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When you think of a beautiful horse, many characteristics come to mind. Excellent conformation, long necks, a kind eye, and a gorgeous coat color. However the crowning glories of any horse have always been a luxurious mane and tail. Unfortunately, some horses just seem to have been at the back of the line when the "good hair" genes were being passed out. Certain breeds, such as the Appaloosa, were bred specifically to have sparse hair so they can be ridden through thick undergrowth which catches and tears longer locks. Thankfully, modern equine nutrition has provided many solutions for those of us who own equines that are less than blessed when it comes to mane and coat vibrancy.

When taking proper care of a mane or tail, it is important to remember hair growth requires a firm foundation in nutrition in order to maximize its potential. This is why supplements come in especially handy to a horse owner on a hair-growth mission.

Do you know that your horse’s hair is similar in make up to its hooves? Both the hooves and hair of a horse are made out of a material called keratin, a flexible, yet very tough material that we have in our own bodies. Our own hair and fingernails are made from keratin! For this reason, one of the most important nutrients to consider is Biotin. Biotin is well-known for its potential in keeping hooves healthy and strong, and since hooves and hair are made of the same biological material, adding this supplement to your horse's diet can greatly improve the strength of the hair being grown. The number-one enemy of a great mane and tail is breakage, so strong hair is extremely important. 

Fatty acids are also integral to hair strength and growth. Since most equines only get Omega 3 fatty acids from pasture or forage, it is often lacking in most animals' diets. Flax, or linseed, is a great supplement for providing your horses with their daily supply of Omega 3's. It can be found in powder form, whole, or even baked into special horse treats if you happen to own a very finicky animal. Flax has a whole range of benefits aside from just hair growth; it is known for aiding digestion, boosting immune systems, and even helping to reduce the chance of laminitis.

Finally, there are a whole range of herbal supplements that can put the gleam into your horse's locks. Paprika, black oil sunflower seed, sea kelp, and many other herbal supplements can help put the final shine and polish on a well-kept mane and tail. Nothing beats good nutrition, so always ensure that your horse is getting adequate feed and plenty of roughage. 

As with every other part of your equine care, please consult with your veterinarian.



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