How To Grow A Horses Feathers? (To Trim Or Not To Trim For Growth)

Don’t you ever imagine horse having feathers and think they only exist in a fairytale or they’re from the royal Buckingham palace? Well, let me tell you, that your horse could also have those beautifully attractive feathers with a just few simple steps.

feathers on horses

How to make a horse’s feathers grow? A horse that used to have feathers and doesn’t there is usually a simple reason. If they are pastured a lot they will simply rub off and same goes with them being out in the mud. So you combat that be bringing them in and stabling more along with keeping their feather area clean. Some people claim MTG will work as well although we don’t suggest that especially as a first resort. 

Although, feathers are a sign of horse’s beauty, sometimes you just can’t have them to grow because the breed of horse doesn’t have the “feather” genes in him! So don’t fuss over it or try dangerous methods to grow feather on the horse because he can be one of those types who cannot grow feathers. Some horses that grow feathers on their lower legs are Gypsy Vanners, Shires, Ardennes, Friesians, Clydesdales and many more. Now if you want to have a horse that grows feathers, be sure to buy one of these horses. And if you already have a feathered horse whose feathers are on the verge of fading, then take a look at the points below on how to make horse’s feathers grow:

Inspect before treatment

Having horse feathers give your horse an extra magnificent look but they can be hard to maintain and groom. They can be lost easily if not taken care of good enough. Although, taking care and grooming the hair is important for hair growth, but before you start with grooming always check the under area of the hair that includes leg skin, coronary band and so on. There can be issues like swelling and injuries that are hidden under the hair so be sure to take care of them first before applying any kind of solution for hair growth treatment.

Wash the feathers well

The first thing that you should to promote feather growth is to give them a good wash. Washing them once a week should be good enough or you can wash them whenever you thing that they’ve become too dirty, because they are in the lower leg region of the horse’s legs and some of them touch the ground so they get dirty very easily. Wash them with a nice horse hair shampoo as these hair also resemble the hair on the tail, mane and forelock of the horse, so they can be washed with the same shampoo as used of the other hair places.

Always rinse nicely

After you’ve washed the feathers thoroughly and are sure that they’re clean from all the dirt and grime it’s time to rinse off the shampoo lather. Give the feathers as much water it needs to rinse off the shampoo and the dirt and grime with it.

Use a conditioner that best suits your horse’s feathers

There are conditioners that are best for detangling the tangled feathers and there are some that boost the growth process of the feathers. You can try different conditioners to choose the one that best suits the feathers. Apply the conditioner on the feathers after you’ve washed them and when they’re still damp. Don’t over apply the conditioner as it can lighten the feathers and cause them to break.

Comb Gently

Just like combing your horse’s tail and mane hair is important, you should comb your horse’s feathers with a wide toothed comb to remove tangles to make them look nice. Combing them at least once after every ride you take, will keep the tangles away and dirt from forming on them.

Follow a good diet

Another important thing to do for feathers to grow long and thick, is to give the horse good diet with vitamins and amino acids that boost hair growth. Providing them with high quality pasture or hay will also supply nutrients for fast hair growth.

Trim them

Trimming the feathers occasionally will give them a beautiful and thick look and will help them with growth. Horses with lots of feathers that cover the fetlock and tendon areas can be a little hard to maintain and keep clean, so it’s best to trim them at least above the hoof to avoid extra cleaning. The feathers will also stay strong and not fall off too much when they’re nicely trimmed. Remember to trim them only in the direction of the hair growth to get a clean look.

Be Careful when dealing with Horse feathers

These feathers protect the underneath skin by covering it and are great for show but they also trap in moisture and heat up the under layer for bacteria and fungus to grow. If not cleaned regularly, serious damage can be caused to the skin, coronary bands and hoofs. Likewise, the feathers will also suffer and might start to damage due to the damaged and bruised skin. The best thing is to get the feathers cleaned regularly and to inspect them daily. Another thing to keep in mind is to thoroughly dry the feathers after washing to minimize the impact of bacteria on wet feathers and skin.


I’m sure that most people go with having feathers than not on their horses, I know that I am a fan of them! Because why not? The feathers give your horses a royal look and give you joy to look at them every day. But with great looks come great responsibility. Take good care of your horses feathers and groom them daily to prevent infections in the underneath area and also to prevent hair loss.



I have owned over 50 horses and currently own a small horse farm with 8 horses. I have competed on and off for over 25 years while doing mostly trail riding and cow sorting these days. I write these articles to help anyone out there if you love this article pin it to your Pinterest or Share on other social media platform. Thanks for visiting.

Recent Posts