Horse Skin & Coat Dull During Winter?
It’s that time of the year where our horse’s coats start to look dull. They can get a little wiry looking and positively scruffy. Or, perhaps your horse is clipped and looking sleek but their skin is experiencing irritation and coming out in bumps.As horse owners, we all know the struggles with coat and skin condition for our horses at this time of the year. We’ll explore the reasons horse skin and coat health is such a challenge during the winter months and how you can minimise the issue and keep your horse’s coat as close to glowing as possible.
Horses Rugged During the Winter Months
At this time of the year, our horses are generally rugged, if not all the time, then most of the time. Whilst they keep them warm and cosy, rugs can take a toll on the condition of the horse coat and skin. They can also cause rubs creating sore spots and sensitivities. The mane and tail can be especially impacted. Whilst a good quality, properly fitting rug can go a long way to avoid some of these issues, it isn’t always possible to avoid them completely - particularly if your horse is prone to enjoying some creative antics!
Lack of Sunlight & Horses Coats
As the days shorten, we tend to bring our horses indoors more. And when they’re out they just don’t get as much time to frolic in the sun since, as we discussed above, they’re often rugged, and the daylight hours are limited. Reduced exposure to sunlight and vitamin D can impact the appearance of dappling and can contribute to the horse coat appearing dull and dry.
Stabling Horses During Winter
With our horses being indoors more, they can be prone to boredom. That, coupled with standing around in a rug, can make your horse inclined to rub and scratch. Rubbing up against the door or the back wall of a stable, or trying to itch a scratch cause by a surcingle can damage the horse skin and create sores. These then need to be managed and repaired - which can be a real pain, especially in the winter months when it’s wet and damp.
Change in Horses Diet
As the seasons change, often the diet of our horse’s does too. No more access to lush, green grass can take the shine out of their coat and if the hay available to them changes, that can have an impact too.
How To Reduce Skin and Coat Problems For Your Horse
We run through our top tips below to help support your horse during the Winter months.
Be Careful Not to 'Over-Rug' Your Horse
We often over-do it with rugs in the UK and whilst our horses are cosy, sometimes they can get sweaty and itchy underneath them. Lots of straps and fastenings can also cause itchy spots that they tend to rub and rub. Keep in mind that your horse will generate heat as they ferment roughage, so feeding plenty of hay is the best way to keep them warm.
Remove Rugs Daily
Ensure that your horse gets some rug-free time every day, and allow the skin and coat to breathe and have some fresh air circulating around it. If necessary, apply a soothing topical, such as coconut oil to any rubs or rough spots.
Provide boredom busters in the stable
If your horse is stabled for much of the day, it can be helpful to provide them with boredom busters, such as a lick or hanging toy. This will keep them occupied and prevent the boredom rubs that are all too common. This will help to keep the skin and coat in good condition.
Give Your Horse Dietary Support
Increasing healthy fats in your horses diet will help to maintain the skin in good condition and give the coat a lovely glow. Adding a skin and coat supplement can also provide a real boost. Revive ’n' Shine which will keep your horse’s coat and skin looking healthy, glossy and beautiful all year round. It works by supporting skin and coat condition from the inside out, providing the necessary nutrients to ensure healthy skin and strong keratin production. Whether they’re clipped or soggy, rugged or unrugged, in or out, Revive ’n’ Shine will make all the difference.