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