What is Horse Dry Skin?
As horses and ponies get older, they require higher nutrition and can become less tolerant to deficiencies in the diet than younger horses. The skin is usually the first organ to reflect strain, or a lack of nutrients. It can become dry and not produce enough grease on the surface of the skin (the horse body’s natural way of lubricating hair follicles and keeping the skin moisturized).
What Causes Horse Dry Skin?
Dry skin and a dull coat in horses may be related to other skin conditions and diseases such as mange, allergies, eczema and dandruff.
Help for Horse Dry Skin
Treatment for dry skin may include supplementing feeds, or topically applying medicated lotions. Keep in mind that medicated lotions may not be the solution and can actually cause further discomfort (stinging) or may only make sensitive skin worse. Never apply human topical creams to your horse’s skin without consulting with your vet first.
There are many natural herbal and homeopathic remedies that can help to promote healthy skin. Borage is a well-known herb high in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This herb has been studied for its supportive effects on the skin.
Horsetail has also been approved as an aid to wound healing by the German Commission E expert panel, while herbs such as Dandelion, Rosemary and Kelp can help to strengthen the immune system while nourishing the skin from the inside out. Spirulina is a rich source of nutrients, containing up to 70% protein, B-complex vitamins, phycocyanin, chlorophyll, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and numerous minerals.