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    Would like to hear tips and suggestions for keeping my horse as dark as possible for show season!
    *QH Reiner*

  • #2
    Don't turn it out in the sun.

    Turn out at night only. Wash any sweat off as soon as possible,
    feed a high quality feed with an appropriate amount of fat, zinc and copper in it.

    Good Luck.
    Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
    Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
    New edition of book is out:
    Horse Nutrition Handbook.



    • #3
      ^Ditto that. If using day-time turnout, use a sheet that provides UV protection such as Rambo or Kensington (with a neck cover!) and a sprayable sunscreen. I use Quic Screen. You only have to apply it once a week.

      Black oil sunflower seeds and ground flax are great too.

      My girl is not black, but she's a very dark bay and this was her in MAY last year:

      And AUGUST:

      And finally in SEPTEMBER.

      One from August of the previous year:

      So no change really. If anything, she seemed to get a darker/richer color as the summer went on. She was on day turnout with a Rambo sheet and sunscreen with a great diet with all areas well balanced (including copper, which is really important.)

      I've tried paparika on her a few years ago and it didn't do anything at all.


      • #4
        Your girl is lovely. Dark bay is my favorite color.


        • Original Poster

          Thank You Melyni and Auventera Two(your horse is gorgeous!)

          I will order some Quic Screen and I already have two fly sheets with neck covers and he is on Grand Coat.

          So I hope with that maintenece he will be black as can be and shiny!
          *QH Reiner*


          • #6
            Also, in a pinch if he gets a bit bleached,I use Quick
            Black, and it really does work-- it does for black horses what Quick Silver does for white.
            My 25 year old OTTB bleached out really bad one year, I bathed him with it, and he didn't bleach out anymore that summer--in fact he continued to get darker, don't know why
            The only difference between a runaway and a fast gallop is nothing but a SMILE
            Most horses cross the Rainbow Bridge, but TEDDY JUMPED IT!!!
            Member of the COTH Enabler Clique


            • #7
              I feed 1 tbs of paprika yr round.

              Oct 2008


              another late 08


              before paprika:



              • #8
                I gave up caring a long time ago

                At the end of the day I would rather be able to turn him out 24/7 and let him sunbathe than worry about keeping him inside or covered in a fly sheet when it's 100 degrees outside.

                I have no beef with people who go to extremes to keep their horses black but for me personally it just doesn't matter.

                Jay was an eventer so his color didn't matter anyway! I will say that he was way happier being turned out 24/7 which did improve his mindset and physical well-being for shows.

                Jay Winter

                Jay Summer
                http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


                • #9
                  Meredith, my gelding is a nudist who lives outside He won't tolerate summer clothes


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Meredith Clark View Post
                    I gave up caring a long time ago

                    At the end of the day I would rather be able to turn him out 24/7 and let him sunbathe than worry about keeping him inside or covered in a fly sheet when it's 100 degrees outside.
                    I'm lucky in that we live in a fairly cool part of the country so we dont have 100s to contend with, and also my horse doesn't mind clothing so long as it fits well. I think she's actually COOLER in the oatmeal colored Rambo sheet than when naked because instead of her dark coat soaking up all the rays, the light colored sheet reflects them.

                    We have a ton of mosquitos here too so the horses stay in sheets pretty much all summer. They'd be crazy and probably running though fences otherwise.

                    I have no beef with people who go to extremes to keep their horses black but for me personally it just doesn't matter.
                    The color doesn't really matter to me either I guess, but the biggest piece of it is the danged bugs. The sheets seems to give them good protection, with the added benefit of coat color protection. I do spray on the sunscreen once a week, but all the dietary stuff is just customary regardless. Again, the added benefit in the good diet is the good coat color.


                    • #11
                      what is Quick black? A shampoo? Will I end up black too? From washing?
                      Mine turns ugly bay by end of July. No summer clothes for him, and night turnout wont happen (he has a south facing stall and its a hot box in the summer). He is out 24/7 in the summer months.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LittleblackMorgan View Post
                        what is Quick black? A shampoo? Will I end up black too? From washing?
                        Mine turns ugly bay by end of July.
                        Its a shampoo, your hands may turn purple/blue, so I reccomend wearing gloves. I found that I have to leave it on for a loooong time for it to make much difference, but if I leave it on long enough it works great and makes them shiny too!

                        I keep a white or light colored fly sheet on my guy during the day, it keeps him MUCH cooler than his dark coat. Then use the QuicBlack to darken up legs, head, and body if needed.


                        • #13
                          Oster makes a shampoo called Black Pearl that isn't a dye like Quic Black, but it really glossens and deepens the dark coat. I usually use human salon shampoos and conditioners on the horses, but the Black Pearl is great when you really want to enhance the dark color.


                          • #14
                            Be careful with paprika or Black as Night. I've heard it can test.


                            • #15
                              Paprika will test as a derivative of capsaicin, which is a forbidden substance. Most of the people I know that feed it stop 10 days out.

                              I swear by my UV sheet. We have VERY hot summers, and my horse wears one for about 4 hours per day. Only when he goes out, but wears it nonetheless. It is a god send. A lot of people assume it makes them hot. On the contrary, the white, lightweight, breathable fabric (NOT the plasticy material some of them are made of, but the soft fabric that rambo uses) actually keeps my dark bay cooler. I may have seen him sweat underneath of it twice, but the other dark bays were drenched when they came in that day. The thing is awesome.

                              I am in a boarding barn situation and don't want to mess with feeding a forbidden substance.
                              Here today, gone tomorrow...


                              • #16
                                Reviving -

                                Has anyone had any luck clipping the horse that has already bleached out a bit? I'm going to try Quic Black for our next show, but I'm taking one to a large show in August and am hoping for a solution.


                                • #17
                                  Another thing - my horses coats are the best they've ever been and they're on the SmartOmega3 by smartpak. They have this really rich gloss that is present even with days or weeks of no grooming. The black bay is keeping her color much easier this year. I've skipped the fly sheet here and there and have slacked on the sunscreen a bit and she's still keeping the deep rich coloring.


                                  • #18
                                    i have my mare under a fly sheet, which keeps her cooler since she is dark bay. She also has a fly mask with ears and a long nose to keep flys off her face.

                                    i use a suncreen on her.

                                    i also feed rice bran and paprika. i stop feeding paprika 2 weeks before a show.

                                    i also groom her... a lot, at least 20 minutes a day. if i really get into it i groom her for 40 minutes. Sounds crazy but she looks wet she is so shiny and dark.
                                    "Let the fence be the bit." - Phillip Dutton


                                    • #19
                                      my mare is very dark bay looks black and one of my old horses that died was a black stb
                                      both worn and obviously bonnie still does wear fly sheet and fly mask
                                      and although our weather isnt as hot as your here in uk it does sometimes reach the hot as in hot hot lol

                                      one of my pupils ridng her recently at a show

                                      Last edited by goeslikestink; Jun. 21, 2010, 08:02 PM.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                                        My girl is not black, but she's a very dark bay and this was her in MAY last year:
                                        sorry for the OT but I'm curious what breed is your horse? those hocks seem very straight and I was wondering if that's a breed thing