External shine is a reflection of internal health. So if you want your horse to have a gleaming, glossy coat, you’ll have to start from the inside out.

Quality grooming and care have a significant impact on coat health. But no amount of elbow grease can overcome poor nutrition. Nutritional gaps in the diet will cause the horse’s coat to appear dull and dry.

Underlying health conditions such as gastric ulcers and high parasite loads also decrease nutrient absorption and contribute to coat dullness. Regular veterinary care and appropriate deworming can help your horse feel and look his best.

This article will discuss how to make your horse’s coat shiny with balanced nutrition, regular grooming, and proper health management. Keep reading to learn more about the most important nutrients for coat health and grooming tips for a stunning shine.

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Feeding for a Shiny Coat

A shiny, healthy coat starts with a balanced diet. Many nutrients directly impact the shine and health of your horse’s coat. These nutrients must be included in the diet at sufficient levels to keep your horse’s hair and skin healthy.

High-Quality Forage

Forage should be the foundation of every horse’s diet. High-quality forage is a good source of energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals required for a shiny coat. [1]

Large populations of beneficial microbes digest forage and other fibrous feed in the equine hindgut. Grains and other high-starch feeds can disturb microbiota populations, hindering digestive function. [2]

Feeding a forage-based diet nourishes hindgut bacteria and supports healthy digestion, ensuring horses get the nutrients needed to support coat health. [2]

Balance Diet

Horses need more than just forage in their diet. Horses on a hay-only diet will have nutritional gaps that must be addressed with a ration balancer or vitamin and mineral supplement to prevent nutritional deficiencies.

Deficiencies in certain amino acids, vitamins, and minerals can cause coat and skin problems in horses. [3] Often, one of the first signs of an imbalanced diet is a dull coat.

Mineral ratios are also important in the equine diet, as too much or too little of certain minerals can interfere with the absorption and utilization of others. [4]

An equine nutritionist can help you formulate a balanced diet for your horse based on the nutritional value of your hay, as well as any unique dietary needs. After balancing the overall diet, supplementation with targeted ingredients can provide additional support for coat health.

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Fats and Oils

Horses with diets that don’t provide enough essential fatty acids often struggle with poor hair quality and skin health. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids must come from dietary sources because horses can’t synthesize these nutrients in their body. [5]

Adding healthy fats from liquid oils or oilseeds can improve coat shine. These fats support the production of natural skin oils that enhance coat texture and gloss. Research suggests increasing the ratio of dietary omega-3 to omega-6 also improves coat scores. [6]

Studies show that horses with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood have sh