How can I make my chestnut horse stand out like a new penny- during the summer and the winter?
The beauty of a chestnut horse is the reddish copper color that you can bring out in their coat. But how? Of course it starts with a balanced diet - then lots of grooming and then add some products. So we all know the routine of elbow grease, currying till the cows come home, wax on wax off. But chestnut horses have special needs - and not just because of their reputation.
Urine and manure stains are a problem with chestnuts, not as much as with a gray, but you might see stains persist if your horse is very specific in his pooping/urinating/sleeping habits. Look for crusty hair, and use your nose to sniff around for urine stains. A simple spot remover works wonders, some of the spot removers also have an odor remover. Then carry on with your grooming session as normal, you know when you buff your upper body into shape.
Finish your grooming session with some sort of shine making tool. Depending on how home made you want to be, a hay wisp will work just fine. If store bought is more your cup of tea, think cactus cloth, finishing brush, or sheepskin mitt. This adds another layer of shine. I’m definitely a fan of sheen products, also, just as long as they are an addition to your horse’s shine and not a total replacement for proper nutrition and grooming.
Ah, the pumpkin spiced chestnut.
Also watch out for sun bleaching on your chestnut horse. While not usually as prevalent as the dark bays and blacks, a chestnut horse can decide to be more palomino. Thorough grooming, sweat removal, fly sheets and shade all make the sun bleaching less of an issue. You may want to invest in a sunscreen spray, as the ends of tails and manes can start to be crispy and bleached out. A fly mask can also help with keeping the forelock it’s intended color.
Body clipping also has a definite effect on the chestnut horse. The glow of the coppery chestnut is replaced with… a dull pumpkin color. Super. Never fear - grooming oils to the rescue! Use grooming oils on a scrubbed clean horse before clipping to make the clippers zip through.
After clipping, use the grooming oil to restore shine. You may want to bathe in a few days with a color restoring shampoo, too. Just as effective as regular shampoos, but with added shine and color pigments to let your chestnut be bright. Be sure to allow two weeks or so before a show/clinic/big event for the pumpkin color to recede a bit. If you are showing, consider a fully body clip instead of a trace clip so there’s not a severe fuzzy chestnut to clipped light pumpkin transition.
If all else fails, just curry more. Like seriously. Nothing creates bloom more than manual labor.