Hyfeed - Health Food for Horses
Health Food for Horses

Shiny Coat

Shannon Godwin BaAppSc GDTL

It's all about the Shine!

A common outcome that is desired by all horse owners regardless of their equine discipline of interest is a horse in full bloom with a healthy, shiny coat.  Aside from looking fantastic, a shiny coat is indicative of a horse that is healthy inside and out.  The skin and hair of a horse is the body’s first line of defence against natural elements and these are the most visible signs of a horse’s overall condition.

Balanced Nutrition

Many nutrients have a direct impact on the health and shine of a horses’ coat.  One of the first signs of inadequate nutrition is a dry, dull coat and cracked hooves.  Horses that are consuming adequate energy to maintain appropriate weight can still be missing the vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins required to support a shiny coat and tough hooves.  Certain ingredients such as fatty acids, zinc, biotin, methionine, lysine, copper and vitamin A must be present in the correct amounts in a horses’ diet or skin, hooves and hair will suffer.

Horses that are supplemented with additional zinc and biotin have been found to demonstrate superior fine hair growth.  This in turn results in softer, finer hair that is demonstrated by a glossy coat.  Biotin is an essential B vitamin and a deficiency in horses will usually appear in a dull, lacklustre coat and/or dull, cracked brittle hooves.  Biotin is essential for the maintenance of connective tissue found in skin, hooves and hair.  It has been suggested that biotin stimulates the production of keratin which in turn provides for the production of smooth soft hair in the coat.  Zinc is associated with the integrity and health of skin, hair and hooves and the immune system.  Zinc deficiencies retard the synthesis of DNA, RNA and protein which are necessary for correct coat condition and repair.  Hyfeed Equimin Plus is a superior vitamin and mineral supplement formulated with sufficient levels of Biotin and Bioplex™ Zinc to improve hoof, coat and skin conditions in horses. 

High Quality Protein and Fatty Acids

If a horse’s diet is low in oils, particularly the essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6, it will probably be displayed by a dull, listless coat.  Hyfeed Soy Gize  is high in fat and easily digested by the horse and contains all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids required for healthy skin and a glowing coat.  Soy Gize contains 38% protein and is rich in amino acids such as lysine that is essential for muscle growth and maintenance as well as methionine & cysteine that are essential for hoof and hair condition.  The oils in Soy Gize contain substantial amounts of Linoleic, Linolenic and Oleic (the Omega) fatty acids that are essential for a horse’s health and particularly skin and coat condition.  The Omega fatty acids are known to help the maintenance of elastic skin and slick, glossy coats.

Worm Regularly

Internal parasites (worms) that affect horses are everywhere and horses are continually being exposed and infected with worms.  It is very important to maintain a regular worming schedule as nothing will take the shine of a horses coat faster than a heavy worm burden.  To help prevent resistance, rotate drenches every twelve months.  Make sure the class of drug is changed, not just the brand name.


Regular brushing stimulates the sebaceous glands which release oils that cause the hair to lie flat and shine.  Brushing will also remove the dead hair from the horse’s coat, improving the health of the skin and coat.

It cannot be clarified enough that it is essential for a horse’s health and nutritional requirements to be met in order to obtain the glossy, shiny coat that is desired throughout the world by equestrians.