As a novice horse owner, I've still got a lot to learn. A lot of it I'm picking up through reading, talking to other horse owners, from practice. But there are occasional small things that continue to baffle me. Like, seasonal horse colour changes. How do they work?
My horse Dubbin's black, allegedly. We're just coming out of a hot Australian summer and heading toward cooler weather, but it's still quite pleasant, temperature-wise. Since my partner and I purchased Dubbin a couple of months ago, he's been more of a lovely mahogany brown colour than anything I'd call black. In overcast conditions he looks pretty black, in clear sunlight, he's been looking more like this:
2013 Feb 20 Dubbin posing.jpg
But over the last few weeks, as the weather's shifted gear and started getting a little cooler, he's gotten darker, and is now looking like this (excuse crappy cellphone pic taken last weekend):
Dubbin in autumn colours.jpg
The difference is pretty dramatic. Even in direct bright sunlight, he's now looking more black than brown. Why is this? Could he have completely shed and regrown his coat in the darker autumn tones in the space of a few weeks? Is it some odd optical trick due to the intensity of the light being a little less now than during high summer? Or is there some other reason for this? (Perhaps he's doing chameleon impressions?)
Who can shed some light on this phenomenon?