Rid Your Horse of a Dry, Itchy Coat

American Association of Equine Practitioner Dr. Frank Reilly helps you get to the bottom of your horse’s dry coat and itchy skin.

Rule out parasites as the cause of your horse’s dry coat and itchiness and learn to supplement for improved coat condition.


I have a mare with anhydrous, which I am treating with a product with success, but I am still dealing with a dry coat and itching. I use a coat conditioning supplement in her feed but still struggle. Any suggestions?

For the answer, we sought advice from the American Association of Equine Practitioners.


The product you’re using contains electrolytes, vitamins and amino acids, so an additional supplement of omega-3 is safe and will improve coat condition. A 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed (for a 1,000-pound horse) fed once a day alone or with the regular feed ration is helpful.

Having trouble finding the magic feed ration for your horse? Overfeeding can be as harmful as underfeeding horses. Learn some of the components that horses can suffer from in AQHA’s “Chubby Horses” FREE report.

Poor coats could also be from parasites. To rule this out, go over your deworming schedule with your veterinarian. Make sure that you are not leaning too heavily on fecal tests, which miss tapeworms, bots and encysted strongyles.

Also, the addition of a ration balancer with about 30 percentĀ protein helps skin, which is mostly protein.

— Dr. Frank Reilly in conjunction with AQHA Alliance PartnerAmerican Association of Equine Practitioners.

*AQHA and the provider of this information are not liable for the inherent risks of equine activities. We always recommend consulting a qualified veterinarian and/or an AQHA Professional Horseman.

1 thought on “Rid Your Horse of a Dry, Itchy Coat”

  1. My daughter’s mare was purchased with the belief she was a ten year old appendix. From a lip tattoo, we have found she is actually a 21 year old AQHA registered quarter horse. However, her coat is dull, through fecal tests the vet determined she is a low shedder and needs to be dewormed in December, and further research finds that she was removed from a previous owner for malnutrition. When we purchased her, she had only been out of the state’s care for 3 months, that was 2 months ago. Our vet has determined she was a brood mare at some point, but blood work and fecal palpation were not 100% conclusive as to current pregnancy being positive or negative. Her abdomen is distended as if pregnant, even though the areas around her haunches and withers indicate that she is still slightly underweight. She has received a sand clear regimen in the last two weeks. The previous owner had her on 1/2 scoop of omilene 200 daily plus unlimited grazing. We have gradually increased her feed to 1 scoop each morning and afternoon, while also gradually introducing cleaned oats into her feed cycle. She currently receives a 50/50 mixture of omilene 200 and cleaned oats, along with a mare supplement to help refurbish her vitamin and mineral levels. I’m thinking of adding a daily dewormer and skin ad coat supplement to her regimen. What would you suggest? She is 15.1 hands and weight is currently unknown. She is also on a daily walk/trot exercise schedule to rebuild muscle tone. Thanks for your help!! We love her to death, she has beautiful manners and is overeager to please!!

Comments are closed.