Coconut oil is an oil derived from the fruit of the coconut tree, which is a type of palm tree found in warm, tropical climates. While coconut oil is best known to some as an edible oil it is also commonly used for other purposes, such as a topical treatment for hair and skin. A few years ago here at CowboyWay.com we became fans of coconut oil for our horses first for use as a mane and tail conditioner, then as a hoof conditioner. For more information, please scroll down beneath the coconut oil for sale.
Below: A quart of coconut oil.
Uses For Coconut Oil For Horses
There are a numerous purported uses for coconut oil for horses floating around the internet. Here at CowboyWay.com we have only used it for horses for two purposes, and since those are the only two things we have personal experience with those are the only two things we're going to comment on.
Coconut Oil As A Main and Tail Conditioner
We love coconut oil as a mane and tail conditioner. It absorbs quickly, a little goes a long way, and it leaves a nice sheen behind that doesn't attract dirt (assuming you don't go crazy and slather it on too heavily). It also helps to detangle snarls, although it's not as good for large, nasty hair snarls as Cowboy Magic Detangler. We simply dab a little coconut oil on our palms, rub it through the mane and/or tails hairs, then brush.
Below: Partially melted coconut oil in a clear container. Coconut oil is a solid at approximately 76 degrees Fahrenheit and below, but melts to a liquid at temperatures above that.
Coconut Oil As A Hoof Conditioner
Fist off we'd like to mention we do not regularly use any type of hoof conditioner on our horses. However, several years ago our area was in a prolonged, severe drought that went on for years. During that time our horse's hooves became extremely dry and brittle and we began trying several different brands of commercial hoof conditioners to help improve them. Unfortunately, even after weeks of use we didn't see any signs of improvement, and neither did our horseshoer.
Finally, after doing some research, we decided to give coconut oil a try. The coconut oil worked extremely well as a hoof conditioner to help relieve our horse's hooves from the dry, brittle, drought-induced condition they had been in for so long. It also worked quickly, with noticeable improvement by our shoer (and us) in just five applications over a period of seven days.
To use it, we dipped a small, one-inch wide paintbrush in the coconut oil and painted it all over the bottom of our horses hooves, covering the sole, frog, and the bulbs of the heel, and also covered the top of the hoof from the coronary band down. If you're curious, you can read an article we wrote about our experience here: How To Make Homemade Horse Hoof Conditioner.
Good Stuff To Know About Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a solid at approximately 76 degrees Fahrenheit and below, but melts to a liquid at temperatures above that. We've found it easiest to use in warmer temperatures when it's already a liquid, but using it in colder temperatures isn't too much of a problem: We simply rub a small amount of solid coconut oil between our hands until it melts, then rub it in (into the mane or tail, or onto the hooves) after it melts.
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