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How do you use grooming spray?

I recently invested in some quality grooming product to condition my horse’s coat (HSE Hot Oil). He already has a lovely coat from good feed, but I wanted something extra to protect him from rubs, dryness and nicks. I can use it as a rinse, diluted in water, which is great for after baths, and I’ve also mixed some with water and put it in a spray bottle as a daily grooming spray.

My question is, when in the grooming process do you use a spray like this? At first I was using it before riding, but then I thought it might get sweated off so now I use it last thing. And should I spray it on and curry comb it in, or finish brushing and then spray as a last step? Plus I’m having trouble getting even coverage, should I spray it directly onto his coat, onto my body brush, onto a rag??

I am probably over thinking this but it was pretty $$ and I want to make sure I’m using it in the most effective way!

Never. A good coat comes from great nutrition and fitness, period. It does not come from something you apply to the outside of the horse.

Hell, a good coat doesn’t even need to be groomed to be fantastic. It should be groomed so you’re regularly checking for any irregularities and making sure there are no mud clumps under tack areas, but if a horse is fed exceptionally well and is fit, knocking the dirt off with appropriate tools or hosing off before shows/events will make the horse gleam.

My exceptions to product are a boatload of tail spray after washing to keep it untangled and a minimal amount of tail spray on the withers half of the mane (as opposed to the ears half of the mane) where hoods/blankets tend to grab and pull mane hairs.


I use Vetrolin shine especially in the winter. I like to curry and brush off, then spray, brush the mane and tail, then use a dandy brush again to get the dust off that has risen. I like to do it before I ride because I find it keeps the dirt from the arena off and it doesn’t sweat off, but my guys don’t sweat that hard really. They are pretty fit and hairless lol

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My horse is super shiny in the summer, even on a field under the mud and dust. She doesn’t get dander in winter, except maybe briefly when she is shedding mid spring. Her winter hair is fairly waterproof, she is usually dry at the skin even out on a field. Our secret weapon is feeding a cup of flax every day. The effects seem to last when she’s on a field for a couple of months with only good grass to eat.

So I’ve never even considered using a grooming product on her body. She gets a lot of warm water baths in summer because she really likes them but I very rarely use shampoo on her.

I do like Cowboy Magic on manes and tails. I’m caretaking another horse with a very thick mane and tail that we are cultivating as it’s a breed characteristic. She will tangle, though not quickly. I like to go in and finger comb her mane and tail with Cowboy Magic every couple of months. I don’t brush her mane and tail daily. I also don’t bother braiding it up or anything, I think that stresses the hair and potentially makes them itchier.

Anyhow, I don’t really know why one would use a daily body grooming product so not sure how to use it.

I do use a conditioner on mane and tail if I wash with shampoo or soap (especially when I needed loads of Original Blue Dawn dish soap to deal with a grey mare with persistent diarrhea).

But I should add I live in a very damp humid climate. It might be very different in a dry cold climate especially with a clipped horse. If it’s to save his hair from rubs, maybe figure out where the worst rub threat is. From reins or your calves or spurs? Or from his blanket? That would determine whether you applied it before or after riding.

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I use Shapleys Light Oil in the winter when my mares’ clipped coats get dry and sad. Yes, they have excellent nutrition and are normally very shiny. But clipping and blanketing just dries them out and the light oil puts a little protection back on their skin. I usually spray it on a rag and wipe it on.


Perhaps climate plays a role? Land of the damp cold here :expressionless: I’ve done full body clips and blankets for 30 years and never had a problem with clipped coats getting dry.

I use the Healthy Hair Care moisturizer diluted with water into a spray on the whole body, then go over with a soft/finishing brush. I spray it after currying/body brushing, but before picking out the tail, booting, tacking up etc so it has time to settle in before I ride. I spray and brush again as my last step after riding before turning back out/putting back in the stall. (I own a clipped, thin-skinned TB in a harsh winter climate. Despite excellent nutrition and a shiny coat, applying this product is the silver bullet for preventing any and all rubs!)

@Jealoushe - so you find that the spray does bring dirt to the surface, and stops arena dust? That’s encouraging, I felt like the stuff I’m using did too but I was hoping it wasn’t wishful thinging!
@sascha yes it is very dry where I am :slight_smile:

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I use Microtek spray for fungus rain rot etc before currying. It smells fantastic and keeps grimy gross coat stuff from starting. It knocks down the dust too. After riding I use Zephyrs Garden version of sore no more/liniment spray. I spray the shoulders, back, SI area and curry however my horse prefers the most. Usually they really relax during this.

Hair is dead. So, you can make it look shiny but it doesn’t really do anything to the hair itself. It might make it slippery, which can be useful for detangling tails, or preventing rubs from blankets. But it’s not really doing anything to the hair itself.

For humans, conditioner is more useful for styling and to keep it from breaking when styling. Same for dog grooming. It doesn’t actually make the coat healthier but it looks “better” in a dog show ring.

So - if your horse gets rubs; some spray might help. Or before going into the show ring. If you’re not routinely bathing the horse, though, I would be careful with spraying often. It will just build up and can attract dirt which will make your horse look less shiny, not more.


I use Healthy Haircare almost daily, sort of. I find it separates in the spray bottle and sits on top of the water and I don’t shake it up except…

I curry, then spray part of the horse with the unshaken mix and brush. How much of the horse I spray depends on how cold and dry it is as I don’t want it to dry before I get the brush there. The spray knocks out the static so I can get the dust out of the horse’s coat. I use a big metal currycomb to get the dust off the brush as I’m grooming.

After I ride I curry or brush out the sweat patches after they dry, spray lightly with the shaken mix, and brush it into the coat with a soft brush. This cuts down on static created between blanket and haircoat. Sometimes I have to do this spray before riding (and I don’t spray the saddle area) because the spray will freeze in the sprayer head by the time I’m done riding.

It gets very cold and dry here.

what’s the diet? Adding flaxseed, or some high Omega 3 oil to the diet should help the skin. Make sure there’s enough vitamin E too - around 2IU/lb body weight

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Yep! My big dark bay mare was always looking dusty, no matter how much I groomed. Now I have been going back to using the Vetrolin with every grooming and no more dust!!

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It depends on the horse. In my experience most horses can get a nice shiny coat after clipping, but some just don’t. And duns are notorious for not having the “shiny” gene, so they can be even worse. I’m lucky enough to have a dun with an almost metallic shine most of the year, but once he gets hit with those clippers all bets are off!

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Nothing brings up a shine like elbow grease.


Various vets over the last 7 years, “You must spend hours grooming. That coat is amazing.”

Me, “No, she hates being groomed.”


Me, “For real. I accidentally learned years ago that feed and fitness are the best grooming tools.”


I agree that a good coat comes from the inside out, and have never been one to use a lot of sprays and such…

…but then I started using EQyss products and whoa! I used the MicroTek shampoo and spray because my appaloosa tends to get funky, itchy skin crud in the summer and it really seems to help that. Then I got the Marigold spray to use for moisturizing his coat and being an alternative fly spray when I wanted to give him a break from my main fly sprays (and holy…the Marigold spray smells soooooooo good!) I had the Premier shampoo to wash his mane and tail and non-itchy parts in the summer and noticed how nice it made his coat look. So when the weather started turning cool and the summer itchy/scabby skin stuff going away as well as the flies, I decided to try the Premier Rehydrant spray half expecting not to be that impressed but I thought at least for his mane and tail it might be nice. I don’t necessarily put it on him daily, because I don’t groom him every day, but on the days I do groom, I usually give him a spritz or like today, spray my soft body brush with it and brush him all over as my final “polish” before putting on his blanket. Every now and then I pet him and forget about that spray and I’m shocked at how stinking SOFT his coat is. It’s like bunny fur! LOL!

Anyway, it’s supposed to be good stuff, the EQyss. It’s pricey, so I try to use it sparingly (except the MicroTek in the summer, I burn through a lot of that stuff). I don’t think it’s necessarily making his coat any shinier than it would be (it’s pretty shiny because of good nutrition and frequent grooming), but it definitely makes it soft. No silicone in it either, which is nice. He’s not slippery, he’s…soft.

Sorry for the EQyss commercial. When I find something that I’m impressed with, I tend to go on and on.

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I use Healthy Hair Care moisturizer every time I groom (so, almost daily), year round. I spray it on lightly after currying and brushing and before I finish the horse off with a rub rag. I find it cuts down on static in the winter and helps lift dust remnants out of the hair. It also seems to help a bit in repelling stains on my very light palomino.

Flax to supplement otherwise good nutrition can help a great deal with shine!

I also use Healthy Hair Care moisturizer, though not daily. Probably twice a week or so. Keeps the coat extra soft and does add some shine without making them slick. It also helps cut down on static when it’s super cold out.

That said, I have been using Vetrolin Shine on my guy over the last month or so, as he’s been on partial stall rest and is therefore more likely to lay in his poop. He was getting these embedded poo stains that took a bath to remove and were just gross to brush out. The silicone in the Vetrolin keeps everything from absorbing into his coat, and stains brush out easily with a tiger tongue.

The bonus is that it does add shine. He already has a naturally shiny coat (combination of good nutrition and a coat color that’s just very reflective), and now he’s like blindingly shiny, to the point where people in the barn keep commenting on it, ha.

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A little update - my horse has been in a mesh rug for the past couple of weeks and we have an upcoming show, so my plan was to wash him this weekend. After having a good look at him though I’ve decided to rinse him with the diluted grooming oil and just shampoo his main, tail, face and legs. He really is cleaner than I expected and it’s thanks to the grooming spray!

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