YOU can’t underestimate the importance of a shiny coat that catches the sunlight at outdoor shows and glints under the lights at an indoor show.
Dull, lacklustre coats will do nothing for your chances in the ring and will lead to disappointment. A beautiful shiny coat is a reflection of good health and excellent care.
Competitors really need to be aware of the standards of coat care that must be reached when wanting to compete at top-level with the best in the country.
Feeding the correct diet, good rugging and careful use of show preparation products are the three elements that are required to produce a coat ready for the ring.
Horse and ponies that are cold or wear dirty rugs will never produce a coat that shines like a winner.
As well as warmer stable and turnout rugs, it is also important to use under rugs such as a body wrap which are a massive help with coat care. The use of garments enhances the quality of the coat so you can really wow the judges when in the ring.
The time and effort that is put into rugging is one of the key elements for success. Adjusting the rugs and warmth according to the weather and never taking your eye off the ball is vital, simply thinking one day you do not need to rug or can give it a miss will not lead to a shiny coat!
If your horse or pony is clipped, the coat will grow back and keep in much better condition if a body wrap is used, as the hair grows in readiness for the spring season.
Healthy skin starts with good nutrition, after all, we are what we eat and it’s no different for our horses.
Nutrients are the building blocks of skin and hair so the right levels need to be available in the diet. 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.
Cooked Linseed from British Horse feeds is also excellent for skin and coat health as it has high levels of omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids.
With the coat in excellent overall condition thanks to good nutrition and clever rugging, the next stage for show ring shine, is the products you use, how you use them and when.
Without doubt, the cleaner the coat, the more horses and ponies are groomed, the more success you will have with a coat you will be proud of.
Bathing the coat, with a shampoo that is specific to the coat type and colour makes a huge difference.
Keeping the skin supple and moisturised is also important to restore condition and this combined with the use of coat gloss really does help to provide a coat that can then be accentuated when at a competition.
The more condition and lustre you can keep in a coat the better. Quarter marks and sharks teeth will all have more impact if the coat is really glossy and shiny with a great depth to it.