The importance of the horse’s skin to his overall health is integral. It is after all, the largest organ the horse has and the first line of defence between your horse’s internal organs and the ever changing environment around them.
Its main function is to protect internal organs from physical injury, invasion of insects, poisons and micro organisms. In addition, the skin helps to regulate body temperature and prevents it from dehydrating.
Equine skin consists of two layers. The layer that we see is the Epidermis, a barrier of stratified (layered) squamous epithelial cells. Beneath that is the Dermis, a densely woven network of collagen, elastic and connective tissue where hair follicles originate. This structure is strengthened by the bottom Subcutaneous layer which sandwiches everything together.