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Horse Nutrition

July SmartTip of the Month Presented by SmartPak: Healthy Coat and Skin

Thumbs up on horse coat health:

Supporting a brilliant shine from the inside

Nothing is more fun than having a spa day and giving your horse a bath, but too much bathing with shampoo can strip the natural oils away from your horse’s healthy coat and make it look dull.



To help ensure your horse’s coat shines and is healthy for the rest of the season, consider adding a skin and coat supplement to your horse’s diet. Skin and coat supplements can help by adding fat to your horse’s diet, which is a great way to support your horse’s skin and coat health. But when it comes to adding fats, it’s important to consider the source.

For a long time, riders fed corn oil for a hearty serving of fat. However, we now know it’s not just about feeding more fat, it’s about feeding the right kind of fat. Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are both important to your horse’s well-being, but maintaining the correct balance between the two is critical. You want to provide your horse with two to four times more omega 3s than 6s.

Flaxseed

Corn oil is very high in omega 6 fatty acids, which can put the body in a chronic state of inflammation, essentially doing more harm than good. Instead, look for a supplement that uses fat sources that are rich in omega 3s, such as flaxseed and chia seeds.

Thumbs down on horse coat health:

Thinking that spraying on the shine is enough

Your horse’s coat is a master multi-tasker. It’s his first line of defense against injury, insects, and more, so it is important to keep your horse’s coat healthy. It helps with thermoregulation by activating the sweat glands when it gets too hot and puffing up the coat to seal out the cold. It turns sunlight into Vitamin D and is loaded with nerve endings that keep the brain up to date on changes in the surrounding environment.

 

Clearly, healthy skin and coat is vital to a healthy horse—but how do you know if your horse’s skin is in good shape? Your horse’s coat can serve as a report card for his skin health. A soft, shiny coat is an indicator of stellar skin condition, while a dull, rough, or patchy coat likely suggests there’s room for improvement. That’s why if your horse has a dull coat, it’s important to do more than go through countless bottles of coat shine spray.

To learn more about how to support healthy skin and a shiny coat from the inside and out, check out the tip above and visit SmartPak’s blog to read more.

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