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Sunbleaching Solutions?

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  • Sunbleaching Solutions?

    I am asking for the help of fellow cothers!!

    So last year I took my horse to his first hunter breeding show. He did very well but he was certainly knocked down for his sun bleached coat.

    He was at a show barn and in all day. He was out all night and also had sunscreen on. (but it is Arizona and he sweats alot)

    So besides leaving them in all day and good nutrition, are there any other possibilities on keeping his coat a little darker for an August show?

    He is dark bay, but has at least 5 different browns on his coat all the time.

    He is on the best nutrition program available and has a shiny coat and good weight.

    Last year in Feb he did have colic surgery. He was very sick and in the hospital for 2 weeks. Could all the drugs from that have made his coat shed out to look sunbleached?

    Keeping him cooped up is not an option but I am willing to try other things.

    What about body clipping in the summer? Before the show? Is that crazy? Would that get rid of the sun bleach outer layer?

    Regardless I will go to the show, but I would like to do my best to get his coat less sunbleached then last year!!


  • #2
    With our darker horses we:
    • Keep them in from about 10am-4pm
    • feed paprika (But I believe it will test, so you have to feed accordingly)
    • Use Kensington fly gear if they have to be out during the day (but it was a bit heavy and did make them sweat)

    I never thought that the Kensington did all that much good, however the day after the inspection, we took it off and let them out during the day with nothing on- and within 2 days they were bleached out!
    Ryu Equestrian & Facebook Page
    Breeding Horses Today, for the Equestrian Sport of Tomorrow.
    Osteen & Gainesville, Florida.


    • #3
      if he is sweating alot make sure to rinse him off when bringing him in to his stall. sometimes the sweat can lighten the hair.
      be kind to your horses mouth!


      • #4
        Sweat lightens the hair, so be sure to wash him off, and I second the fly sheet idea, get one with a neck and it will really cut down on the sunbleaching.


        • #5
          Would any of the spray on sunscreens work? The fly spray that I use has sunscreen in it, it seems to help a bit.
          There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


          • Original Poster

            it gets way too hot here to put a fly sheet on him. He also is houdini and if a blanket isn't closed front he will get out of it (while banging his head, knee and any other part of his body he can injure)

            He plays really hard with his buddies and it would be ripped in a day guaranteed.

            Trust me I have looked at 20 different fly sheets and they just won't work!

            I was thinking of making my own sunscreen because the 2 I have used haven't seemed to help at all. THe Quick Screen and healthy hair care sunscreen did nothing.

            I was thinking of just mixing some of my 50 proof sunscreen in with flyspray. I just don't know if it would burn his skin.

            I think the sweating didn't help. He was in Scottsdale and now he will be up north where it is 10 degrees cooler.

            Keep the suggestions coming!!


            • #7
              I worked at an arabian farm for a while and though this practice seemed a bit over the top to me, it worked. We would bring in the pasture weanlings and yearling all scraggly, bleached, etc. Clip them up (not a body clip, just trim where needed) and then, with a 50/50 mix of show sheen and whatever color women hair dye matched the horse, spray them with a power sprayer. No, they didn't like it, and yes, it was a mess. I don't know what the lasting damage/results were to the coats. But they looked beautiful! Super shiney, no bleached looking hairs, etc. These horses were off to sales/shows under the assumption they had not been scraggly in a pasture 2 days ago.
              Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!


              • #8
                Originally posted by Samotis View Post
                I was thinking of just mixing some of my 50 proof sunscreen in with flyspray. I just don't know if it would burn his skin.
                I would be more concerned about the flyspray burning his skin than the sunscreen. I rode a leopard spot appy for a while with very pink skin, and I slathered straight Coppertone on her face before she got turned out. She never had any problems with it, which makes sense, considering it's designed to be gentle on sensitive human skins.

                However, I don't know if covering your *entire* horse in straight Coppertone is really a viable solution....! That would be *quite* a Costco run!!


                • Original Poster

                  yes, it could get quite expensive.

                  He will be turned out at night, but during the day he does have a stall with a run. And I am willing to bet he will spend most of his time out in the sun!!!

                  I doubt the dye would work. He is dark bay with roaning spots and 4 white socks and a blaze, so unless I want to dye him all black, it probably wouldn't work!

                  I use Endure fly spray because it doesn't gag me when I use it and it seems gently enough on their skin. I will just go find a bottle of "sensitive skin" spf and mix it with the spray.

                  Hopefully that works!

                  Has anyone ever clipped in the summer to get the top coat off?


                  • Original Poster

                    Here are some pictures of him in attempts to show you what color I think he should be and what multi colors that I usually get come August!

                    Ok so first one was in July when he was 5 months.
                    Next is in May of his first year(3 months after colic surgery)
                    Last one is the same year in August right before we had to go to the show!! (this is also when he was sweating alot and had colic surgery 5 months earlier)

                    Is he just a techni color horse? Or can I actually do something??
                    Attached Files


                    • Original Poster



                      • #12
                        Well, he sure is handsome!

                        I use Absorbine Ultrashield, which has the sunscreen built in (and a coat conditioner, they feel like they have been Showsheened).

                        Also, I fed Omega Horseshine, which seemed to help with keeping the sunbleaching down to a minimum.
                        There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                        • #13
                          I am surprised that JB has not commented...

                          she has a black horse and has found that supplementing him w/copper stops him from bleaching.

                          Personally, my horses live out just about 24/7 and we are in the deep south. I supplement copper and zinc and really have very little bleaching and fading at all. I am not sure if it's that or the fact that they are fed well enough to turn their coats over quite a bit. Then again, their tails and manes don't really bleach so it can't be that.

                          This year our new boy will have a near blond end to his tail and the top will be black. It will slowly grow down and eventually just be black.
                          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                          • Original Poster

                            Well today was my day off so I just made a homeade mix to start feeding him. I blended up flax, oats, paprika, cider vinegar and molasses.

                            Hopefully the added paprika will help!

                            I will look into that absorbine fly spray. Normally because the flys are so bad I mix between pyrhana aerosal and endure fly spray, so it would be nice to find one that works.

                            I will buy some sunscreen too and add it to the fly spray.

                            His tail does redden up a lot. I can dye his tail black easy, but it is his coat that gives me problems!!

                            He was shiny at the show, just not the bay color he should have been. Its a catch 22 because I want him out all the time, but he suffers coat wise when he is out all time. (not to mention all the kick and bite marks he gets, usually a week before we want to show!!)

                            Thanks! Keep the suggestions coming....


                            • #15
                              Don't quote me on this, but I remember hearing that dying of horses was illegal under the USEF... but I may be wrong?
                              Ryu Equestrian & Facebook Page
                              Breeding Horses Today, for the Equestrian Sport of Tomorrow.
                              Osteen & Gainesville, Florida.


                              • Original Poster

                                I would assume that dying a horse would be against USEF policy. I do color the tips of his tail, but I would never spray paint his whole body!

                                They do make touch up sprays and I am sure that those are fine to use.

                                I am sure the USEF has better things to do then walk up to random show horses and wipe them with an alcohol towel.


                                • #17
                                  I just noticed that you said he was in all day. That makes me think it is indeed nutritional.
                                  "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                                  • #18
                                    Found this on the internet, did you try it yet?

                                    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                                    • Original Poster

                                      the only thing that could be nutritionally wrong with him is that he was sick last year. He had colic surgery in Feb and was in the hospital for 2 weeks being pumped with a lot of drugs because he was so sick.

                                      He is on Progressive Nutrition and the lady actually came out and made sure that he is getting everything he needs. (and no, it isn't all products from Progressive. )

                                      I would be shocked if it was nutritional. He is getting alfalfa and bermuda mix along with his progressive nutritions pro add supplement, scoop of equine junior, nu image and wormed every 3 months. Along with a mineral block both in his stall and in the pasture. He drinks plenty of water and looks to be in good condition.

                                      If if was nuttitional, what things could he be lacking that would cause his coat to bleach out?


                                      • #20
                                        If you check all the nutrition, and he still bleaches, which mine always did, the only solution really is to body clip them just before they leave and get all the gross orange hair off. Not fun at all, but it gets the job done.