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Ah, Shapley’s M-T-G. There are few things that divide the horse community more than discussing M-T-G. Either you like it, or you don’t. There are loads of stories out there about M-T-G! But the reality is that for some horses, M-T-G is the next best thing to sliced carrots. Using M-T-G is also a case in which reading the instructions can save you a bit of time, give you the best results, and maybe even save your own hands from smelling like delicious bacon. (For all other major life obstacles like putting together furniture, please carry on reading the instructions last.)
Many, many moons ago, M-T-G was developed by a barber to treat human skin and hair conditions. Today, M-T-G is for animals, although there is a human version called Sulu available for those of us that want long, lustrous locks. Horse owners have used M-T-G for dozens of skin reasons, including rain rot, scratches, sweet itch, dandruff, and even thrush. You can also use it to loosen wind knots and remove smegma stains from the insides of your gelding’s legs.
So a few words about M-T-G that will help clarify some of the rumors out there.
-Don’t pick any scabs on your horse! This doesn’t feel good. The M-T-G can work through the scabs to promote healing. When the skin heals the scab will come off on it’s own.
-Use M-T-G at night! Sunlight can intensify the oils in M-T-G and heat up the skin during the day. You can also use a fly sheet during the day to cover any M-T-G areas. (I like fly sheets anyway, they help with all sorts of issues, namely flies.)
-If you are using M-T-G under wraps, know that this may act as a sweat creating heat.
-Use sparingly. A tiny bit goes a long way. Apply to your horse after you have shaken the bottle thoroughly, and use your gloved fingers and not a sprayer.
The mane of a horse with sweet itch. M-T-G can help the hair grow back.
-Wash off any excess with Hi-Shine Shampoo and remove any smells with Easy Out (great for your hands if you are messy like me). While you technically don’t need to wash off M-T-G, you may want to if you have used it to untangle a mane/tail or to remove smegma goop from legs.
-You don’t need to apply it daily! For skin issues, try it daily for a few days. For mane and tail growth, you could use M-T-G a few times a week.
-There’s a new formula called M-T-G Plus, which has an herbal fragrance. And by herbal I mean bacon-y herbal. I believe there may be one or two people on the planet that like the smell, but I can’t prove it.
-One of the “magic” ingredients is oil of cade, derived from a type of juniper tree. Oil of cade has been used for hundreds of years to treat skin issues.
-As with all things horses and all things hair and all things skin, it’s important to do a test patch before you use it to treat a larger area on your horse. (If you ever read the instructions on a home hair coloring kit, it will say the same thing.)
Don’t forget to include your Veterinarian in your horse’s health care plan - even if it’s something that you think you can take care of on your own. Your horse will thank you!
Have you had success with M-T-G? What did you use it for?