Ask A Pro Samantha Burton Henley Q3: Protecting a Shiny Coat and Hooves

We asked Sam, how she protects her horse's shiny coats and hoof health when she opts to keep them turned out as much as possible.

Samantha Burton Henley is a master groom and riding instructor who leaves her horses out 24/7 rather than keeping them inside when powerful sun rays are shining and the bugs are buzzing. She also opts to skip fly sheets and hoods that another popular option among trainers.

Even though each horse has access to a run-in, they all choose to stand outside during the hottest, brightest hours of the day. She doesn’t stress about the bright sun rays or pesky bugs from ruining her horses’ silky coats. Thanks to a combination of powerful horse grooming hair care products her horse’s never lose a sleek, silky shine. Here are her favorites and her routine for using them.

How do you keep your horse’s coat from fading?

Her first line of defense is UltraShield® EX, UltraShield® Red, and Ultrashield® Green fly sprays. Each fly repellent formulation includes non-greasy ingredients that help protect the horse’s coat in addition to battling bugs. By keeping bugs at bay she doesn’t have to worry about unsightly bumps or welts on her horse’s coats. And, she rotates between the three products to avoid insect resistance.

Check out the full fly care line here.

“It’s insane the amount of ticks and horrible bites our horses had,” she said. “As soon as we started alternating it has been amazing how much better our school horses look this year. And we don’t have any superbugs.”

For added protection, Santa Fe is a spray-on horse coat conditioner that also includes sunscreen. The conditioner contains silk proteins to revitalize the coat, mane, and tail. Best of all, its non-slip formulation makes it safe for the entire body.

How do you keep moisture in your horse’s hooves?

Shiny, silky coats are the attention grabbers and that means hooves often get overlooked. Depending on the season, how hot and dry it is, Samantha keeps Hooflex® Therapeutic Conditioner, and Hooflex® All Natural Dressing And Conditioner, on-hand for application as soon as the horse’s feet get too dry.

“People don’t’ start paying attention until their horse is throwing his shoes from stomping his feet all day long,” she said. “Usually, we don’t start applying until August but it has been a dry year so we’re not waiting.”

Check out the full line of hoof care here.

For a polished look, she applies a coat of SuperShine® Hoof Polish & Sealer Clear before entering the show pen. The quick-drying formula provides a super high-gloss finish and the polish rubs off naturally in about a week.

What else can be done for coat health?

Good grooming is the key to maximizing the effects of any grooming product. Samantha cautions against getting in too much of a rush in currying a horse’s coat. Sweat can increase sun bleaching. Bathing horse too frequently can be counterproductive but a hosing off removes the buildup.

Remember, the inside of the horse is as important to creating that shine as grooming and conditioning the outside. Work with a veterinarian to ensure your horse is getting the proper nutrition and supplements to support your efforts.

To check out other helpful tips from Samantha, check them out here

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