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Can dapples disappear due to introduced 24/7 turnout?

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  • Can dapples disappear due to introduced 24/7 turnout?

    Before I bought my chestnut mare 18 months ago, she lived in a stall and got perhaps 6-8 hours of turnout. She also used to have gorgeous dapples.

    My horses live on lush well-maintained pastures 24/7, and she gets Omega Horseshine, but she lost her dapples shortly after coming to live here.

    Since the sun can bleach their coats in general, can it also make dapples seem less visible?

  • #2
    My horses live out almost 24/7 and 2 of the 4 are dappled. One of them is a dapple gray so he doesn't count. So I don't think turn out causes them to lose their dapples.


    • #3
      I would say yes. My horse is medium brown and the sun brings out his dapples, but if your mare had dapples with that amount of turnout (depending on time of day), my guess is that she just lightened up enough for them to "disappear" or seem less visible.
      Coruscant Stables


      • #4
        My guy always dapples a bit when he sheds out and stays dappled until early spring which is coincidentally the time when he stops wearing a turn out sheet and is outside more.

        Perhaps it does have to do with him getting more sun.


        • #5
          Dapples are also affected by time of year and status of the coat. I have a couple that are dappled in the winter, and some that are dappled in the summer with their lightest/shortest coat.

          In fact, is dappling really a color change? I'm not talking about a dappled grey, I *think* that's a different thing entirely. Dappling in a solid brown (bay or chestnut) coat is hair length and direction more than color. I think. Oh I hope someone actually knows this, now I'm curious!
          Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


          • #6
            My horses live outside with some shade from oak trees when they choose it.

            Here is a dappled coat. She looks like she's been hosed down but that's just her healthy coat.



            • #7
              Originally posted by Oakstable View Post
              My horses live outside with some shade from oak trees when they choose it.

              Here is a dappled coat. She looks like she's been hosed down but that's just her healthy coat.

              No, that's sooty factor. Heavy sootiness like the horse in your link will cause beautiful dappling like that. She's gorgeous by the way

              My bay and blacks dapple right when they first shed out in the spring and fade within a few weeks. They are all out 24/7. If my black horses fade those dapples out, I sure don't see evidence of it until well into the summer (redness of coat, etc). My black mare was heavily dappled a week ago. Now, not so much. Happens that way every year with mine. As far as the poster that said hair length and direction, the hair growth direction doesn't change. You may occasionally have hair length difference but only as the horse sheds out. My black mare has reverse dappling when she's in the middle of shedding. Once shed out she has normal dappling and the coat is the same length (appears so to me anyway). I've always felt it was a difference in temperature (warmer within the center of those dapples) or oil content that causes 'health' dappling.


              • #8
                I have to agree with jaimebaker about oil content related to dapples.
                But it will vary from horse to horse.

                After I started feeding BOSS both horses' coats became noticeably softer & shiner.

                My one bay is a Sea O' Dapples all Summer long.
                The other is shiny as all getout but dapples are not as apparent.
                And neither can be credited to my nearly non-existent grooming practices.
                *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                • #9
                  I agree I don't think 24/7 turnout makes them disappear mine are all out 24/7 and 3 out of 6 got dapples I don't have the palomino anymore but her dapples were amazing!

                  Dappled Bay


                  • #10
                    I would suspect nutrition changes would be the blame to losing the dapples.
                    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


                    • #11
                      My two dark bays only have dapples for a month or two after they shed out - they're usually gone by July. If I get lucky I get to keep them until August, but by then they are usually too bleached. I try to keep them fly-sheeted to help the fading, but they don't get them all the time and do get that bleached look. At which point the dapples are no longer visible, despite their coats being incredibly healthy and shiny. They're only out about 16 hrs of the day.


                      • #12

                        Sooty factor?


                        • #13
                          The book "Horse Color Explained" by Jeanette Gower explains sooty as....

                          " a modifying gene Sty which causes sootiness, an admixture of black/liver brown hairs throughout including the tail. Due to seasonal conditions these can appear as dapples or change the horse to a 'false' liver."

                          It affects all kinds of coat colors just so that we can be a little more confused

                          Horse color is so interesting to me


                          • #14
                            Thank you.

                            This filly was born a mouse color so I thought she might go black. Her mother is a brown/black. Her sire is a mahagony bay.

                            Bonnie Bedelia has always had a bit different coloring for a warmblood.

                            If she was a Morgan, I'd understand.


                            • #15
                              You're welcome

                              Horse color fascinates me. I have a gelding whose dam was a sooty chestnut and his sire is grey. This boy came out dun with all the stripes and bars has the sooty gene and is turning grey...


                              • #16
                                My bay mare lives out and has plenty of dapples.
                                Providence Farm


                                • #17
                                  We were always taught growing up that all horses can Dapple with proper nutrition and LOTS of grooming.
                                  After feeding this morning, every horse in the barn has dappling to some degree.
                                  Although I'm not on 24/7 turnout.

                                  Gremmel and Zublin's research did reveal some interesting things about dappling. Dapples seem to be centers of networks of capillary arteries. The degree of pigmentation depends on the blood supply, but there is no connection with layers of fat under the skin. The skin under a dapple appears less pigmented than the surrounding areas. The hairs in the center of the dapples are shorter than those on the outside hairs surrounding the dapple. This slight difference in texture is why you can see dapples on a black horse if he is angled in the light just right


                                  • #18
                                    oakstable - unrelated revelation

                                    i saw your pics of your beauties.. extremely healthy and happy..

                                    i did want to post a caution to you and i just recently learned this myself.. the tires that are used for feeders can cause abcesses, ulcers, colic and death.. the reason being is the tires can shred and pieces of the tire can be consumed by a horse, where it can sit in the stomach or intestine and grow bigger through calcification..

                                    thought i would bring that to your attention, please hope you dont mind...