Nothings beats a beautiful coat on a horse A metallic, dappled chestnut or bay will catch my eye before flashy markings. Here are a couple tips for a healthy coat:
1) A good diet is a must. Make sure you horse is getting quality hay. Hay that is old does lose some of its nutritional value. It is no different than fresh produce that you buy from the store. Hay has the important sulfur amino acids. These and essential amino acids are important as is zinc, copper and the B vitamins, especially biotin.
I think it is a good idea to have your geriatric horses blood panel done to see their specific needs. They vary from one horse to the next.
2) Deworm, deworm, and deworm! Worms rob your horse of nutrients.
3) Proper, routine dental care! This needs to be done every year. Don't wait until your horse is "long in the tooth". Too many times when an owner waits until their horse is dropping food and/or weight to have the teeth examined, it is too late to correct dental problems.
Horses that are stalled or are on a hay diet (non-grazing) need to have their incisors (front teeth) reduced to allow the molars to have good occlusion. Good occlusion is important to grind the food and really assimilate as many nutrients as possible.
4) Exercise. Oxygen in the lungs and circulating blood are good things. Brush the horse before AND after exercising. Exercise is said to help stimulate shedding. Hose down and/or wipe down the horse after work to remove salty sweat when possible.
5) Elbow grease. Use the SleekEZ any time to remove loose hair and dirt. A good scrub with a rubber curry stimulates the skin and pulls up more dirt that might be in the coat. Brush, then, with a medium-bristled brush, followed by a soft-bristled brush, then a final wipe with a soft clothe. 6)
6) For the tail and mane... For longer manes work from the ends to the roots to avoid ripping out any of that gorgeous mane. Same with the tail. Grab the tail near the end of the length and brush until knots are removed, then grab a section further up toward the base of the tail and brush out any knots in that section. Continue until you get to the base of the tail. From there work sections from the base of the tail. Apply a little oil for sheen.