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Sun bleaching horse coats?

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  • Sun bleaching horse coats?

    I know sun exposure can cause a horses coat to fade or become bleached out by the sun, but how much can it really change the color? I have a dark bay TB (native) and he goes out 8-10 hours a day, everyday. Someone called him buckskin yesterday and it really threw me off. Here are some before and after pics.

    Thoughts? Stories?

    -Before



    - After
  • Original Poster

    #2
    His neck looks dark in the "After" pic, but I think it might just be the lighting.

    Comment


    • #3
      i've had dark bays bleach out lighter than that and get stripes on their legs and ears.
      use water based fly spray and fly sheets can help
      www.destinationconsensusequus.com
      chaque pas est fait ensemble

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Stripes?! Wow. When I got him he was a rich bay covered in dapples. I dont mind the color change much, just that I've never seen this kind of transformation. I've seen the black horses turn reddish and bays manes and tails lighten. But never a whole body.

        sheesh.

        Comment


        • #5
          I had a dark bay (almost black horse) who by the end of every summer was the color of mustard (spicy brown, not ball park yellow!)

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Does the color change bother you? Some people at my barn turn out at night to keep their horses colors, or they just dont let them out at all.

            But if i'm not showing much and it isnt hurting him, why leave him in?

            Comment


            • #7
              How much? A LOT!

              My mom's QH mare was a dark brown, out 24/7 and would turn a green-buckskin. Think the color of grass in winter; tan but still kinda green. Not a good color on a horse. My new guy is the same color and I'm doing everything I can to keep him dark!
              "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ThatGirlTina View Post
                Does the color change bother you? Some people at my barn turn out at night to keep their horses colors, or they just dont let them out at all.

                But if i'm not showing much and it isnt hurting him, why leave him in?
                If your horse doesnt have a big pink nose (sunburn can be a problem) and has the option of shade if he wants it and you don't care about the color, then by all means leave him out. His winter coat will come in the same dark color it was before. I say what's best for the horse trumps human vanity everytime. And I am from the school of more time out is best for most horses. Night turnout can be a nice option. Depending on your climate it might be cooler with less flies etc.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My guy is very dark bay/brown, and he does bleach out some no matter how careful I am. I keep a fly sheet with a neck cover on him and turn him out 24/7. The day pasture has lots of shady grazing spots, but only the old mare eats there! The boys graze in the sun and sweat. On the plus side he seems cooler in the light colored fly sheet than our other dark horse who is "naked."

                  Keeping him darker would be nice, but his coat does stay nice and shiny even when he fades a bit. I'd rather have him out as much as possible!
                  ~ A true friend knows all there is to know about you and still likes you. -E. Hubbard

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My black bay is almost black during the winter and dun colored during the summer.

                    Turning them out when wet appears to speed up the bleaching process.
                    Now in Kentucky

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My horse is a grulla, and her coat goes through some fairly dramatic color changes because of sun bleaching. When her new coat comes in, she starts out a fairly dark and interesting coffee/gray color. By the end of the season (especially winter) she's blonde as can be all over, and everyone calls her a buckskin. My understanding is that's fairly typical for grullas. Baths after sweaty rides will delay the worst of the bleaching a little (her coat fades out crazy fast wherever sweat has been, if I don't rinse it out thoroughly).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I had a dark bay, the color of dark chocolate. At one barn, there was night-only turnout in the summer. She would be in the sun, but not that much (maybe from 6pm to sundown) and retained her dark color with just a bit of bleaching. Then I moved her to a barn with 24 hour turnout and she bleached out to light dun! I actually didn't recognize her, after having been out of town for a couple of weeks.
                        Proud Member: Bull-snap Haters Clique, Michigan Clique, and Appaloosa Clique!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wow he really did bleach out hehe. Prb the most sun he's ever seen in his entire life since training though. Never been a bay loving kind of girl and I will honestly say I do not like him light colored but I wouldn't change his turn out since he's healthy and happy. Soo glad he ended up with you as he is looking fantastic. *hugs and kisses Beautiful Native*

                          I have heard that Kona about the Grullas but I have never known one so its interesting. My palomino mare was a butterfinger color with dapples for the summer and a dappled milk chocolate during the winter. She only dappled during the winter and she was on 24/7 turn out (except to feed and ride) for her entire life.
                          Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
                          Originally Posted by alicen:
                          What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My dark bay TB is very light by the end of the summer. He lives out and loves it. I wish I could keep him dark bay, but I'd never take away his beloved turnout for that reason alone. I just patiently wait for the winter hair to come in and he's dark again!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My brown gelding turns orange if I don't put a sheet on him while outside. The barn help has taken to turning him out very early in the A.M. and bringing him in before the sun gets high, so that helps.

                              My mare is brown, almost black actually, and she doesn't bleach AT ALL. She can stand out all day in the blazing sun and doesn't turn a hair. Can't figure that out.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                How funny that this thread hit today because I was pondering this very issue today on the commute home from work.

                                I'm a sucker for a dark bay and, natch, have two. One is a big gelding who landed in my lap when the owner couldn't pay his bills, the other is the filly I bred (EventerJ has her dam). Neither of them has one single white hair. Perfect! I just love a dark bay!

                                I spray them for bugs but wonder about good alternatives for SPF. Fly sheets aren't practical due to the nature of my boarding situation. I prefer to turn them out for the night when the days are hot, but have to keep a close eye on the weather because there are no sheds in their paddocks.

                                Last Friday night I waxed and waned about whether or not to leave them out all night. At least twice last week storms were predicted that didn't materialize. So, I took my changes on Friday. I got a call from the BO around 2:00 a.m. The storm had hit and she and her husband had attempted to bring two of the horses into the barn but, once a clap of thunder materialized, my 2 y.o. filly broke away and her pasture buddy ran out of the barn and they both disappeared into the night. Fortunately they weren't running in traffic, but they were in and out of woods and BODH spotted them with his huge spotlight about 1/2 mile from the barn and spent over an hour flushing them back towards the barn.

                                By the time I got there, the storm was in full force and I stood in the middle of it with lightening and thunder and driving rain and didn't give any of that a thought!I started calling for my baby and the BO later told me that as soon as she heard my voice she started to run for the barn! Aww! (love that girl)

                                It was about an hour before they were driven back to the barn. They were SO GLAD to be home!

                                The upshot is that neither of them had a mark on them. Imagine this: running through recently plowed fields, hedgerows, woods...Nobody stepped in a hole, nobody got cut up. Lucky me! I guess we can't encase them in bubble wrap?

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