I discovered The Herbal Horse through a blog I read (The $900 Facebook Pony) and decided to give a couple products a try (she was running a sale at the time...score!)
Clay has kind of sensitive skin and is prone to rain rot, scratches/mud fever, especially in the spring when everything is wet and he's holding onto a bit of winter coat (i.e. moisture and sweat gets trapped against his skin by his coat and bacteria throws a party). He also has dry, itchy skin under his mane and tail that he routinely rubs (which is why for the past two summers we've sported only half a mane at our horse shows, much to my dismay and embarrassment.)
I've tried a myriad of products to hydrate and relieve the itch, but nothing has worked great so far–including the hyped-up "magic" MTG, which did nothing to help grow his mane back as promised and seemed to make him even more itchy and dry (also, why does it smell like bacon grease? Not in a delicious way, mind you...more of a trash-can-behind-McDonald's way.)
For these reasons, I was so excited to find that The Herbal Horse makes all-natural horse grooming products. There is usually a lot of crap in mane, tail and coat products (silicones, sulfates, parabens, preservatives, etc.) that are not good for the horse, the hair, the environment or the human. Not so with The Herbal Horse–her stuff is made with good-for-everyone ingredients like essential oils, coconut butter, etc.
Here are the two products I tried:
1. HEALTHY HAIR: ORGANIC SALVE FORMULATED TO TREAT DRY, DAMAGED HAIR
I have been working this salve into the roots of Clay's mane and at the top of his tail where the hair is frayed from rubbing every time I ride/groom him, which right now is about twice a week. It immediately visibly moisturizes and softens the hair. Since I've only been using it for a couple weeks it is hard to tell if the hair is being aided in growing back, but so far he has much less dandruff in his mane, and the hair that is there is shiny, soft and healthier-looking.
It smells amazing, and because it's made of natural, organic ingredients I just rub the excess into my hands afterwards and don't need to worry about washing them. Even though he is sensitive, Clay did not have any kind of bad reaction to this product, but essential oils can be powerful stuff so I recommend trying a small amount out on your horse before slathering them in it, just to be sure they're not allergic to one of the ingredients.
I would not use it at horse shows as a shine-booster or de-tangler, because it is a little bit sticky and I think it would attract dust to the hair. Products like show-sheen that are slippery in nature and repeal dust are best in that situation.
This salve can be used on dogs and humans as well, which is such a bonus. I'll definitely continue to buy it!
2. SHINE BRIGHT: ORGANIC COAT CONDITIONING SPRAY
The first thing I loved immediately about this spray is its smell.....I'm a real sucker for natural fragrances like lavender, so this spray is right up my alley. I'd use it on my own hair (just like the salve, this spray is appropriate and effective for people and dogs as well) if it wasn't stuffed up under my helmet and drenched in sweat. I also love that it has healing and anti-bacterial properties, which Clay's poor itchy skin really needs.
I've been using this as a finishing spray before and after my rides because it gives a nice sheen to the coat (without making him super slippery in the saddle area–yay!), and hopefully helps ward off the flesh-eating bacteria that feeds off his sweat. I also douse his mane and tail with it, to double-up on the good work the salve is doing. I don't notice dust sticking to him more with this applied, so I think it'd be appropriate to use at shows as a more natural alternative to show-sheen, although I think you get more gloss from traditional show-sheen.
Overall, I love that this is good for my horse, smells amazing and gives a nice overall luster. Will definitely buy again!
I think the prices are very fair for the quality, time and attention that goes into making these handmade products. Next I want to try the Anti-Fungal Treatment for rain-rot and such, and the Aloe Vera Liniment Gel, for sore muscles (both mine and Clay's).