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Nutrition for Optimum Coat Shine

One of the most important goals for owners of show and performance horses is to achieve a shiny healthy coat that stands out against their competitors.  As well as grooming, in order for any horse to achieve a shimmering coat it must be on a sound nutritional program.

Coat health that can be seen from the outside through shine and dapples, is often an accurate indication of the health of the horse on the inside. This is because coat quality is often the first to decline when the horse is receiving inadequate nutrition and failing to meet certain nutrient requirements. Along with adequate energy and protein, there are specific trace minerals and vitamins that play important roles in coat integrity and condition.

Nutrients such as copper, zinc and manganese are essential for promoting and maintaining healthy skin and coat from the inside out. Copper is responsible for the normal production and maintenance of skin and hair pigmentation, and zinc and manganese assist with wound healing and epidermal (skin) cell maintenance through cell division, protein synthesis and antioxidant activity.

McMillan Feeds not only contain appropriate levels of these nutrients to meet requirements if fed at the correct level, but they also include them in specific, highly bioavailable forms. These nutrients are provided by a product called Availa®4 from Zinpro Performance Minerals®, which is a scientifically formulated blend of organic zinc, manganese, copper and cobalt. Availa®4 is built on a unique, patented molecule that consists of one metal ion bound to one amino acid ion – called a metal amino acid complex, which means more of the minerals are absorbed by the animal to deliver their full benefit for coat shine and overall health. Feeding any McMillan feed therefore provides your horse with a complete balanced diet, as well as Availa®4 from Zinpro Performance Minerals® to supply premium nutrients to achieve that stand out show ring shine.

As well as these key nutrients, the addition of fat to the horse’s diet can significantly boost skin and coat health. Fat can be included in the diet through feeding a high fat feed, or adding suitable digestible fat sources such as vegetable oil or stabilised rice bran. McMillan feeds contain cold pressed canola oil for a high quality fat source that contains a suitable balance of omega three and six fatty acids. McMillan Grain Free is a fabulous option for a high fibre feed that contains both significant fat levels through cold pressed canola and highly bioavailable Zinpro Performance Minerals®.

For more information on Zinpro Performance Minerals® and Availa®4 head to their website at For assistance with providing your horse with a balanced diet for a gleaming coat consult a qualified nutrition advisor.

Article supplied by McMillan Feeds Equine Nutrition Advisor Luisa Wood (BApplSc).

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