* Prices may differ from that shown
As the nice weather seems to be approaching (it is sunny as I type this!) it means that it has begun the start of the horse bathing season. Unless you are incredibly lucky to have a heated wash-box for your horse (I am not!) then it generally means you have to wait until the warmer weather arrives to be able to give your horse a good bath which is definitely needed after the winter months and all the dirt and dust that has built up in their coats despite the daily grooming.
As an owner of a chestnut coloured horse who will be regularly competing this year I wanted a shampoo that would really bring out the shine in his coat not to mention the gorgeous brilliant chestnut colour (or orange for those non-horsey folk reading this) to shine and to really stand out. After a brief look in my local tack store I opted for the Wahl Showman Copper Tones Shampoo. Apart from being reduced in price I have used Wahl products before (as well as their trimmers) and have never had a problem and being reduced was just a bonus and that it was the only coat colour specific shampoo that my tack store had for a chestnut.
The Wahl Showman Copper Tones shampoo is made up on natural ingredients which fortunately contains no harmful cleansers or detergents which may irritate the horse's skin which is great. To my complete surprise the shampoo is fruit based! It contains extracts of peach, pear, passion-flower and kiwi fruit which was certainly something I was not expecting! Apparently these fruit extracts help achieve wonderful results with red, brown and copper coloured coats. The shampoo has also been formulated to effectively remove dirt, grease and stains from an animal's coat which for me is great especially when bathing for the first time after the winter. The colour enhancing fruit extracts help to refresh and revitalised the natural red and brown pigmentation in the hair which therefore leaves the coat bright and vibrant not to mention leaving it silky smooth, shiny and looking very healthy.
The shampoo itself comes in a tall, slender bottle which is completely clear so you can see the contents and of course what the shampoo actually looks like. The packaging is minimal with the Wahl logo, product name and the information about the shampoo as well as the ingredients list, usage and contact information for Wahl that really is it. There are a number of other shampoos in the same Wahl Showman range all for different coat colours and the packaging is exactly the same, the only difference being the colour of the shampoo itself and of course the product name but it isn't hard to distinguish one from the other.
The Wahl Showman Copper Tones shampoo is a wonderful rich, metallic copper colour which is bright and vibrant and certainly stands out on the shelf! There really is no missing it especially as the bottle it comes in is clear! The shampoo's consistency is quite thick which when needing to pour it directly onto the coat means that you don't end up wasting it as some shampoos I have used before are quite thin and you end up wasting more than you actually use. The bottle is also easily squeezed so you don't have to mess around trying to squeeze the shampoo out especially if applying direct onto the coat or into a bucket of warm water.
When I first used the shampoo I poured it in a bucket of luke warm water as I was washing his mane and tail. I instantly was met with a lovely fruity aroma which was delicate but very noticeable and certainly not what I expected from a shampoo designed for animals! It is a lovely fragrance which isn't overpowering or sickly just nice and fruity which was quite refreshing and definitely gave a lovely summer feel to it! The shampoo was easily poured into the bucket of water and once given a bit of a mix with my hand it provides white frothy bubbles which was expected. I have also used the shampoo directly onto the wet coat of my horse and once rubbed in the shampoo is easily spread around and again you still get the lovely white lather and still the fruity fragrance is there.
Washing out shampoo on a horse can be a bit of a nightmare as you need to ensure that you get all the soap suds and bubbles out so they don't irritate the horse's skin however gentle the shampoo. Wahl do claim that it rinses out easily and I can safely say that it does although I am ridiculously over careful when it comes to rinsing out the shampoo. I have washed him with buckets of water and with a hose pipe and I do find the hose pipe far more effective than a bucket of water but either way I do find that the shampoo rinses out very easily but then if you use the right quantities you shouldn't have any problems, its when you use too much shampoo you get the problems rinsing out and as a little of the shampoo goes a long way (and as I am washing a horse than stands at 17.2hh and is 7ft from his shoulder to the top of his tail I can safely say you don't need to use a lot!).
The shampoo has got off to a great start what with having a lovely fragrance, being a nice easy to use consistency and with being rinsed out easily but does it really bring out the natural pigments in my horse's coat? Well once his body has dried he does have a wonderful shine to his coat which when in the sun looks absolutely stunning, his coat looks incredibly healthy and not to forget clean! It is also incredibly soft to the touch so I couldn't be more pleased. His mane and tail are a mixture of reds and hints of blondes running through and the shampoo leaves the mane and tail soft, silky and easy to brush through and with all the grime that has built up through the winter his mane and tail just looks a little lighter in colour but still a brilliantly bright colour.
For a shampoo that is so reasonably priced especially one that is coat colour specific I really cannot fault it whatsoever. My horse's coat has a wonderful shine to it not to mention it is delicate enough to be used on his skin and the results are great. His mane and tail feel soft and silky for weeks after use and ultimately makes grooming a lot easier. His coat looks incredibly healthy and clearly the fruit extracts do help bring out the redness (or orangeness in his case!) in his coat and it is noticeable so it is certainly not a marketing ploy! Without doubt I'd highly recommend this shampoo for owners of horses and ponies who have a copper colour coat such as bright bays, chestnuts and bays with red tones - you certainly won't be disappointed! I award this wonderful shampoo 5 stars and it will definitely be a product I will be buying again.
~ Useful Info ~
What to use it on: Horses, dogs, cattle, goats, llama, alpaca, rabbits and ferrets
Price: £5.99 (Wahl's website Apr 2012)
Availability: General tack stores or online