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llbperformancehorses

Black Horses, Black Manes And Tails

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How do you keep your show horses black, mane, tail, and body? I have a coming three year old black gelding that is hopefully going to be ready for the futurities this fall (Western Pleasure), and he has been out to pasture most of his life, and we would like to keep him on some turnout at least. Right now he is in the barn since he is just shedding to his summer coat and i dont want it to be faded. BUT his mane and tail have bleached out as well, and i know that it wont go back to black on it's own for a long time. SO the question is what can i do when he gets ready to show to make his mane and tail black?

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I think you can just dye them black using human hair dye. I've seen this done on gray horses. And you won't even have to worry about being careful on the mane because if you dye some of his coat black in the process, it won't matter!

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Check your rule book as coloring his mane and or tail is more then likely illegal, though I doubt anyone would turn you in. For a brand I would search in the ethnic section as the tend to have naturally thick corse black hair. Try paprika in his food or the supplement black as knight. Both of these supplements can show up on a drug test so stop then a month to two weeks before your show. Also turn him out in the late afternoon or night when the sun isn't as strong.

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Be careful on the hair dye! My friend lost the entire tail on her horse because the hair dye burned the skin of the tailbone. Horses are not people and you have to be extremely careful NOT to get any of the dye on their skin.

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Be careful on the hair dye! My friend lost the entire tail on her horse because the hair dye burned the skin of the tailbone. Horses are not people and you have to be extremely careful NOT to get any of the dye on their skin.

Ditto. I have a friend who dyed her black horse and he broke out in awful hives that were painful for days. They had to call the vet and have him put on antihistamines and pain meds. I have heard black as knight works well. I would think that a combination of black as knight, keeping him in during the day and out at night (or keeping a full body UV sheet on him), and some black touch up spray should work just fine.

Be warned though that the touch up spray will come off on saddle pads, tack, and show clothes, so I would keep it to the legs, mane, and tail as much as you can.

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I always fed my black mare black oil sunflower seeds. They kept up her weight, gave her coat a great shine, and helped keep her black :smilie:

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They sell 100% natural hair die so it shouldn't harm your horse. I think they sell it at like sallys

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Be warned - 100% "natural" doesn't mean it is 100% safe! Lots of "natural" things can be dangerous or cause reactions.

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best thing to do is let the hair grow on it's own. Keep him in during the day and have evening and night turn out. I know it's not ideal or the other option is to get UV blocking sheet so he could go out during the day. That's really all you can do.

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There are fly sheets with UV protection if you don't have access to a stall during the day. Keep mine on my mare 24/7 spring through fall with no issues (I do take it off of her every day for riding, or at least a brushing, though). I've always used Kensington fly sheets and love them. Her tail will sometimes get split ends that are a touch lighter than the rest of those so I'll go through and trim those off when I'm feeling especially anal...

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I used dollar store hair dye on a few of my bleached tails and manes. I was careful and used the dye quite sparingly on the tails/manes, and it turned out just fine. Be careful not to get the dye in contact with the tailbone/base of mane. If your horse has any socks, cover those (I used saran wrap...lol) in case of splatter!

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Don't quote me on this...but I think somewhere on here it was mentioned that horses that are black, sometimes need a higher quantity of zinc and copper in their diet than other colored horses. Once that is 'fixed', some people stated that their horse no longer faded. Try searching the forums, or googling it.

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its called 'Quick Black' by Exhibitor Labs. you shampoo it in, leave for 10 minutes, rinse and viola! cant believe no one else mentioned this. its made for horses. ive used it and Quick Silver for many years. :smileywavey:

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I used to only let my mare out when the sun was going down, or if she was out during the day she always had a fly sheet on. Helped a lot! I also had black touch up paint for her legs and other areas the were faded. And as for her mane and tail, hair dye. I used to have to do that with the same mare, only her tail was white. Works great. Just be careful to not leave it in too long.

Don't know if some or all of that was already said. Didn't read any of the comments. So sorry if it was a repeat!

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Night turnout, quick black shampoo, a good coat supplement, and in my breed, the "norm" is to color manes and tails. A lot of people use a hair color called fat foam because its easy to apply and not runny, and a lot of people like just for men because you only need to leave it on 10 minutes. If you do color the mane and tail, you dont want to use black hair coloring, you want to use the darkest brown. The actual black hair coloring will give the hair a blueish tint and it will look tacky.

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My bay's tail has bleached also. He's on 24/7 turnout. I've finally decided to do something about it. I bought some Quic Screen UVB spray from State Line Tack (just came in today!) and you apply once a week, and it's supposed to prevent sun bleaching. It had good reviews, so hopefully it will work.

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Read some of the new work on mineral balance and coat fading, esp copper and zinc balance, and that is the true culprit of horses having coats fading

Link between minerals and coat bleaching

Originally published in the August - September 2010 (Vol 32 No 2) issue of Hoofbeats magazine with the title of 'Minerals and Coat Colour'.

A diet containing the correct balance of minerals can remedy a dull faded or sunbleached coat and achieve the horse's optimum colour, according to its genes.

If you want your horse to look his best many people believe that a rug is essential to stop the sun from bleaching a horse’s coat. A dull and faded coat isn’t a good look for any horse, especially in the show ring or a competitive performance horse. Other suggestions are to keep the horse indoors during the day, paint the horse with products or use a high fat ingredient in the diet to give the horse a shiny sheen but none of these suggestions deal with the actual cause.

A sun bleached or dull coat is a classic sign of mineral deficiency and the way to correct this is to put the horse on a more than adequate nutrient and mineral balanced diet.

Link between minerals and coat bleaching

Originally published in the August - September 2010 (Vol 32 No 2) issue of Hoofbeats magazine with the title of 'Minerals and Coat Colour'.

A diet containing the correct balance of minerals can remedy a dull faded or sunbleached coat and achieve the horse's optimum colour, according to its genes.

If you want your horse to look his best many people believe that a rug is essential to stop the sun from bleaching a horse’s coat. A dull and faded coat isn’t a good look for any horse, especially in the show ring or a competitive performance horse. Other suggestions are to keep the horse indoors during the day, paint the horse with products or use a high fat ingredient in the diet to give the horse a shiny sheen but none of these suggestions deal with the actual cause.

A sun bleached or dull coat is a classic sign of mineral deficiency and the way to correct this is to put the horse on a more than adequate nutrient and mineral balanced diet.

http://www.balancedequine.com.au/nutrition/bleaching.html

Above is the entire link. There is abetter one, that you can read, if you belong to wwwthehorseshoof.com and can thus assess their on line mag

I tried to copy the info, but since it is a paid subscription, will not copy

It states that sun bleaching is a classical sign of mineral deficiency , and or, mineral imbalances.

When they are corrected, the sun bleaching stops, coat color improves, as well as the general health of the horse, including hooves

Edited by Smilie

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copper-dependent enzyme called tyrosinase is responsible for the production of melanin brownish black pigments synthesized from the amino acid tyrosine

Copper deficiency causes rusting, particularly in the manes and tails of black horses, and both copper and zinc are required for the black pigmentation.

It is not as simple as just supplementing copper and zinc as other minerals have to be the the correct amount, plus a good balanced diet

The article shows dramatic coat improvements ,by a balanced diet and minerals-no blankets, keeping a horse in, etc required

production of melanin, brownish black pigments synthesized from the
amino acid tyrosine.
This occurs in plants
and animals, including
micro organisms, and
us. The lack of tyrosi
-
nase activity is respon
-
sible for albinism and
is related to grey hair
in us. Sufficient cop
-
per is needed to pro
-
duce the pigment in
buckskins and chest
-
nuts, and both copper
and zinc are needed
for black/brown/grey
coats.
The purpose of the
pigments is to act as a
shield against light.
The fading is caused
by ultraviolet light
oxidizing the pig
-
ments. If there are less
than optimal levels in
the diet, the hair will
be more prone to bleaching, but will look normal until enough pig
-
ment has been damaged to cause the color change.

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