Grooming From The Inside Out

By Cynthia McFarland

Bloom. It’s the unmistakable glow of good health that makes a horse look his best, no matter the season. We tend to think of horses with short, slick coats when discussing “bloom,” but even a horse with a thick coat can have a natural shine. It all starts from within.

Regular grooming encourages the natural oils in your horse’s skin to spread over the hair coat. Those oils help the hair to lay flat and shield it from moisture. This causes that shine we all love to see. But if you want to maintain that radiance, it has to be more than skin-deep. No matter how much “elbow grease” you put into grooming your horse, he needs a complete, balanced diet with the right nutrients in order to have a velvety soft coat, well-hydrated skin and a healthy mane and tail.

shiny horse with mane blowing

“When you see a horse with a glowing coat, you can usually assume that horse is healthy overall,” notes Richard G. Godbee, Ph.D., PAS, Dipl. ACAS. Godbee is the Nutrition Director in the department of Nutrition Research and Development for Farnam, Vita-Flex, and Horse Health. He’s also one of the expert nutritionists behind Farnam’s new Laser Sheen® Skin & Coat Supplement.

The Laser Sheen name will sound familiar to many horse owners, as it belongs to Farnam’s line of topical coat products. Farnam’s new Laser Sheen® Skin & Coat Supplement is designed to work hand in hand with the popular topical Laser Sheen® products, but it’s about far more than just adding shine. Think of it as “grooming from the inside out.”

“There wasn’t anything like it on the market. There are some good products on the market that furnish essential fatty acids that will impact the bloom a horse has, but there weren’t any that not only help with bloom, but also support skin hydration and moisture retention,” says Godbee, of Laser Sheen® Skin & Coat Supplement, which was just released this July after being in development and testing for over two years.

“This supplement contains prebiotics to support proper digestion, so the horse’s body can make the most of each ingredient. This is important because gut health is tied to the immune system,” he adds. “Laser Sheen® Skin & Coat Supplement is not only a superior coat product, but it also supports digestion, hair and skin condition.”

If you compete, you’re well aware of the importance of a great first impression. You want your horse’s coat to be dazzling, his mane and tail luxurious. But what about those who never plan to enter the show ring?

Laser Sheen® Skin & Coat Supplement works well beyond the hair coat. Your horse’s skin is actually his largest organ, helping to regulate body temperature, produce vitamin D and protect his body. It only makes sense to feed a product containing nutrients that specifically support skin health. This is especially important if your horse is undergoing heavy training and/or competition, resulting in frequent bathing.

Whenever you bathe your horse using shampoo to remove dirt and sweat, you also wash away some of the coat’s natural oils. While topical coat conditioners can help restore those, the best method is to replenish them from the inside out with nutrients that directly affect overall skin and coat health.

Your horse’s skin is his largest organ, helping to regulate body temperature, produce vitamin D and protect his body.

As Godbee relates, each nutrient in Farnam’s new supplement was carefully chosen and backed by research. “There’s a reason for every ingredient on the label; they’re not just for window dressing,” he says.

Among these ingredients are ceramides. You may have noticed them on the label of expensive human skin care products. That’s because these fatty acids help form a protective layer to minimize water loss, resulting in well-hydrated skin and, in horses, a velvety soft coat. Another vital ingredient is lecithin, which supplies phospholipids that aid in retaining moisture.

All Farnam® nutritional supplements go through a rigorous testing phase that includes stability testing. This assures the consumer that the nutrient content is the same in every batch and that efficacy isn’t lost over time.

Laser Sheen® Skin & Coat Supplement is easy to use, and the amount can be adjusted depending on your horse’s size. The unique form of extruded pellets means less waste. The nuggets aren’t as dense as typical pellets and are extremely palatable. Just top-dress your horse’s feed. Two ounces a day are recommended if you’re preparing your horse for show or sale. Once the coat is looking good, you can maintain it with just one ounce per day. Best results will be obtained by feeding it year-round.

“Depending on the time of year, your horse’s current coat condition and total dietary intake, you may see a change in as few as two weeks, or up to 30 days,” says Godbee. “Even if you start using the supplement during the winter, you should see a ‘shine’ on a winter coat.”

Just remember that a supplement is designed to do just that: supplement the basics that should already be in place.

“You can’t just add a coat supplement and expect to have your horse look great. You feed skin and hair by properly feeding the horse,” explains Godbee. “A horse won’t have a consistently shiny coat unless he has proper nutrition; that’s the only way to get true bloom. It starts from the inside and works outward. You must feed a good-quality, balanced diet.”

Farnam and Laser Sheen are registered trademarks of Farnam Companies, Inc.

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