Your Horse's Coat: How To Properly Brush and Take Care of It

Knowing how to clean your horse’s coat properly is very important. We’ll show you some tricks to increase its shine and, at the same time, strengthen the bond with your animal.
Your Horse's Coat: How To Properly Brush and Take Care of It
Francisco María García

Written and verified by the lawyer Francisco María García.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Horses are animals that are valued for their beauty and elegance; their majestic form has seduced human beings for millennia. They are elegant creatures whose beauty and form is enchanting. However, an important aspect of looking after them is knowing how to take care of your horse’s coat.

The fact is that a great part of the appeal of these horses is in their coat; shiny hair means a healthy and happy horse. Here are some recommendations to keep it that way.


Cleaning is fundamental in keeping your horse’s coat in perfect condition, although you should take care not to bathe it too often. In fact, vets recommend keeping the number of baths to a minimum, since too much soap or shampoo can dry it out. Three baths a year should be enough, depending on the climate.

The first thing to do is to remove all traces of mud and dirt with a glove. Then, with the help of a hose, wet the animal, starting from the legs. Warm water is best. Then apply a special horse shampoo using the glove or your bare hand, and rub until it gets foamy.

You should wash the horse’s whole body carefully, including its tail and mane; you’ll have to rinse several times until all traces of shampoo are gone. Once you’ve finished washing it, the animal should be towel dried. Finally, cover it with a sheet until it dries completely.


You should brush your horse’s coat, including its mane and tail, every day if possible. This will remove dust and mud, as well as dead cells and parasites. The skin will be able to sweat better, which generates the natural oils that give it that characteristic shine.

Brushing as part of a horse's coat care.

Brushing your horse requires time and dedication, and it’s also a great opportunity to form an emotional bond with the animal. Use a rubber scraper or a brush and make circular movements; we’d recommend starting from the neck and continuing down the body, without forgetting the lower abdomen.

Do this after a ride, or when the horse has finished working. Its body will be warm from sweat and its pores open, which makes it easier to get the dirt off.

When brushing, watch the horse’s reaction to make sure you’re not pressing too hard. If they stay still, it’s because the pressure is right; if it’s not, they may get nervous and start kicking.


Another important factor in keeping your horse’s coat healthy and shiny is its nutrition. A balanced diet with all the necessary vitamins and minerals to help the coat grow is essential.

Two horses feeding.

Grass feeding is ideal. Not only is it economical, but it provides just the vitamins and minerals your horse needs. The grass should be good quality, and making sure they have lots of water to drink is also fundamental.

The natural oils the animal produces are responsible for the shine of its coat. These substances are found in the micronutrients they ingest through their feed. To achieve extra shine, you can enrich the horse’s diet with more of these micronutrients.

The concentrates sold on the market contain fats and oils that aid with hair health. To enhance their effect, add a spoonful of vegetable oil to your horse’s feed.

Homemade treatments to help your horse’s coat shine

There are many homemade preparations that can be used to make the horse’s coat shinier. One of the best-known is a complex preparation of oils that’s applied to the mane: it contains olive oil, flower of sulfur, and cod liver oil.

Another popular application is apple vinegar. Mix some with water and spray it on the horse’s coat. The high acid content of the vinegar contrasts with the low pH of the hair’s grease; applying this homemade preparation to your horse’s coat will get rid of excess grease and leave it nice and shiny.

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The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.