Our horses’ coats can suffer in the summer months however there are a few things we can do to help keep that fresh spring coat sleek, smooth and shiny!
Coats can fade and bleach out in summer due to exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun.
The pigment Melanin gives skin and hair it's colour. Melanin protects against UV radiation and chemical damage however it can get damaged by the UV light and become oxidised, this turns it into a colourless compound. The sun bleaches and destroys the melanin in the hair making it lighter in colour. Since hair is dead, the hair will stay that colour until the new coat comes in.
The trace minerals Zinc and especially Copper are essential for the production of Melanin. Unfortunately, Zinc and Copper's deficiencies are extremely common in Equine diets and many other minerals compete with them for absorption, for example, most equine diets are very high in Iron which competes for absorption creating a relative deficiency. A clear indication of Copper and Zinc deficiency is a bleached summer coat and red ends on manes and tails.
The salt in sweat can also lead to coat damage by effecting the Keratin, it can lighten the colour of the hair and strip it of oils and moisture. This leads to a dry and brittle coat.
Linseeds can help by providing the horse with an additional source of Omega 3’s. Omega 3’s can be low in summer because they are most commonly found in fresh green pasture and decline with the curing of hay or browning off of the grass.
Get the Trace Mineral balance correct, and your horse should have good natural resistance to sun bleaching. You can also feed some extra omega 3 oils in the form of Lindseeds to help the coat maintain its nice shiny and glossy sheen.
Missy's Bucket is renowned for its impact on improving horse's coats. Including the trace minerals Zinc and Copper, it not only has a great impact on overall health and hoof health but also is fantastic for improving your horse's coat. Find out more.
You may find that your horses coat has already started shedding, this is triggered by the longer daylight hours and marks the start of the long winter coat loss! This process will continue over the next few months and it's important to provide adequate nutritional support during this time to encourage a healthy and shiny new summer coat.