The horse is possibly one of the members of the animal kingdom that transmits the most beauty and elegance. Its majestic bearing has made human beings fall in love since time immemorial. There are many different types of breeds, whose morphology may vary slightly from one to another, which implies that each breeder or lover of equines is seduced by a specific variety, each more majestic. What all those involved in the horse world do agree on is that much of the secret of the divinity of this animal resides in its fur: the mane and tail.
A shiny mane and tail are a sign of health, therefore, one of the great concerns is that: How to give them that characteristic shine?
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What is a horse's mane for?
This animal has a mane for one main reason: to scare away insects how much they can bother you. Thus, if you see that your equine moves the mane of the head and neck making sudden movements, surely you need to put some antiparasitic 🙂.
Another possible reason is to have a little more protection during a fight, since their natural predators (felines, canines) usually attack the neck first. The more abundant the coat of the mane, the more chances the equine will have to save itself.
Any self-respecting domestic animal needs daily maintenance and care, and the horse was not going to be less. Among these cares referred to is brushing. Both the mane and the tail and, therefore, the fur of the animal as a whole, must be brushed practically daily, especially if our horse spends several hours outside. In this way, we will eliminate the substances that dirty the hair, such as dust, mud and parasites, and we will allow your skin to breathe correctly while generating its own oils and waxes that add shine.
Many experts also advise frequent baths in which to incorporate special shampoos for the care of the hair of these animals, or, after brushing, spray the animal with silicone spray that serve to give the hair strength and consistency.
All animals produce waxes and fats that help them keep their skins, shells, etc. in perfect condition. These fats are part of the skin structures, giving them rigidity, elasticity, etc., while the oils are the main culprits of shine. Both fats and oils, both lipid substances, are included within the different types of macronutrients that are ingested from the diet. So, if we enrich the horse's diet with these, we will achieve that much desired shine.
The compound feeds that we find in the market are already in charge of providing the horse with the necessary fats and oils, but if we want to enhance it we can add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the feed or forage supplied. Another measure is the application of calcium and phosphorus supplements, as long as it is in a balanced way and with the doses recommended by an expert, otherwise we will obtain the opposite effect since we will promote the appearance of alterations in the animal's organism.
Home remedies to make a horse's mane shine
In this aspect, as in almost all of them, "each teacher has his booklet." We can find endless tricks that people use to maintain and shine the horse's mane and tail. Many of them are totally homemade and handmade.
One of the best known and used, especially by those who prepare their horses for racing competitions or exhibitions, is based on a complex prepared from oils.
This preparation consists of: 10 tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon and a half of flower of sulfur and a tablespoon of cod liver. Both are mixed, and it is applied to the horse's mane by gently brushing once the hair has been washed. Of course, you must keep the horse in a shady place and avoid its exposure to the sun's rays while this concoction dries completely, in order to avoid discoloration or changes in tone in the areas that have been treated.
One of the most popular remedies that not only works for horse hair, but is also used in all types of animals with hair and even in humans, is the mixture of apple cider vinegar and water.
Vinegar, due to its high acid content, has a high pH that contrasts with the low pH found in fats. If our horse has a very oily and oily skin, instead of looking shiny, it will do so under a caked and dirty appearance. Spraying with a not excessive amount of apple cider vinegar in water is the most effective solution against this problem.
Do not worry about the strong smell that accompanies the vinegar, since once the hair has dried, this smell will disappear completely.
Mineral oil preparation
Perhaps, this ointment is one of the most difficult to make due to the variety of its ingredients. However, several breeders claim that it works, and that they also serve to keep insects and parasites such as mosquitoes at bay.
Needed a liter of mineral oil, known in some areas as liquid petroleum jelly, about 8 tablespoons of citronella oil, and about 10 tablespoons of Terebene balsam. It is advisable to apply it only on the mane and tail, and not on other parts of the horse's body.
All these tips will help our horse's coat look healthy, strong and shiny, but they are not the only ones. In the market there are a wide variety of products that can be very useful: sprays, jackets, creams, etc. We can go to any store or professional establishment for advice, and, of course, to a veterinarian.
Although, if we want to avoid applying products, making our own remedies and so on, we must know that a adequate nutrition can alleviate several of the deficiencies that we observe in our horse, including aesthetic ones. However, in this last question hygiene takes on special relevance. Habits like daily brushing or washing are extremely supportive.
It should be noted that on many occasions, we observe that the mane and tail do not look good, something that can also be seen in the rest of the body. That is when we must look further, and contemplate the possibility that we are facing any type of joy or infection, especially if we appreciate that the animal scratches frequently or shows superficial symptoms (wounds, irritations, ...). If this is so, before worrying about the aesthetic plane, we must do it for the healthy one, and go directly to a veterinarian before taking any action ourselves.
How to grow a horse's mane
The horse's mane is one of the most beautiful parts of the animal, but what do you do to make it grow? Well, there are two options:
- Trim the ends of the hair: this is how the hair follicle is stimulated, achieving better growth.
- With biotin: it is a vitamin (H) that in horses is used precisely for the coat in the form of shampoo or powder. You will also find feed that includes this vitamin.
Where to buy horsehair
You can buy horsehair in product stores for these animals.