The Coat Spray Comparison

Who doesn’t love a good coat spray? Whether you value shininess, moisturizing, scent, or the ability repel dirt, there are many different coat sprays on the market with different fortes. I personally never shy away from adding another coat spray to my grooming kit, so I decided to rank 4 of my favorites in various categories and see how they stack-up.

The Contenders:


The brands included in the comparison are Knotty Horse Apricot Oil Highlighting Coat Shine, Healthy HairCare Hair Moisturizer, Carr & Day Canter Mane & Tail Conditioner, and Purvida Healthy Horse Original All-In-One Conditioning Spray. I tested them all out on the same day (dividing Rio’s coat into quarters) and took notes on how they ranked in various categories. Let’s start with an easy category- price. To make it fair, I listed them in price per ounce. The Healthy Hair & Purvida are bought as a concentrate, so I did some math and figured the price per ounce once diluted per the instructions:

  1. Healthy HairCare: $15.99 for 16 oz of concentrate, when mixed it is $0.13/oz
  2. Knotty Horse: $29 for 25 oz, $1.16/oz
  3. Purvida: $19.99 for 2 oz concentrate, when mixed it is $1.25/oz
  4. Canter Mane & Tail: $21.95 for 500 mL/ $1.29/oz

From a purely economical perspective, the Healthy HairCare Moisturizer is by far the best value. If I was running a large barn where I supplied the products, I would certainly only be buying that brand!

  1. Purvida and C&D Canter are tied for 1st- no residue!
  2. Healthy HairCare you start to get a little residue if you use a lot. Feels a bit like when you overdo it with the leave-in conditioner.
  3. Knotty Horse definitely has a very noticeable oily residue. Might be better to apply with a cloth or soft brush.
  1. Knotty Horse knocks it out of the park. My mom was helping me and she said it smells “DIVINE!” and I definitely agree. Smells so good you kind of want to eat it.
  2. Healthy HairCare- I like the scent but it’s not Ah-mazing
  3. C&D Canter also has a pleasant scent that’s not too strong
  4. Purvida’s scent is ok- but definitely my least favorite of the group
Slip Factor:
  1. Healthy HairCare, & Purvida had basically no slip. I wouldn’t have an issue putting it on the saddle area.
  2. C&D Canter might have the tiniest slipping effect. I would avoid the saddle area, but a little over-spray probably wouldn’t be an issue.
  3. Due to the greasy factor of the Knotty Horse, I would definitely worry about slipping and not spray near the saddle area.
  1. Healthy HairCare feels the most moisturizing to me
  2. The C&D Canter definitely makes the hair feel soft
  3. Knotty horse added softness, but the oiliness made it rank lower
  4. Purvida I just didn’t really feel a change
  1. C&D Canter added the most coat shine in my book
  2. Knotty Horse
  3. Healthy HairCare
  4. Purvida
Dirt Repelling:

For this one, I took a handful of sandy dirt and smeared it into the coat. The rankings were pretty definitive.

1. C&D Canter repelled dirty the very best 

2. Purvida did well not holding onto the dirt 

Healthy HairCare noticeably clung to some dirt

Knotty Horse would be a disaster if you sprayed it all over and expected your horse to be clean after being turned out



I used the products on Rio’s tail and Pal’s mane to test detangling ability. Neither one had been brushed out in a couple of weeks.

  1. Knotty Horse felt like the clear winner to me
  2. Healthy HairCare and C&D Canter were a tie
  3. Purvida seemed to have little detangling ability


Final Rating:

After rating the 4 products in all the above categories, I went through and assigned them points (4 pts for 1st place, 3 pts for 2nd, etc), based off how they scored in each individual category. Here are the results:

  1. C&D Canter Mane & Tail= 24 points
  2. Health HairCare Moisturizer= 23 points
  3. Knotty Horse Apricot Oil Highlighting Coat Spray= 21
  4. Purvida All in One Conditioning Spray= 18

Some of you said you really value all natural ingredients, and some said they like coat sprays with sunscreen. Keeping this in mind, I added 2 pts for all natural, and 2 pts for sunscreen (kind of like if you choose the high options in derby rounds haha). With that in mind, here would be the final placings:

  1. Knotty Horse (+2 all natural, +2 UV ray blocking)= 25 TIE Health HairCare (+2 all natural)= 25
  2. C&D Canter Mane & Tail (no bonus points)= 24
  3. Purvida (+2 all natural)= 20


Overall, I think my pick for everyday use going forward will be the Healthy HairCare Moisturizer since it performed well and is significantly cheaper then the other options. I also like that it’s made of natural ingredients. My pick for show days, or whenever I really want to make sure I’m keeping the horse clean, would be the Carr & Day Canter Mane & Tail. It definitely performed well, and repelled dirt the best. My pick for moisturizing and detangling manes & tails would be the Knotty Horse Apricot Highlighting Coat Spray. It really does smell delicious and it detangled really well. The Purvida was not my favorite performance-wise, but it doesn’t leave any residue or attract dirt, so that was a plus. I hope this helps anyone who might be on the fence about what coat spray to choose!


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    1. I’ve actually used the coat specific one before- I think they are REALLY similar. I JUST threw the bottle away a few weeks ago otherwise I would have used that one. I loved the mane & tail version though, works great on the coat!

  1. I LOVE the C&D/Canter as a mane & tail spray. I found a little bit left in the barn that someone was tossing because it was “almost empty” last winter and tried it because, why not? and Nay Nay’s tail was gross and ended up buying some. I’ve tried a lot over the years, but this is definitely one of my favorites. It takes a lot for me to buy grooming products because I’m cheap. But I definitely love this one.

  2. Your blog post inspired me to try the Healthy Hair moisturizer and I love it!!

    definitely super affordable and makes my horses coat soft without feeling artificial like Show Sheen.

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