I was asked to blog on why my horses have shiney coats. At shows it is something that people comment on every time. My horses are just super shiney. And yes, I will use a little show sheen at a show, but that isn’t they reason they are shiney. There are several reasons:
- Good nutrition. My horses get local grass hay with a grain supplement. Precious gets a high fat grain which contributes to her shineyness. But they don’t all get that, so that isn’t entirely it.
- Blankets. Blankets keep them from getting dirty so it is easier to see the gleem on a coat, but I only blanket Oct-April (at the most). My horses are shiney all year long, so blankets are not the entire reason either.
- Brushing. I do a little brushing every time I ride. When they are blanketed, sometimes I just run my hands down their coats and don’t even brush. And I’m not fanatical about it at all, so that’s not the reason.
- Work. All my horses get work. They get work all year long and consistently. I ride with its cold/wet/dark/hot/sunny, you name it. I board where there is a covered arena and I work each horse 3-4 times a week. Maybe 1 session will only be groundwork, but they get a good solid workout at least 3 times a week. THAT is why I think my horses are always shiney. They work up a sweat, drink lots of water, dead hairs come off and after a quick brush I am left with a shiney gleaming coat. I may take off a week here or there, but the overall pattern is work, work, work.
I will try and take a picture sometime that really captures how shiney they are, but maybe someone can comment on that below. Not everyone works their horses as much as I do, and that is why I think I get the coats. Maybe someday I will research this and see if there is science to it. But right now I am enjoying an epidose of Law and Order. It is the next best thing to being at home.