My black horse is getting a little brown?! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 06-20-2012, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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My black horse is getting a little brown?!

My horse is black but he is starting to fade some in spots to like a dark brownish color...Now I don't mind the little highlights in his mane and tail but how do I keep him black ? He is outside 24/7 and is only feeding on pasture ...he is a little chuncky and needs to lose some weight!
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post #2 of 18 Old 06-20-2012, 02:22 PM
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Its called sun fading and its 100% normal. In fact, most black horses do fade if they're in the sun more than a few hours a day. The only horses that don't turn brown are those that are non-fading black. If he lives outside 24/7, there really isnt anything you can do about it, although there are certain things such as sunflower seed oil and nutmeg (I think? Not sure, we just let ours fade)that you can add to their diets to make them not fade quite as much. Once fall comes around again though, he'll most likely start darkening up on his own though.

Personally, I think the fading blacks are kind of cute xD we have a black miniature gelding who gets BRIGHT red highlights in his ears, back, and mane/tail every year. I think of it as a sign that he's healthy, happy, and in the environment that he was created to be in. Outside!
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post #3 of 18 Old 06-20-2012, 02:32 PM
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He looks brown to me, actually. A very dark brown, but a brown nonetheless. The bleaching in his flank area tells me so, as that would be one of the last places for a horse to bleach.
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post #4 of 18 Old 06-20-2012, 02:34 PM
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Feeding paprika or a commercial supplement (such as Black As Night) from mid-winter on next year will help reduce or even eliminate sun fading next summer. Be sure to check with your respective associations if you show though- some coat enhancing substances will test positive.
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post #5 of 18 Old 06-20-2012, 02:50 PM
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Agree on the brown. If it were sun fading, I wouldn't expect so much fading beneath the belly.

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post #6 of 18 Old 06-20-2012, 03:10 PM
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Sorry - not a true black. Looks to me more a brown or bay horse.
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post #7 of 18 Old 06-20-2012, 04:43 PM
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Horse coloring is a very interesting subject

There are a number of colors that look like black (liver chestnut and brown/seal bay/dark bay are the most common), but aren't really, and then there are some black horses that don't look like it because they fade in the sun! Smoky black horses (black + cream gene) can be particularly sensitive to fading in the sun.

How long have you had this horse? Has he ever shown any color variations before? Do you know what color his parents were?
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-20-2012, 06:24 PM
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My black horse fades SO much in the FL sun! In fact, at our first dressage show, the judge called him "bay" =\
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post #9 of 18 Old 06-20-2012, 06:32 PM
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A true or homozygous black will not fade. If he gets reddish tinges it could be a deficiency in copper. My twh is out as he pleases and is black as coal.
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post #10 of 18 Old 06-20-2012, 06:36 PM
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A true black can certainly fade. Not all will (they're referred to a "non-fading black"), but fading doesn't make a horse a non-black.
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