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Date Posted: 07:54:04 10/14/10 Thu
Author: johanna
Subject: coat colour
In reply to: Megan 's message, "Blackness" on 11:43:48 09/17/10 Fri

Sounds like you've received a lot of advice, and I am probably simply repeating some of it, but my two cents worth are:

Most "issues" are of nutritional nature, and should be resolved at the baseline (diet), not at the end (coat conditioners, blankets, etc.)

Consult with an independent equine nutritionist (not associated with commercial feed commpanies, if possible) and an equine homeopathic veterinarian. Get a hay analysis done of your forage, a hair sample of your horse, and have your feed tag analysis handy. Water samples and blood samples can help fill out the "nutritional intake" profile of your horse as well. Then sit down with the homeopath and nutritionist to determine your horse's intake.

Quite often, I've seen excessive bleaching as a result of a copper and zinc deficiency. But BE CAREFUL... just adding a specific mineral (as is the case with many "supplements") will do more harm than good. Minerals work in specific ratios, and the ratios need to be maintained within the entire feed ration. And the cause of a deficiency needs to be discovered before it can be addressed. Example; excess iron in the diet can restrict absorption of copper/zinc. So there's no point in "adding" minerals if the balance is wrong in the first place! It's a waste of money in the best case, and can be toxic in the worse case!

But most of all, I would ask the question (as you seem to already have done: how exactly does coat colour affect the emotional, physical, and mental health of my horse? And once you know that his nutrition is optimum, do you really need to spend time/energy/money on maintaining a specific colour... go out and ride instead!

>Thank you for your input everyone!
>I will keep him on the Horseshine for now. :) I am
>ready to resolve myself to having a brownish colored
>Friesian too. I know it's no big deal and yes he is a
>fabuously good and very handsome boy. And yes, my
>husband and I call him the little brown boy. :) I
>just want him to always look his best.
>It also did make me feel better when I took him In
>Hand at a show a month ago and he was one of the
>darker ones. There were Friesians there that were way
>more brown than he was. :)
>Thanks everyone!

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