Keep the chestnut horse shiny and bright!


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 maybe some products. So we all know the elbow grease routine, currying till the cows come home, waxing on wax off – these all help keep the chestnut horse shiny.


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Stains on a chestnut horse


  • 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 for urine stains. A simple spot remover works wonders, some of the spot removers also have an odor remover and deodorizer. Then carry on with your horse 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 homemade you want, a hay wisp will work 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 a fan of sheen products, as long as they are an addition to your horse’s shine and not a total replacement for proper nutrition and grooming.


chestnut horse after a trace clip

Ah, the pumpkin spiced chestnut.

How’s your horse’s diet and internal health? 


  • A well-balanced diet, which may or may not include supplements, should support skin and coat health.  


  • Ideally delivered via slow feeders, a forage-based diet is the basis for a healthy horse.  Add in Omega fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and biotin to support skin and coat health, if needed. 


  • Internal parasites will steal nutrients and make your horse’s coat dull.  Regular fecal egg counts and targeted deworming remedy this by strategically keeping your horse’s parasite load low. 


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 make sun bleaching less of an issue.


  • You may want to invest in a sunscreen spray, as the ends of the tails and manes can start to be crispy and bleached out. A fly mask can also help keep the forelock its 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 a 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 full body clip instead of a trace clip so there’s no severe fuzzy chestnut to clipped light pumpkin transition.


grooming oil on a horse after clipping


Oil buff your horse


  • We are all fans of multi-tasking, and let’s combine an arm workout with grooming. Using grooming oils to oil buff your horse does a few things – add shine, condition the hair coat, and help your horse be waterproof.  


  • There are MANY ways to use grooming oils on your horse:


    • With a cloth
    • Or a stiff brush
    • In some warm water
    • Or hot water, or cool water – depends on the season
    • As a rinse
    • As a buff

For the complete guide to OIL BUFFING – read this! 


If all else fails, just curry more. Like seriously. Nothing creates bloom more than elbow grease.




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The following links go to my favorite oil buffing options. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, and there is no extra charge to you. Your support means I can float this website to keep bringing you good information and bad jokes. THANKS!


HandsOn Gloves on horse_.jpg

HandsOn Grooming Gloves – also, use code PEG for some free shipping!

You can also snap up a bottle of the grooming oil I love 

EquiTone in Black is great for bays and darker horses.


Whitening EquiTone is good for all colors for shine, and whitening for grays. 


Red EquiTone in brightens chestnuts and blood bays.


Genuine Cactus Cloth – Natural – 18 X 16-1/2 Standard This is much better for stain removal and spreading natural oils around.

The BEST for winter grooming – a hot water kettle!

Handy cloths for all things horse grooming

Larger sponge for bathing and grooming

Thank you!













keep your chestnut shiny