out of winter with a scurfy coat but don’t be tempted to bath your horse until the weather is warm enough. Also when it does warm up make sure that you are not shampooing your horse too frequently as this can remove naturally occurring oils and dry out the coat and skin.
What can I do to keep my horse’s skin and coat healthy?
- If your horse suffers from insect bite hypersensitivity limit his exposure to insects as much as possible by using a fly rug and mask, avoiding turnout at dusk and dawn, making sure he doesn’t graze near water sources such as bogs or streams, use exposed paddocks without hedging or trees and remove droppings from the paddock daily.
- Correct nutrition and hydration are essential for coat and skin health, speak to an equine nutritionist and your vet if you have any concerns about your feeding regime and horse’s health.
- If your horse has pink, exposed or sensitive skin, use a suitable sun block when required to protect him from sunburn. For vulnerable areas on the face a mask which blocks UV light can also be used.
- Check the horse’s coat and skin regularly for any abnormalities such as lumps, bumps, bites or lesions.
- Remove excess dirt and sweat from your horse’s coat regularly, especially during warmer weather, to help keep flies at bay. Also remove rugs daily to ensure they are not rubbing and continue to fit comfortably.
Nutrition is perhaps the most important part as certain nutrients are the building blocks of skin and hair. Certain minerals such as zinc, copper, fatty acids, and biotin are crucial so if your horse has a forage only diet adding a vitamin and mineral supplement may be necessary. If you are feeding a complete feed make sure you use the recommended amounts.
The Golden Paste Company recently launched TurmerItch, a pelleted supplement specifically formulated to support a healthy skin and coat.
How does TurmerItch work?
The carefully selected ingredients are soothing to reduce itching, promote hair regrowth and help to repel biting insects, as well as keeping the skin healthy and the coat shiny.
Insect Bite Hypersensitivity usually affects most horses from March until October but starting the ‘midge season’ primed is important for the best possible advantage before they strike.
By “priming” the body to be less responsive to allergens generally, subsequent seasonal rises in insects should be less of a problem; the skin of the horse will have a barrier of bioactives that have been shown to act as a repellent, neem for example, and be less responsive to bites.
By introducing this dietary system that can help optimise digestive health, the microbiome and gut integrity, the allergenic contribution to the itch threshold is reduced; subsequent challenges from biting insects may then fall below the threshold, thus reducing scratching and damage to the coat and skin.
Where can I find out more?
Visit this page and follow @thegoldenpastecompany on Facebook and Instagram.