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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