Next year I'm going to sport horse nationals with a couple of horses... two of which are darker colors. I am thinking about stalling them all day, then turning them out at night.
Will I have to do that all summer? Or just a few months before the show? (It's in September...)
If I fed a coat/color supplement, would that prevent a horse from bleaching?
Any other suggestions about keeping a horse from sun bleaching?
The only time you can make a coat dramatically darker (without dying it) is when one coat is shed and a new coat grows in. So if they start fading, stalling them a few months before the show isn't going to help unless they're growing a new coat.
The two times of year when you should start stalling during the day and feeding supplements are the fall (a month or two before they start growing their winter coats) and the spring (a month or two before they start growing their summer coats). If you do it at any other time (with an already-faded horse) you're wasting your time.
If they don't fade very much, you can let them out during the day. But if you let them out in say, June, any color damage that's done to the coat will stay there until a new coat is grown in. You'll have to actually dye the coat to change it at that time.
Does that make sense?
I stall my mare during the day and turn her out at night, I feed her Black-As-Knight, I use Emerald Black shampoo, and I use Quic-Screen sunblock. I also make sure to hose all the sweat off of her ANY time she sweats, because the salt in the sweat damages the coat.
Copper is a huge factor in sun fading. The darker the horse, the more copper they require nutritionally. Copper covers the hairs and acts as a natural sunscreen. Molasses, Soybean, and flaxseed are all very high in copper.