Horse Spa Tips for a Sparkling Show Season

Ready. Shed. Go! Spring has finally arrived and if your horse has enjoyed some winter down time from riding and training, it’s time to beautify your horse with some much needed spa time. Rough winter coats are shedding out, muddy legs and stained tails need attention, and as the temperatures rise, bathing becomes an option again. Here are a few tips on how to select the best spa products to ensure the result of your industrious effort pays off with a sparkling horse. While the skin of the horse is a reflection of inner health that can only be optimized with proper nutrition, there are lots of great spa products that can improve the health of the horse’s skin and coat.

Before bathing, groom your horse to remove as much loose hair and dirt as possible using a rubber curry comb, wire infused or union fiber mud brush. As you work around your horse look for any cuts, scrapes or wounds that may need treatment and check for flaky skin or any skin conditions.

Select pH Balanced Shampoo or Washes

Horses have a different skin pH than humans, and to avoid shampoo drying out the horse’s skin it is important that you select a product that is matched to an optimal pH of 7.0 – 7.4. Human shampoos are more acidic in nature and will therefore dry the skin and can lead to skin irritations. When you bath your horse you want to add moisture to its coat, not take it away. While properly formulated horse shampoos may cost more than their cheaper counterparts, they will always do a better job.

Shampoos that have added provitamins such as B5 will penetrate the hair shaft and add moisture and make the hair appear thicker. Hydrated hair is also less prone to breakage. Glycerin is another valuable component of a well-engineered shampoo product, as it will condition the coat and add shine. Cavalor® Equi Wash fulfils all these needs, is easy to wash out, and avoids leaving any residue on the horse’s skin.

If your horse has any skin conditions or exhibits a flaky or dull coat, use a hygienic shampoo. This doesn’t mean you should reach for an iodine or bleach-based product, as both will dry the skin and deplete moisture. Chlorhexidine is a preferred ingredient for disinfecting the horse’s skin and coat, as it not only avoids drying the skin and coat, it also has a broader and longer effect. As certain soaps and colorants can reduce the benefit of Chlorhexidine, you want to find a properly formulated product that is scientifically balanced to avoid the interaction of soap and the disinfectant.

Equine body washes that are well-formulated will be obvious as they simply won’t foam as much as regular shampoos. Cavalor® Derma Wash provides horse owners with results that count, and as an added bonus it can be used to disinfect blankets, wraps, saddle pads, brushes and tack.

For Minor Wounds or Skin Abrasions

For topical wound treatment, Cavalor® Lurax will provide a cooling and soothing effect on sunburn or minor abrasions and encourages hair growth. The combination of essential oils that include cod-liver oil, zinc oxide, vitamins A and D, plant extracts such as Indian Frankincense and Aloe Vera aid in hair regrowth and improve healing times.

Stain Removal Needs Special Care

For grey or light colored horses, the manure, urine or grass stains can be difficult to clean thoroughly. Concoctions of laundry detergents and bleach products are commonly promoted in the horse care industry for stain removal. When you use a purple or blue pigmented shampoo the yellow shades of the stains may seem to disappear, but the hair is not necessarily clean and the action of bleach based products will make the hair dry and brittle.

For a deep clean that will remove the stain you will need a highly concentrated shampoo product that is also pH balanced to not irritate or dry the horse’s skin or coat such as Cavalor® Bianco Wash.

How to Keep Your Clean Horse Clean

Immediately after you have finished bathing your horse, it is helpful to apply a conditioner and detangler to maintain the beautiful appearance you have worked so hard to achieve. A spray with multiple benefits, not just conditioning and detangling, but also one that adds shine will probably contain silicone. Products that omit silicone simply don’t do as good a job at detangling and coating the hair. Not all silicones are created equal, and some are more damaging and drying to the horse’s skin and coat than others.

For healthiest results use a product that is made from organic silicone rather than inorganic silicone. While organic silicones are more expensive than their inorganic counterparts, the use of these higher quality silicones significantly reduces their drying effect and the hair will still be protected from breakage, tangling and staining. Cavalor® Star Shine combines the highest quality ingredients with the optimal neutral pH in a scientific manner, and as a result the shine of the coat and the overall skin and hair health of the horse is far superior than when lesser quality silicones are used.

As silicone-based products do provide a gloss and shine to the coat, don’t use them under the saddle area as this could cause saddle slippage.

For turnout use a light sheet on your horse. It will not only protect your horse from UV light damage to the coat, and from pesky flies and bugs, it will also provide a barrier to dust and dirt. Manes and tails may be braided to help keep them clean.

For more information on the full range of horse care products available from Cavalor® please visit

 KINDLY NOTE: This article is available for use in its entirety without edit or excerpt, in any media format on condition that credit is given to author Nikki Alvin-Smith (at the beginning of the article) and Cavalor North America, and that the URL for Nikki Alvin-Smith and Cavalor North America URL address is included. Author would much appreciate notification of any use or publication. Please contact author for photos to accompany the article.

This article is brought to you courtesy of Cavalor North America, Dalton, GA– Kindly visit their website at to learn more. Dealer inquiries are welcomed.

About Cavalor® North America, Dalton, GA: Cavalor is a global brand that can justifiably be called the world leader in equine nutrition for high-performance horses. Cavalor® products are available in more than 50 countries worldwide and are used by champion riders. Cavalor® offers a complete line of horse feed, supplements and care products.

The company's values are: Innovation - Quality - Results. They dedicate themselves to inventing, manufacturing and distributing the best quality and most effective equine nutrition products in the world for the health, performance and happiness of all horses, from a foal’s first steps to retirement.

Please visit to learn more about their top quality line of products used by advanced riders for their high performance horses, ‘when the result counts.’

Cavalor North America
Kelsey Sullivan
Tel: 908-370-1367

Photos are available on request.

About Nikki Alvin-Smith: Internationally published freelance writer in such world renowned publications such as The Chronicle of the Horse, Horse and Hound, Dressage and CT, Warmbloods Today, The Horseman’s Yankee Pedlar, Reiter, The Equine Journal, Spur, Hoofprints, Horsin’ Around, Horses All, Field & Stream, Western Horse and Gun, Pony Quarterly, Horses All Canada, Catskill Horse to name a few. Ghostwriting, blog services, PR/Marketing copy either direct with manufacturer or for agencies, copy editing and editor services also available. Nikki also produces catalog copy, white papers, e-books, corporate brochures and advertising copy for international corporations and PR/Marketing for celebrities.

As a Brit who has called the America home for the past 34 years, Nikki brings a unique perspective to the equestrian world. Nikki is also an accomplished Grand Prix dressage trainer/competitor, competing at international Grand Prix level to scores over 72% and is a highly sought clinician offering clinics worldwide. She has been a horse breeder/importer of warmblood and Baroque breeds for more than 25 years. Together with her husband Paul who is also a Grand Prix trainer, they run a private dressage breeding operation and training yard in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York.

Please visit to learn more about her affordable services.

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