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Back to black - horse care, but need tips hunter specific.

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  • Back to black - horse care, but need tips hunter specific.

    Does anyone have any tips for top-notch turnout -after- a black horse has already faded? I have one that has already faded - she gets sprayed down after rides to minimize the effects from sweat, but does get all-day turnout. Plus "summer" came early around here and as a result, her coat is bleaching at a rather alarming rate. We're mostly doing local As for July, but have a heftier schedule for August and she'll have to be stood up for conformation, so I obviously want her looking her best. Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Once the coat color is faded, you have a dark bay/brown horse until the winter coat comes in. Ask me how I know this.

    However, that doesn't mean the horse can't look great. It will just be a great looking brown horse instead of a black one.

    The whole secret is quality time with a curry comb, rub rag and elbow grease. And of course quality feed.

    I rub on my horse for about 40 minutes a day, and that is in addition to the light grooming he gets when he comes in from turnout. He is also thoroughly rinsed after every ride to ensure that there is no sweat in his coat - sweat is a killer if you want shine.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina

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    • #3
      I assume she wears a full-neck fly sheet with UV protection? That helps a lot to keep the lighter coat at least staying shiny. DD's mare is black and loves outdoors, so we deal with the same thing. She is hardly EVER naked. we also use a fly spray with sunscreen in it. I haven't ever tired one of the blackening shampoos, but that may help as well.
      A proud friend of bar.ka.

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      • #4
        What if you body clip the horse? The undercoat should still be black. Then use head to toe fly/UV protection.
        Eight Fences Farm. Mansfield, MA

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          I was wondering about the body clip option. I just ordered her a new fly sheet -- she has a pasture buddy with a penchant for shredding other horse's sheets -- and was debating the clip idea after it arrives/about two weeks into July. I do have a purple "blackening" shampoo - I'm thinking before & after pictures will be in order to determine whether its effective. I'll report back, hah.

          Thanks for the thoughts so far! And Lucassb, I hear you on the grooming. She's very shiny, its just a shiny black & brown color. We'll definitely keep that up.

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          • #6
            Pretend she's a lightly faded dark brown horse
            ______________________________
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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            • #7
              My old hunter was only turned out at night, religiously rinsed to avoid sweat fading ... and he was still a brown black horse from June to winter coat time.
              Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

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              • #8
                I play that game with my mare, she has a lovely dark bay coat that promptly fades on her 24/7 turnout.

                This is her normal coat:
                http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...g?t=1277917321

                Then she fades to this:
                http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...g?t=1277917409

                I took her to a RPSI inspection last summer and was really worried about her fading. I used the sunscreen, fly sheet with neck cover, darkening shampoo every day for about 3 weeks leading up to the inspection....she still looked like this:
                http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...g?t=1277917539

                http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...g?t=1277917539
                SLIGHTLY better, but not much.

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                • #9
                  I've some luck with the colored shampoos - I mean the ones that stain your hands (Rio Vista).

                  Used full strength, and let it sit on the coat for a while. Other shampoos haven't worked for me (Oster) at all.

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                  • #10
                    I used rubber surgical gloves while bathing to prevent staining.

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                    • #11
                      FWIW, I've never had ANY luck with those coloring shampoos. Might stain my cuticles for a few hours, but that's the extent of it.
                      COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                      "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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                      • #12
                        This is what I do before an important show.

                        1) Shave
                        2) quickblack (whole bottle 3x over the course of a week)
                        3) Head to tail, 100% UV protection sheet.
                        My horse is much cooler when shaved and in a thick white sheet rather than roasting under the dark coat.
                        4) Minimal electrolytes (free choice salt block always) but minimal amounts added to feed. Salty sweat kills the coat even without sun.

                        Jumper girl, has anyone mentioned your horse looks like a liver chestnut? She looks like my favorite color... deep liver chestnut. A bay horse will have BLACK mane and tail (won't fade red) and black points. Is it just your photos that are tricking my eyes into seeing a beautiful mahoganey, black mixed tail?

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                        • #13
                          Remember to read the instructions on the colored shampoos- shampoos like quicblac and the rio vista stuff actually direct you to use the shampoo straight (not diluted) onto the coat, then leave on for 20 minutes. I never used to follow the directions and thought the stuff was absolute crap until I actually read the bottle.

                          I've also had luck with this product (black horse henna on this page): http://www.chevalinternational.com/page5.html

                          It will STAIN THE CRAP OUT OF EVERYTHING, though, so take proper precautions not to get it on yourself or your horse's white markings. This is also a product that you leave on for 30 minutes or so. I recommend putting it straight onto a dry coat. It's expensive, but it WORKS. Leaves a SUPER shine as well, and lasts for about 3 weeks with regular work and bathing.
                          Here today, gone tomorrow...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Clairol Nice N' Easy.
                            Seriously.
                            I owned a black pony for many years, and probably dyed him three separate times in his life. I also had a client with a faded Friesian and we dyed his entire body for his Keurring. Looked fabulous! I have also dyed many a sunburned tail in my life.
                            If it's that important to you, and it's a BIG show, dye her.
                            I always do a test patch first, up high on the inside of the hind leg, to be sure they don't have a sensitivity to the dye.
                            You'll need at least four packages.
                            I didn't make this up all by myself, either! An adult rider back when I was a Jr, ermmm MANY years ago, dyed her bay horse (much harder color match...) with no ill effects. The chemicals used in hair coloring these days are much kinder to the skin than they once were.
                            Really, most people totally "get" that horses fade in the summer. If the coat is in otherwise gleaming condition, nobody will think twice.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FrenchFrytheEqHorse View Post
                              Remember to read the instructions on the colored shampoos- shampoos like quicblac and the rio vista stuff actually direct you to use the shampoo straight (not diluted) onto the coat, then leave on for 20 minutes. I never used to follow the directions and thought the stuff was absolute crap until I actually read the bottle.
                              Ha! I used that quickblac shampoo last week for a breed show and I thought that exactly -- "this stuff is CRAP" (yeah, I didn't read the directions ...) It has zero lather.

                              Will have to try it again using it properly this time.

                              My 2 year old has the most lovely almost black coat ... for about two weeks after his winter coat sheds out. Now it's brown with touches of mustard. I bought into the hype and have been using Black as Night (started during shedding season). nada.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Remember, too, that some true black horses have a fading gene that you can't really fight. If she's a black bay, she's also going to fade some.
                                A proud friend of bar.ka.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by flyracing View Post

                                  Jumper girl, has anyone mentioned your horse looks like a liver chestnut? She looks like my favorite color... deep liver chestnut. A bay horse will have BLACK mane and tail (won't fade red) and black points. Is it just your photos that are tricking my eyes into seeing a beautiful mahoganey, black mixed tail?
                                  No, she's a pretty obvious bay, although she has some sun fading in her tail, more-so to the bottom because of her tail flap. All of my horses live out and just come in for bad weather and feeding, doesn't help their coats!

                                  http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...g?t=1277990479

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I apologize if someone has already mentioned this, but Cheval International's Black as Knight supplement actually works! I used it one season on a black horse with great results. The downside is that it takes about a month to kick in, but it does help prevent the coat from fading/bleaching and makes the coat shiny. Not sure what their website is; you'd have to do a search.

                                    www.foxdalefarm.us

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Hah. These blackening shampoos sound almost as dangerous as Mrs. Stewart's bluing (I had hands like that blueberry girl in Willy Wonka for a week, but did have a horse with blindingly white socks).

                                      Hearing that other people have clipped, I may try that route followed by black pony shampoo. The dyeing thing seems a bit... Drastic, for me - I can see considering that for a Friesian, where they -have- to be black.

                                      Foxdale - Isn't the Black as Knight stuff paprika-based? I thought someone once told me it could test... It probably wouldn't make a significant difference with the amount of time we have until she shows again.

                                      Thanks for the ideas!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Yes, stop using it 10 days out from a USEF show. Also, its important to start it before shedding occurs in the spring.
                                        Eight Fences Farm. Mansfield, MA

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