Why is my horse itching?

So your horse has a case of 'itchy and scratchy'

Manes falling out due to excessive rubbing, tail docks rubbed out, perhaps you are noticing small, isolated areas of dermatitis appearing on your horses’ body… and you have no idea why because other than these areas visually your horses’ coat appears healthy, their skin appears healthy so why the unset of the ‘itchies'?

Secondary skin infections.

The most likely cause of rubbed manes and tail docks is linked to secondary skin infections. These occur due to compounding skin issues managed by your horses’ immune system. When optimised it performs constant micro-repairs however after time, poor hosing down, quality of water, over rugging, regular use of inferior grooming solutions the skin-barrier is left too weak to fend off secondary infections most commonly caused by bacteria or yeast.

Why do we wash our horses?

You should know that your horses’ skin is not designed to be washed, its innate function is to be a comprehensive barrier to external aggressors – and when we wash it, we inadvertently disrupt and wash away the most important element of this barrier – the microbiome.

But when it comes to Performance Horses washing is vital and it’s not just for competition presentation… but because of SWEAT!

As we train our horses and increase their exercise workload the more they will sweat as part of their cooling mechanism. The acidity of the sweat begins to alter your horses’ natural pH level, creating a more acidic environment which in turn disrupts the microbiome leaving the skin-barrier weakened, and more prone to external aggressors; bacteria, viruses and allergens.

That’s why hosing horses off thoroughly after exercise is vital as is cleansing the skin with a replenishing shampoo to 'Restore' and optimise the skin function.

Can you wash too much?

Frequent washing of horses that are not exercised regularly is not ideal, especially if using a product high in preservatives, high in essential oils, or re-purposed human products. Washing them can strip away the sensitive biome eco-system and leave your horse's skin more vulnerable. However if you wish to wash them ensure you choose a gentle solution like our replenishing cleanser Restore, that won’t disrupt the sensitive microbiome eco-system and intrinsically support your horses skin whilst bolstering the skin-barrier.

How can you prevent secondary skin infections?

Always wash out any specialty-grooming products post-competition, consider these products as cosmetics. Just like human make-up if left on they can clog pores and cause outbreaks. The longer you leave these cosmetics on your horses’ skin the higher the incident of barrier break down.

Be weary of shampoo’s and conditioners that do not list their ingredients. Choose products that show a batch date and use-by date. You will find these on every product manufactured by Pure Steed, we have also conducted independent testing to ensure a 36-month life of product after opening.

Essential Oils and equine skin share a love hate relationship! While the oils may refine the hair cuticle and plump hair fibres for a more illustrious look, the skin-biome is not a fan given essential oils are known for causing high levels of dysbiosis, and many are known equine skin allergens. Remember just because it smells nice, and is natural it may not be harmonious in its designated application.

What’s more essential oils are highly volatile meaning they require large amounts of preservatives to ensure the actives remain viable and the formulas are not compromised due to oxidisation, and preservatives are not a friend to equine skin. Products with fewer preservatives are more harmonious to your horses’ sensitive skin-biome. Pure Steed products use a preservative system that naturally produces antimicrobial peptides and probiotic metabolites that help to balance the skin-barrier function, the only equine formula to utilise this skin-care innovation.

Purple Shampoos

Purple shampoos are a staple in any show stable, however 98% of purple shampoos are formulated with a petroleum-based toner ingredient, and just as you might expect – it’s not great for your horses' skin. A clean horse is not one with pink, inflamed skin. If the skin around your horses' socks or body appears a brighter shade of ‘pink’ after washing with purple shampoo you may want to dilute it. Follow up with Revive, our conditioning treatment that contains Beta-glucans to soothe the irritation and neutralise the inflammation.

If you are toning your horses’ permanent hair regularly (manes, tails and forelock) try to avoid contact with the dock, and neck. Purple hair masks or leave-in treatments are not advised as the petroleum-based ingredients cause terrible damage to the microbiome, which leaves your horse susceptible to skin infections, allergens and other aggressors.

Our team ALWAYS use our conditioning treatment Revive after every application of purple shampoo to reverse and nullify the detrimental effect purple shampoos have on equine skin. What makes our conditioning treatment so special is the inclusion of Beta-glucan a humectant that attracts water to the top layers of skin to calm inflammation and enhance the skin renewal cells called Langerhans, a key part of the skin’s immune system.

Queensland itch and Pure Steed

With regular use of our cleanser Restore together with our conditioning treatment, Revive we can better support the skin-barrier to fend off this debilitating affliction. We recommend washing weekly and always using the Conditioning Treatment as a full-body application.

Better skin for a more robust constitution

Your horses’ grooming products should not be re-imagined human formulas, but intrinsically designed especially for equines, the environment they live in and most importantly supporting the innate immune function of skin – the way nature intended!

Pure Steed are experts in equine skin, and the pioneer in Microbiome-Friendly formulas. At Pure Steed we have successfully combined replenishing technology with luxurious hair care. Our products use ingredients and innovative post-biotic and fermenting techniques that are not found in any other equine grooming formula.

We set out to develop the best horse grooming products in the world that understand equine skin better than any other brand. We don’t believe grooming products should be purchased with a budget conscious mindset, our horses’ are amongst our most prized possessions and their skin is too important to neglect.

Pure Steed has been developed for the most discerning, high performance focused equestrian.

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