oils are the key to horse grooming

The “Secret” to Horse Grooming is One Thing – OIL.



  • Thinking back to my angst-filled teenage years, one thing was sure – the oily T-zone on my face was just plain WRONG. Well, fast forward many moons and much science and some advancement in horse grooming…and OIL is now my friend. Like BEST friend. In the broadest terms, “oils” create shine and a conditioned coat. They also make clipping a breeze, help with your horse’s immunity (!!!!!), and repel stains like armor.


Harness the power of oils for epic horse grooming:




  • A horse shines from the inside out. This is part genetics, and part nutrition. There are many, many perks to having a properly balanced diet for your horse. This is such a custom thing that adding an Equine Nutritionist to your horse’s life is affordable and totes beneficial. Anyway… The primary ingredient of a shine-making diet is Omega fatty acids. Perhaps you have heard of these?


  • Many Omega fatty acids are super options for your horse – like flaxseed and rice bran. These are nicely balanced with Omega 6’s and Omega 3’s. Ground flaxseed and rice bran are not really “oils” in that they are tiny flakes of goodness, but you can get them in a liquid oil form if you don’t like the powdered variety. And there’s always fish oil. Besides being the stuff of nightmares, fish oil is actually one of the best oils you can give yourself or your horse. Some horses don’t mind the taste!


  • The point is that certain oils or oil-like things in your horse’s diet help to keep his entire diet balanced, and add in that mega-shine.



hors supplements being put into tub


Your horse’s own oils.


  • So this is where it gets interesting. Your horse’s skin makes a substance, called sebum, which is like a little bit of magic on your horse’s skin. In the skin, which is part of the integumentary system of your horse, is a little gland called the sebaceous gland. It pumps out sebum. You may recall from your own teenage angst that sebum loves to cause pimples. Whatever.


  • Turns out, on your horse, sebum is not as annoying. Sebum is actually part of your horse’s immune system, with amazing properties to protect the skin by providing anti-microbial assistance against wayward bacteria and the like.


  • The absolute bonus of sebum is that it creates MEGA SHINE. Just like a T-zone. And that’s my long way of saying that your horse’s natural oils are awesome.



full body shot of shiny chestnut horse
This is literally his normal. No grooming oils here, just my elbow grease and his own oil brought on by good nutrition.




Elbow oil. Err, elbow grease. It’s the same.


  • Ah, the most accessible and often most ignored factor of horse care and grooming. Just groom your horse. Daily. But don’t just dust the dust off, up your game and spend some amazing massage time with your horse.


  • The more you can curry and brush and massage your horse, the more of his own sebum will be spread around. As you help the sebum cover his hair coat, you bring up the dust and dander. When it’s brushed away, you are left with a seriously reflective horse.



green hands on grooming gloves with some of the nubs showing

Part of good grooming is having good tools. I adore grooming gloves for daily care and bathing.



  • The absolute best part of having a naturally oily horse is that stains are no issue. Of course, the stains that horses love to surprise you with will happen. Manure, grass, urine, mystery dirt, and various and sundry other stains are no match for an oily horse. Sebum and grooming oils protect your horse’s hair shaft from being brittle, thus, stains are superficial and will slide off.


  • I have found that a deep curry, followed by some targeted wiping with a damp cloth with get most stains off. If a stain is particularly tough, add some no-rinse shampoo. Done and done.


  • When in doubt, just curry more. If you are wondering if your horse is oily enough, a quick spritz with water can tell you. Water should bead up on your horse in response to the oil.


Grooming Oils.


  • When I first started my life with horses, our list of grooming supplies was short. A brush, a curry comb, a hoof pick. Science, marketing, and new materials and innovations make grooming your horse easier. I had no idea that grooming oils even existed for the first few decades of my life as a horse person.


  • Turns out, grooming oils can help with two major horse grooming things – conditioning your horse’s coat and adding shine.


  • Some horses just need a little boost to gain that shine and to get rid of brittle coats that soak up stains. Grooming oils help with that. There are tons of horses in the universe that need help with a dry coat, why not help them out.


grooming oil on a horse after clipping

Grooming oils add back shine and conditioning after a clip.



  • The bonus with grooming oils is that your horse will get nice and soft, and clipping your horse will be infinitely easier. Your clipper blades will glide through your horse’s coat, making your clipping job fast and convenient. Your horse will appreciate this!


  • Some grooming oils can also double as highlighters for your horse’s face, if that’s your jam at a horse show. You can also use some of the finer grooming sprays on grooming oils to make quarter marks pop, and hooves shine nicely.


Clipper Oil.


  • There are a few ways to make clipping your horse easy for him, and easy on your clipper blades and clipper motor. Using proper clipper oil on your blades does a few things:


      • Help keep heat at bay.
      • Helps the clipper blades glide over your horse.
      • Helps the clipper motor work effortlessly.
      • Helps to prevent rust from forming on your blades.


  • When you are actively clipping your horse, re-apply oil to your blades about every 5 minutes. If you use a coolant while you are clipping, you still need to use oil after you use the coolant. After you are done clipping, clean your blades and oil them well before you store them away.



close up of clipper blades and clipper oil

Seriously. Use a bunch of clipper oil.



Really, oil is your friend. Happy grooming, and send me a photo of your totally shiny horse!





You can pick up these oils items here! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which is no extra charge to you! I greatly appreciate your support!


HandsOn Gloves on horse_.jpg

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

No. 2 Heavy Oil for really deep conditioning

No. 1 Light Oil for regular conditioning

Spray conditioning for shows and extra shine

Clipper oil!

Thank you!