The reason I want to know is, my friend blankets her horse during the summer and her coat turns into a beautiful liver chestnut. I really don't like the idea of having blankets on my horses in the HOT summer months. I know someone who leaves them on every day all summer (without taking them off), so they sweat and look pretty in the winter for shows. To me this seems like it's abuse(?)....So my question is how many of you blanket your horses in the summer to get your horses coats nice (without the sun ruining them), and to get your horses to sweat? Also is there anything to give my horses to make there coats look like they would be if they were blanketed all summer?
Are you sure it's a blanket and not just a fly sheet? Because that makes no sense at all... The salt in their sweat will make them fade almost as much as the sun!
When you're trying to keep a horse from fading, the MOST important things you can do are a) protect them from the sun, b) make sure they're getting enough minerals, and c) hose off their sweat!
I ALWAYS hose the sweat off of my black mare after I ride her, and she still has little patches behind her ears that are lighter than the rest of her body (because she pins her ears when I spray her face and keeps me from being able to get ALL the sweat off).
Use a fly sheet with UV protection to keep your horses from fading. That's what I do with my mare. I agree with you - keeping horses blanketed in the hot summer months is bordering on abuse.
What color are your horses? Cheval makes a few different supplements for different colors (I think they have black, brown, yellow, and white) and they work well, but are also very expensive. Most horses will get nice coats just by being on an all-around supplement. Just make sure it has copper in it.
I just bought this fly sheet and matching neck cover for my mare after it was recommended to me: Schneider Saddlery