Shiny horses are gorgeous horses – How to create crazy, wicked shine on your horse.


  • I receive a lot of questions about shine – and what is the best way and the best product to use to get it. I have the answer: elbow grease, a lot of it, and sometimes a little help with a wisp or tea towel, THEN add product for the finishing touch.


  • Don’t get me wrong here – I love products, too! They are designed to make your life easier and more efficient. Sometimes, though, it’s good to go “old school”.




Stallions are just naturally shinier – their hormones create more sebum on their skin, which is the natural oil that creates amazing shine on


Nothing can replace your horse’s natural oils that he makes himself.


  • Too much water, too much shampoo, too much product, poor diet, and no elbow grease = dull coat and flaky skin. You can help your pony along with lots of curry comb action, massage, a super diet with well-balanced supplements, and sometimes even a wisp or towel if you are so inclined!


  • Your Equine Nutritionist can help you with creating the best possible diet for your horse. You want to be sure to have appropriate omega fatty acids in there – which means NO CORN OIL. Instead, use omega fatty acids that help your horse keep balanced in his nutritional needs.


For now, let’s concentrate on the elbow grease.


  • A hay wisp is an almost forgotten art of weaving damp hay into a handheld wisp to be brushed and rubbed along the coat for mega shine. A tea towel is the next best thing to create shine, then perhaps a super short and tightly bound natural hair brush, like a finishing brush. Also look for products designed to create shine, these double up as stain guards and can help future stains slide right off.



The hay wisp. Yes, you make it yourself from hay.


The modern-day alternative to a hay wisp is the cactus cloth. More on this little grooming gem here.


For those of you interested in making a wisp, here are some instructions:


  • Create a 1/2 inch rope from dampened and soft hay. Long stem hay is best, as is damp hay. You may want to dunk it, spritz it, or shower it.


  • Twist the hay until you have about 6 feet of it.


  • Then, create 2 loops at one end of the rope, one loop slightly larger. So you end up with 2 loops and 1 rope, braid them all together.


  • Ta-dah!! Wisp.


  • When you are done braiding, you can dampen the wisp and even step on it. It should be firm and small enough to hold in one hand.


  • You can also think of it like this: use the rope length to weave in and out of the 2 loops you have.




A good example of crazy, wicked shine.


  • Use the wisp by brushing with the lay of the coat to a shiny finish. If you are anything like me in the “following directions and questionable end results” category, you will make a lot of these before you figure it out.




Top off your hard work with some shine product. This will also help repel stains.



What about shine products? I’m on board with this plan. As long as it’s an addition, not a substitution.


  • Sheen products add silicone to your horse’s hair for detangling, shine, and sleekness. HOWEVER – many contain boatloads of alcohol, which dry things out. Which also makes your horse’s hair more likely to break and stain. Some brands do not include additional alcohol, which has all of the benefits but none of the breakage.


  • Grooming oils act are conditioning and shine producing. They can bring back shine and softness to a freshly clipped coat, and grooming oils are also great for helping the shedding horse.




  • You have a few options with grooming oils as to how to use them. One option is to lightly buff in some oil for a little sparkle, or you can apply more heavily, let things rest overnight, and shampoo out the next day.


  • Many shampoos and stain removers also have fancy sparkling things in them to reflect light and create shine. You definitely want to stick with mild and gentle products here, otherwise, you are removing your horse’s natural oils, which just creates more problems down the line.





If you want to order this exact cactus cloth, you can order one here. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, and there is ZIPPO extra charge to you. I truly appreciate your support!


Cactus Cloth


Shapley’s Magic Sheen – no additional alcohol!


Shapley’s No 1 Light Oil – deep conditioner


Thank you!