You want your horse to have a sleek and glossy finish, but how do you choose the shine product that best suits your needs? We have found that there numerous options available for nutritional supplementation and as the majority of competitive and pleasure riders know, there is an alternative source for shine, BOTTLED.
The current retail market has a wide array of bottled shine products available including silicone, non-silicone and natural. As expected, the prices range from inexpensive to liquid gold. Fortunately, the Horse Tack Review staff is here to assist! We set out to find the most shine for your dime, the best bang for your buck. We have divided this review into two parts, with our overall favorite set forth in the second half. Let’s get ready to SHINE!!
Absorbine Show Sheen is a tried-and-true, fan favorite. Show Sheen is sold in quart-sized containers for approximately $9.99 and promises it will "produce the finest show-ring shine, reduce grooming time by 80%, maintain a great mane and tail, help to keep your horse cleaner and reduce static”. We have heard a great many horse people complain that repeated use of Show Sheen results in dry, brittle manes and tails. However, after repeated use of Show Sheen, we saw no evidence to support those charges. Show Sheen did in fact give us that “show ring shine” from afar, but upon closer inspection and the all-important white glove test, our gloved fingers came up greasy and black with soot from arena dirt and dust. As for our smaller girls who tried this product on their ponies, let’s just say we’re glad we weren’t at a real show. Many of our young, inexperienced competitors sprayed this product from a distance that proved to be much too close for comfort. As a result, their ponies ended up with large grease stains that no amount of brushing could eliminate.
We gave all of the spray shine products a “bareback test” and found that with Show Sheen, we were slipping and sliding all over the place. Accordingly, Show Sheen would not be our ideal go-to spray. It does have some benefits in that we loved the fact that after bathing our show horses, we could spray it on ANY white area and the next morning, any offensive stain was quickly disposed of by brushing.
Overall, for an over-the-top shine, stick with Show Sheen. But for those classes that require minimal saddle slippage or, if there is a chance the judge with touch or closely examine your horse, we do not recommend this particular shine spray.
Next up, natural-spray lovers! Moving down our product list, we have next reviewed Miracle Coat Horse Lusterizer/Conditioner. The description claims that “Our leave-in, water-based formulation is perfect for after-shampoo conditioning or, those times between washings when you want to restore the natural beauty of your horses’ mane, tail and coat. Contains Tea Tree Oil, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Panthenol to penetrate and moisturize dry, damaged hair.” We must admit, we were quite impressed with this spray…..but not for shows. The Miracle Coat spray did in fact leave our horses feeling extremely moisturized. Further, over the course of the week they maintained soft, detangled manes and tails. Miracle Coat also passed our bareback exam with flying colors – no slipping, sliding, or stickiness! Another pleasant aspect of Miracle Coat is the smell. During the test process, one of the boarders declared that she was in love with the tea-tree oil scent of this spray. In conclusion of our Miracle Coat review, although we discovered a soft, almost natural shine that is most likely a result of the natural ingredients, we are sad to report that we have yet to discover our desired show-ring shine. However, if you are in search of a more subtle glow, Miracle Coat is your product! For the Horse Tack Review team, the search for the optimal show-stopping shine continues.
At $5.75 for 32, oz., bargain hunters may jump at the chance to purchase Jeffer's Show-Shine Coat Polish & Brightener. Unfortunately for those of us who desire a show-class shine, this bargain priced product, in our opinion, does not have what it takes.
Jeffer's Show-Shine Coat Polish & Brightener is advertised, "Gives coat lustrous show ring shine by replacing natural oils. Keeps tail & mane tangle free. Repels dust & prevents stains from grass, urine, manure & leather. Non-slippery formula is gentle for everyday use." We applied the product as directed, but could not discern any noticeable difference to our horses’ coat. This spray felt tacky under our finger tips and once again, left no evidence of the much craved, “show-stopping” shine.
Next on our list, Vetrolin Shine Polish. Vetrolin states “a ready-to-use spray puts a brilliant shine on coats, manes and tails. Includes Vitamin B5, conditioners and PABA sunscreen. Protects coat from dust and weather, and makes manes and tails more manageable.” We first tested this spray immediately after a bath and were astounded to observe that once the coat was fully dry, shavings and dirt brushed off with ease leaving us with a soft, pretty shine. Unfortunately, when we applied this product to a dry coat, we did not achieve the same effect. On a dry coat, the spray turned wet in spots and ultimately dried in a spotty fashion. Additionally, one onlooker complained that the smell was much too medicinal. So, if you’re searching for an after-bath spray, Vetrolin is right on the money! The quest for the show-stopping” shine continues…..
The last product in this portion of our two-part review is Exhibitor Lab’s Quic Sheen. Another non-silicone product, its advertisement boasts “Polish your horses’ coat the healthy way! With Quic Sheen moisturizing coat polish. Sheen products have traditionally used heavy silicones that encapsulate the hair in a airtight sleeve causing dry, brittle coats, shifting tack, and adding an unnatural slippery feel to the hair. Quic Sheen breaks with that tradition, creating a beautiful show ring shine that’s also soft and healthy. Quic Sheen in non-slick, non-static and terrific at rebeautifying clipped or sunburned coats. Quic Sheen is gentle and safe with the correct equine pH.” Quic Sheen spray resulted in soft shiny coats with no slickness. But, when faced with the dreaded white glove challenge, it revealed that this product caused a build-up of dirt all over the belly. So, if you are concerned with an in-hand class only, this is your product. Those in search of the added bonus of clean bellies, continue reading…..
Curious to see which spray will win the Shine contest? Find out in the second half of this article when we review Mane & Tail Shine On, Cowboy Magic Super Body Shine, Farnam Laser Sheen, World Champion Dream Sheen Hair Polish, Pepi Coat Conditioner, and Silverado Shine!