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Dull coat with no shine is often a result of vitamin or mineral deficiencies in horses and can easily be fixed with the right supplements. This article reviews the best supplements for a healthy skin and coat according to the ingredients, their effectiveness, price and reviews of many horse owners and fanatics.
The Best Supplements for a Shiny Horse Coat (UK-2021)
- Editor’s Choice – NAF Biotin Plus
- Best for Horses With Digestive Issues – Head To Hoof Formula
- Budget Pick – Gold Label – Linseed Oil
- Luxury Pick – Naf Seaweed
- Only Natural Ingredients – Gold Label Brewers Yeast
The Top-Rated Supplements for a Shiny Horse Coat
NAF Biotin Plus is a mix of vitamins and minerals in a powdered form. It includes a complex of B vitamins (such a biotin), zinc, calcium, methionine and MSM (sulphur containing substance that aids in collagen formation). This power combination promotes a healthy coat and improved hoof growth from the inside. In addition to a healthier and shinier coat, mane and tail will also highly benefit and become naturally shiny and thicker. It comes in 1,5 kg to 18 kg boxes and refills can be bought separately. The detailed information about the daily dosage can found on NAF site or on the label directions. This product is one of the most recommended supplements amongst equestrians and horse owners.
Head to Hoof Formula takes care of your horse’s coat, skin, joints and hooves. It comes in a powdered form that is to be given with your horses daily feed. Unlike any other complete supplements on the market, this one contains probiotics. Especially crucial with horses with digestive issues, such as stomach ulcers or allergies. Probiotics rebuilt the gut flora letting your horse efficiently absorb vitamins and minerals. After all, a poor coat condition might be a result of inefficient vitamin absorption rather than lack of them in a horse’s diet. Other than probiotics, this supplement promotes healthy coat with high concentration of biotin, zinc, amino acids, iron, selenium, vitamin C, magnesium, MSM, vitamin E and many others. This complete set of vitamins aid horses in production of healthy collagen and connective tissue. The dosage should be given according to the label directions. Horse owners often use this formula to provide their horse with a good care all year round. Head to Hoof Formula is also often recommended by veterinarians and farriers in health conditions such as joint conditions, laminitis or skin burns and diseases.
Gold Label Linseed Oil is a pure, 100% linseed oil which contains healthy omega 3 and omega 6 acids. Linseed oil is accessible and relatively cheap. A large bottle might not be the cheapest but the supplement is given in small quantities and lasts long. It is one of the most popular supplements for sport horses in Central Europe and it is not without a reason. It improves the digestion, coat quality, mane, tail and hooves. It positively affects the gut and is a good supplement to consider for older horses, or horses that have trouble putting on the weight. It is recommened to store oils like this one in cool conditions, for no longer than three months. If left in a hot area or left exposed to the sun rays, linseed oil may become rancid and poisonous to the horse, and thus should be stores in the fridge during summer months. Oil supplements should not be given constantly throughout the whole year, but rather intensively for short periods of time (eg. 3 months). A little sedation on the bottom of the container is nothing to worry about, it is a natural occurrence.
NAF Seaweed supplement is a vitamin bomb that improves not only the coat, but also supports the joints, healthy eyes, digestion, immune system and overall health. No doubt that seaweed supplements are quite expensive, but totally worth the price if you are able to afford it. Seaweed supplements are amongst the best supplements for shiny horse coat. NAF Seaweed can be bought in reusable containers that can be further refilled. Bear in mind that it is not advised to give seaweed supplements to pregnant mares during the last months of pregnancy (as seaweed contains high levels or iodine).
Gold Label Brewers Yeast skin & coat conditioner for horses is a pure yeast in a form of a fine powder. It should be added to your horses daily feed according to the instructions. Yeast are known for their high levels of B vitamins, including thioamine, nicotinic acid and riboflavin. These vitamins promote a healthy coat, stronger hooves and overall healthier appearance. Yeast is often recommended by veterinarians for horses that tend to rub and bruise easily, or horses that have a dry and flaky skin. Apart from the previously mentioned properties of B vitamins, yeast act as a natural prebiotic in your horses gut (as a fuel for the healthy gut bacteria) and improve the health of the nervous system. Therefore yeast can be given to anxious and hot horses to help them remain calmer. Horses with digestive problems such as ulcers or reoccurring diarrhoea or constipation will also benefit from a yeast supplement. Yeast is also an amazing supplement for horses that are fussy and picky when it comes to eating, since yeast is believed to increase the appetite.
What to Look for in Horse Coat Supplements
Here are some of the things to look for in the ingredient lists, when buying horse coat supplements
Vitamins, especially vitamins B improve the skin and coat quality. Vitamins B can be found under the names: biotin, yeast, thioamine, nicotinic acid or riboflavin. Although B vitamins are the most popular group of vitamins associated with the coat, other vitamins are also responsible for the coat quality. Fat soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E and K are famous for they anti oxidative properties and improve the coat heath too.
Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are found in oils. Most popular oils that can be safely supplemented to horses include: linseed oil (or flax seed oil), soybean oil, corn oil, rice oil and fish oil (salmon, cod, etc.). Linseed oil is the cheapest and most accessible. The use soybean oil is controversial as most soya beans are genetically modified. Fish products are generally most expensive. Rice oil provides horses with a lot of extra energy and is therefor often used in sport horses nutrition. The side effect of using rice oil is the increase of blood testosterone, so the supplementation should be avoided during the competition season (you might be disqualified for dope, according to the FEI rules)
Probiotics do not have a direct effect on the horse’s coat but rather on the gut. They improve the gut health, aid digestion, help with regular and healthy bowel movements, prevent diarrhoea or constipation and help heal the ulcers. You might wonder then, why are probiotics on this list? Well, a healthy gut can absorb more vitamins and minerals resulting in a healthier skin and coat, and improved horse’s general well-being.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some of the most common questions users ask when choosing skin and coat supplements for their horse.
What can I feed my horse to make its coat healthier?
Apart from the complete supplements that this article recommends, you can improve your horses skin and coat by incorporating more vitamins, minerals and omega fatty acids into their diet. You can try feeding your horse more vegetables or fatty foods such as sunflower seeds or flaxseed mash. Always remember to feed those things in moderation and double check if certain products are edible for horses.
Why aren’t the coat supplements working?
If your horses skin and coat is dull, and your horse doesn’t seem to be able to put on any weight, the issue may be behavioural or medical. There are many reasons for such state, some of which include: stomach ulcers, disproportions in the gut flora, chronic stress or anxiety. If your horses condition does not improve even with a healthy and balanced diet and proper supplementation, please contact your vet to rule out other conditions.
Other Coat Products We Reviewed
We looked at other ways of improving your horses coat health. Apart from a healthy and well balanced diet and supplementation, coat should be taken care of all year round. Regular brushing and skin massage should be a priority, together with washing to remove dead cells, dandruff or excess sebum and sweat. There is a complete guide on this website, on finding the best grooming products that we highly suggest you take a look at. Here however, are our two favourite products that will give any coat a fresh shine.
The best product on the market for conditioning the coat. Provides a nice shine and pretty polish finish. Bottle makes makes the application easy. The product has a nice and refreshing smell.
Carr Day and Martin Canter Coat Shine Conditioner is an excellent value for money. It comes in a handy bottle. The conditioner retells dirt and ensures a long lasting shine. The product has an oil free formula, thus does not leave stains and is not greasy.