We should have five seasons, not four… Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring and Mud. Horses love mud or so it seems. We don’t – especially right before the horse show circuit begins. No matter how valiant our grooming efforts, it’s always as if we’ve missed a spot. A heavy duty cleaning is in order.
In our years of prepping for horse shows, we’ve used a lot of grooming products. Some have impressed over the years, some provided specifically for Horse Tack Review!
Enter the Best Shot line, a series of products with high expectations. They offer a routine line of products with modern flair – low suds formulas that are soap and detergent free. Roll up your sleeves and let’s get started!
We received a package of six bottles to try out of different Best Shot products: M.E.D. Healing Shampoo, M.E.D. Topical Spray, Lemon Aid Oatmeal Conditioning Shampoo, Equine Ultra Vitalizing Mist and Detangler spray, Equine Ultra Plenish Conditioner and Equine Ultra Wash Shampoo. All bottles came in 16 ounce units, except for the M.E.D. products – these are 12 ounce bottles. The bottles come with bright, attractive labels that contain easy to understand instructions and product tips.
Best Shot Equine Ultra Wash Shampoo and Equine Ultra Plenish Conditioner – the staples to any equine bathing kit. Open the bottles and take a good sniff. The smell is reminiscent of a high quality spa. Upon asking for the ingredient list, you will see peppermint, eucalyptus, jojoba, aloe and chamomile essential oils make up this gorgeous scent. Other natural ingredients are included in the line-up like hydrolyzed wheat or oat proteins, plant based or hydrolyzed silk cocoon and coconut derived surfactants.
We were happy to see that this product line gets away from synthetic chemicals and opts for a natural choice. Having bathed several horses with these two products, we can tell you that you get the same results as traditional cleaners without the guilt. The shampoo itself does such a wonderful job of cleaning grimy horses that there isn’t a true need for the conditioner. Going that extra step and using the conditioner really puts a bloom on the horses coat while leaving it soft.
Equine Ultra Vitalizing Mist and Detangler Spray - This immediately impressed one tester enough that she gave her regular detangler spray and coat polish (Absorbine Show Sheen) to a friend and will use this instead! While we hadn’t found problems with the silicone in Show Sheen visibly damaging any horses coat, mane or tail, we have found some people with this complaint. Equine Ultra Vitalizing Mist and Detangler Spray was found to be effective in detangling long hair and provided a beautiful sheen to the coat. As with any coat polish, avoid any area where your tack goes – no need to create slippage! Spray this product into the horses mane and tail before every ride to help minimize snarls and hair breakage. It does a great job at detangling long hair without weighing it down with excess product, or making it feel coated with something. Even though the hair stays soft and free of tangles, it moves and looks naturally – as if a horses mane and tail were always tangle free. We wish!
Spritzing this on the horses coat, particularly after a bath with Best Shot products, maximizes that show ring shine we’re always looking to achieve. You can even used this product on a dusty horse to give them a quick clean-up with decent results.
Best Shot Lemon Aid Oatmeal Conditioning Shampoo - This is for horses, dogs and cats. Almost every barn or horse farm comes complete with their own dogs and mousers - it’s part of the scenery. Mosquitoes and various other biting insects have made their way from their winter hideouts and now terrorize anything trying to enjoy the nice weather – horses, cats and dogs included. For those who are mildly irritated by these bites, Best Shot Lemon Aid Oatmeal Conditioning Shampoo seems to be the key. It gently cleans the animals fur while offering some relief to sensitive skin. Trying to get a cat into the bath may prove to be a dangerous feat (We had no idea she would literally climb a wall to get away!) so we put a barn dog into the tub instead. Being a border collie with a relatively short coat, she is prone to bug bites. Her underside also gets scratched up a little as she gallivants through hay fields chasing who knows what in her own little games. We really liked, as I’m sure she appreciated, that the scent of this shampoo is not harsh. It has a very light fragrance with a hint of lemon but is certainly not overpowering. Allowing the shampoo to stay on her coat for a few minutes really seemed to calm the reddened skin on her underside. Once the shampoo was rinsed and she was dry, her coat felt so moisturized. Not greasy feeling, but soft and luxurious – gone was the static we’ve been plagued with as well!
M.E.D. Healing Shampoo and Topical Spray - Recommended as a treatment for skin allergies, hot spots, eczema, seborrhea, bug bites, sun burn, clipper irritation and things of that nature. The smell of the M.E.D. products are stronger than the rest, and remind you of Vick’s rub, but is not overpowering. It could be the eucalyptus which is a common ingredient in both products. This product is also said to be fine for horses, dogs and cats. Since dogs or cats would be too keen on the scent, this was only used on horses. With biting insects at full strength right now, seeing a horse come in from the field with a bumpy neck or small bloody spots is unfortunately common. Insect repellents can only do so much. The M.E.D. Healing Shampoo was a refreshing, welcoming relief to the horses bathed with this. We liked having the M.E.D. Topical Spray (with a push pump) to use when not having time to bath the horses or soak them down, or when the affected area wasn’t big enough to warrant a bath.
All in all, this is a great set of products. While not seeing a largely reduced amount of suds while using the cleaning products, it might not have been a fault of the company. Having used traditional grooming products for so long, we are used to gooping things on in an effort to get a better clean. We may simply used more product than needed, though still found the 16 ounce bottles provided many cleanings.
The recommended prices for the 16 ounce bottles currently starts at $11.25 US and goes up. The 12 ounce bottles of M.E.D. line products start at $11.40 US. These products are available in different sizes depending on your needs. The one gallon, and two and a half gallon, sizes would be better suited to larger barns – or something who really likes cleaning!
The smell of these products is amazing and lends itself to a more pleasant experience when bathing those dirty animals. Our testers found, when riding horses that had recently been bathed with the Best Shot line, taking extra deep breaths just to take in the wonderful scents.
The products that are safe to use on dogs, cats and horses are also noted as being puppy and kitten safe. A bonus for those who own animals in different life stages.
The only thing we’d like to see would be an ingredient listing on the product labels themselves. Having not found it on the Best Shot website, one tester sent an email to request that information. They were extremely quick to respond and handled questions professionally and with friendliness.
Best Shot Pet Products International, LLC is a great company to deal with and they have an excellent thing going. It was a pleasure to test their products and we look forward to using them again.