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Is there any way to prolong my horse's dapples?

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  • Is there any way to prolong my horse's dapples?

    My horse has it in him to produce absolutely stunning dapples. He is blood bay, and for three weeks out of the year, usually after he finishes shedding out one coat, he explodes with dandelion-colored dapples the size of your fist all over his rump and barrel. The problem is that he can only keep it up for about three weeks before he's blood bay again. The rest of his coat stays the same glossy shade, so it's not as though he's just bleaching. Out of sheer vanity, because he looks so darn handsome with dandelions all over him, I am wondering if there is a way I can coerce him to keep them longer, or if it's simply the way he is.

    He eats a balanced diet appropriate for the grass and hay we have here, with Daily Omegas Plus (like Platinum Performance) on vet's suggestion because he gets so little grain. (Vet consulted when putting diet together.) He is turned out at night and has shade and a shed, but no fly sheet; he made his opinion on that very clear when he brought it in in pieces.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

    Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
    Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

  • #2
    My mare keeps her dapples by me spending extra time brushing her. Totally not saying you are not grooming him but it works with my mare.
    Come to the dark side, we have cookies


    • Original Poster

      No offense taken! Should have mentioned his grooming regimen. He's thoroughly groomed (lots of curry, he loves his curry) every day for at least 40 minutes, including awhile spent hand rubbing. Hosed off after work or given Vetrolin liniment rinse to keep sweat from drying on his coat.
      "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

      Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
      Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


      • #4
        Nope, because in your case, those dapples are because of the changing of the coats. Once the coat has changed, the dapples are gone.
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


        • #5
          Take a picture.
          Click here before you buy.


          • #6
            DW beat me to it...but would love to see a photo if you have one available.

            I adore the look of dapples on a bay!

            Sounds like your horse must be one seriously shiny dude! My arms would fall off if I curried mine that much every single day, kudos to you and your grooming regime. It's very healthy for their skin and coat.

            I cheat a bit...I have a scratching brush and a sand rolling pit. Those coupled with a few times weekly currying (more of a scratch session sometimes) baths when needed, vinegar or vetrolin rinses when sweaty and a really well balanced diet keeps my guys pretty shiny with the least amount of input from me.

            However, my little tricks and extras don't keep up well with trimming, clipping and mane/tail conditioning. *sigh* I love keeping my guys clean and stain free but not always the best overall groom in terms of cosmetic upkeep. I'm one of those "roach it!" mane care folks, LOL!
            You jump in the saddle,
            Hold onto the bridle!
            Jump in the line!


            • #7
              Okay, no fair! Checked your sig link and no photos of your horse!

              I do like the company name though...great name for an equine graphic design company.

              Didn't realize you did that. Will keep you in mind if I ever get around to picking a logo for my farm name and getting stationary for it.
              You jump in the saddle,
              Hold onto the bridle!
              Jump in the line!


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                Take a picture.
                It'll definitely last longer! Maybe I can convince him to hold onto his coat for longer... is there an herbal remedy for that?

                MistyBlue, unfortunately I lost the memory card on which I had all this spring's horse pictures (and my vacation photos, too! ) but you can see the last vestiges of his summer dapples here. This photo is right after last year's March clip job (by "right after," I mean that I walked him out of the grooming stall, dropped the lead rope, and took a picture- so not very shiny, I'm afraid) and you can see where they're starting to come in.
                "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


                • #9
                  Couldn't see many dapples in the pic. Also didn't see any reason to complain. He's gorgeous as is! After that much currying, I'm surprised he has a coat at all. I have all manner of brushes that sit and collect dust in the tack room. In the summer, I use one brush, mixed synthetic and horse hair. If he's really muddy, I dust off the stiff brush. He gets a bath when we have to go somewhere. I just love bein' lazy!
                  "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer


                  • #10
                    I would up the omega 3s in his diet and be very sparing of the Vetrolin, just to see what if that would help. But your routine and feed already sound good.


                    • #11
                      I use Ultra Elite Pro-Form by U.S. Animal Nutritionals by Food Science Corp. My very dark bay boy keeps his dapples through the summer. If your horse has a tendency to dapple, this supplement (multi-vitamin) will bring it out.
                      Laurie Higgins
                      "Expectation is premeditated disappointment."


                      • #12
                        Grand Hoof Pellets

                        When I used Grand Hoof pellets my horse had dapples. Before I started using it she never did.


                        • #13
                          Soaked flax seed has done wonders for my horses coats.
                          I have a black pony and even standing out in the summer sun, she gleams like she's wet.

                          Braces and shampoo can strip the oils out of their coat, drying them and removing the shine, be aware how often you use them.
                          A good rinse with plain water works just as well after a ride.
                          You're entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts!


                          • #14
                            Hemp products you feed and also McIntosh's feed supplement produce dapples all year long.


                            • #15
                              Swooning - what a gorgeous horse. I just love a shiny bay.


                              • #16
                                Have to agree with JB.


                                • #17
                                  You could try flax. When I fed it I had dapples on formerly dapple-less horses.


                                  • #18
                                    I have pics of my mare from last summer this time and she was a horribly faded out bay (looked like a faded out blood bay when in fact she's a dark bay). This summer she's still seal dark in most places and has lovely dapples (she's also out 24/7). I've had her on a cup of flax since sometime in early spring. When she finished shedding into her summer coat at the end of May she had beautiful dapples all over her barrel. For other reasons, I then switched from feeding her ~1lb of rice bran a day to a cup of BOSS a day. Now about 4 weeks later she has dapples all over her butt. So, maybe a cup each of flax and BOSS a day will help. This is just my experience and other factors could certainly be at play, so as always, YMMV.


                                    • #19
                                      Apply a solution of 50% bleach 50% peroxide to the dapples using a small brush weekly
                                      George Spear
                                      CNBBT, CNBF, CLS