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Black pony and day turn out-bleaching?

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  • Black pony and day turn out-bleaching?

    Just recently acquired a new pony for my kids. She is jet black and very shiny. She currently gets night turnout (at the barn we purchased her from). The barn we board at has 8 horses and 3 small pastures. Currently, 2 horses each get turn out at night in the 3 pastures. The other 2 get individual turnout during the day. Our last pony got hurt at another barn by a horse during turnout and had to be on stall rest for months. I now am paranoid about the new pony getting turned out with others. She would have all day individual turnout, but I'm wondering about her fading in the hot Florida sun. She is a local show pony. Any tips for keeping a black coat black on day turnout? Thank you.

  • #2
    A good flysheet that covers the neck and tail will make a big difference. Also I have read that paprika helps encourage the hair regrowth to stay darker. Unfortunately sweat also fades their coat so that is an ongoing issue to deal with in the heat.

    I had a black horse that was on night turnout this summer and was much more red than I would have liked, I couldn't figure it out for quite awhile because his coat was still very shiny and healthy and he was not even worked during hours when the sun was bright. Finally after research found that is was from him sweating and there was not much I could do about it. Luckily the winter coats are starting to grow and look much better.

    Good luck with this as it is an ongoing battle where the sun is strong.


    • #3
      How about a sheet? Although that won't salvage the main and tail. I typically find though that with the UV rays in winter not being as severe as they are in summer, my horse doesn't get bleached as badly.


      • #4
        Feeding paprika works very well to maintain black coats. Do a search on here for paprika and you should find lots of information the subject.


        • #5
          If you get a sheet make sure it has high UV protection. Some sheets have none and some have very little. A regular sheet will do nothing. Also the paprika is good. If the mane and tail do fade still you can use jet black hair day before shows and touch it up.
          Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


          • #6
            Someone at my barn gives Black as Knight, which I believe is mostly paprika, to her dark bay mare and she still bleached out a lot this summer. Other bays at the barn, who don't get any supplements, actually look better, so I don't know if genetics might play a big part.

            I definitely wouldn't rely upon paprika to keep my black show pony dark. I think a fly sheet is the only answer, though I'd worry about how hot the pony might get in the Florida sun. On the other hand, if he's black and doesn't have access to any shade he might be cooler in one of the reflective fly sheets.


            • #7
              Full cover fly sheet. Works on our black ponies in Virginia.

              Paprika will test positive I believe.

              Your pony is probably just as likely to hurt itself alone in turn out. It may run if it gets lonely. Or paw at the fence or gate, or try to jump in with another friend...


              • #8
                #1. Turnout paranoia is ridiculous. Horses are herd animals; they need to be allowed to be horses! Just like people, there's a risk of injury in anything they do!

                #2. For black coat, use "Black as Knight" supplement.

                #3. It's winter and UV rays are lower, I wouldn't worry about a sheet unless it's for the purpose of warmth.


                • #9
                  Genetics does play a part. There is a gene in some black horses that make them naturally fade out. If this pony is very black without the sun he probably doesn't have the gene. I have one walkerX that is black and stays that way but the other no matter if he is in or with a sheet he will still fade.
                  Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                  • #10
                    If you use paprika - and BAK is just a wildly expensive form of it, because the other ingredients do nothing to keep a coat black - it will test for capsacin, so be sure to pull the horse off at least seven days prior to a show. But sweat will always be your enemy.


                    • #11
                      I dont think there is much you can really do...I also live in Florida and tried the UV block or flysheet for my horses during the day....just way too hot and humid...they sweated all day under the sheet and ended up with more problems (rain rot, fungus)
                      Plus looked really uncomortable!

                      Now we only turn the show horses over night!


                      • #12
                        Black as Night/Paprika will test positive if you show at USEF rated shows, or any other organization that tests. If you show, avoid it.

                        Kensington makes a great UV sheet.