Hair Coat Color and Nutrition

100_0642Have you ever seen a black horse with reddish colored hairs in its mane or tail?  Or how about a black horse with areas in its coat where instead of black, it is faded and brown?  What’s going on?

Typically, these coat color changes are associated with nutritional deficiencies.  A healthy coat on a black horse will be all black with no “faded” areas.

The picture on the right is an example of fading in a black coat.  Also notice the reddish hairs in the tail.  If I see this in a horse, I want to take a close look at the diet to make sure the horse is getting all the nutrients it needs.  (Sometimes the horse is being fed a nutritionally balanced diet, but another problem is going on and the body can’t absorb all the nutrients).

As long as a body is alive it wants to heal itself.  Proper nutrition supports the body in this endeavor.  When a horse lacks good nutrition the body will use whatever nutrients it does have where it is most needed for its survival.  The coat is the last place the body will spend nutrients.  A really healthy horse has enough nutrients to go around to maintain a spectacular coat as well.

Senior horses can thrive in their golden years, but it requires a good diet.  Taking a nutrition class or consulting an equine nutritionist is well worth the effort.  If you are short on time, Platinum Performance offers quality supplements.  They have an equine nutritionist on staff and advisors to answer your questions.    Your horse will thank you, and you will have more wonderful years to spend with your horse.

Comments

    • Thank you, Sabine. This article provides a lot of great information. I will say that when I buy hay with the intention of finding the highest quality, meaning it has the most nutrition for the horse, I begin with looking for hay that is green. Brown hay has already lost some of its vitamins. The better hay I feed, the more the horse can get his nutrition the way nature intended, and the less I will need to supplement. However, the reality is I’ve never found a hay that after testing it, met all of the nutrient requirements for a horse, so a vitamin/mineral supplement is necessary.

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