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This is a discussion on Black Horse within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • My horse prefers day turnout in the summer
  • Will a black horse in pasture stay bleached?

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    06-08-2012, 12:05 AM
Once he sheds out the sunbleached bits will go. You can feed him anything and everything and it won't change damaged hair until the new coat comes through.
My horses nearly always go out with a cotton or sly sheet on it summer. Its actually cooler for a dark coloured horse, to have a light cotton sheet on, the air gets through it to prevent sweating, and the sunlight bounces off it rather than being absorbed by dark hair.
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    06-08-2012, 10:12 AM
Use paprika

I have a chocolate palomino Kentucky Mountain that bleaches out terribly. After reading on a few forums and sites about the use of paprika I tried him on it. I give him 3 tablespoons once a day on top of his grain. At first he didn't really care for it but after about a week he was used to it. I started it late winter/early spring for the first time this year. He is out on pasture 24/7. The difference in his coat color is amazing, my friends and family can't believe it. He is truly a dark chocolate when at this time of year he would have already faded out to a very light almost white color. I have read its very important to start them on it early before they shed out for spring. I buy it at my local Sam's Club, costs me about 8 bucks a month. It is the leading ingredient in all of the coat darkening supplements out there.
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    06-08-2012, 10:59 AM
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
Oh, I just have to brag. My black boy is in and out as he pleases and not one bleached hair. The secret is to buy a homogygous black. Those that bleach aren't true blacks. My pally, was in during the day and out after dark and since the flies were out she preferred that schedule. This was done only if showing, otherwise she'd fade from fresh minted gold to a bleached blonde.
By this logic a heterozygous black (Bb) isn't true black? Logico falsifyo.

Turning horses out at night doesn't particularly make them more prone to hurting themselves, unless they have some sight defect like moonblindness. They might trip a bit more. But honestly, at my barn, there is equal turn out at night and day during the summer months and they don't get "watched" any more or less. They might be seen more during the day as people walk back and forth from the pastures more, but they won't be any more or less reckless at night than they would during the day.

My barn owner lets her black TWH out at night only during the summer to prevent his sun bleaching. And he is a black boy, he doesn't turn brown in his coat with sun bleaching, just a lighter black. His mane and tail might bleach out to brown a bit. But it is noticeable when he stays in during the day. She doesn't feed anything extra to keep him black though.

Black oil sunflower seeds gives the coats better shine and health. It also makes sunflowers spontaneously grow in your pasture (great gift by the way haha!). But as far as I have witnessed, it doesn't particularly affect the color (unless you consider deeper color as a result of better health affecting the actual color). You can add straight oil to their feed and get the same effect. My mother in law feeds BOSS's to her older horses and her goal was to help their hooves. We did see the growth line difference from where she started feeding them BOSS's compared to before they were eating them.
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    06-10-2012, 10:41 PM
I can second the paprika route. I know someone who has a dark bay and feeds paprika and that works. Fly sheets that are built to allow air to flow and reflect UV rays should help keep your horse cool, protected from flies, and hopefully keep the coat dark. Turnout at night IMO is not more dangerous than turnout during the day. My horse is out 24/7 and we haven't had anything major happen. Horses have incredible eyesight at night so I wouldn't worry too much. Although if you are someone who subscribes to the "bubble wrap" mentality (Not a bad thing, just not how I personally do it) I can understand your reluctance to turn out at night. I'd go at the shedding hair with a curry comb and some elbow grease and see if you can't get that bleached dead hair out of there. Good luck on your project!
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    10-17-2012, 10:26 AM
Paprika update

Ok, it's mid October now. Tango the palomino is much darker than he would have been by this time of the year. He did get lighter but not like last year. I'm guessing next spring he will be a nice dark chocolate again since he hasn't bleached out. My red chocolate Rocky Mountain suspiciously stayed darker this year as well, I think he's been licking the remainder of the paprika from the bottom of the bucket!
    10-17-2012, 11:24 AM
When a true black sun bleaches the cause can be from a copper deficiency. That would require blood work plus having the feed tested. If you feed a supplement you could switch to one with a little more copper. This means lots of label reading.

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