Coat colour puzzle, any nutritionists?

Orangehorse

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 November 2005
Messages
9,821
When I bought my horse he was a lovely liver chestnut, but that colour never came back and in his prime he was a very orange chestnut. Now he is 21 his coat is coming through as liver chestnut again this spring. I am puzzled and have been mulling over what he has been eating. He gets a Progressive Earth mineral supplement, Fast Fibre and linseed with chaff and the ONLY thing that has altered is the chaff. For years I fed him one with alphalfa, the Top Spec Lite for instance, but I changed to a grass and oat straw chaff a few months ago. Could this have made the difference?
 

ester

Not slacking-multitasking
Joined
31 December 2008
Messages
46,855
Location
Cambridge
There have been some interesting posts on a colour group recently about gingers darkening when they age and I can't decide if I have observed that or not. Frank is always at his darkest at coat change time (his sire was very dark) but fairly normal the rest of the year. I've not observed any diet based differences.
 
Joined
19 July 2010
Messages
18,873
My gelding looks to be a bit more liver this coat change. Chestnut mare on the other hand is still bright orange. :D
 

Twohorses

Active Member
Joined
9 January 2019
Messages
137
It might be best to have the mineral value tested of the current chaff you are feeding.

According to this credible article not only is oat hay all over the board in wonky mineral imbalances, it is very deficient in copper.

https://www.equisearch.com/articles/oat-hay-needs-a-partner

1. Copper and zinc need to be kept in proper ratio to each other.

2. Copper and zinc are important for coat and hoof health (likely why your horse is now orange), PLUS copper and zinc are crucial for insulin stability.

My land is a little high in iron, which depletes copper and zinc. I blame that for two of my four horses developing metabolic issues. The predisposition was there and that imbalance was probably all it took to disrupt their insulin.

One horse was a beautiful dark liver chestnut and his coat would bleach blonde at his armpits and flanks every summer.

**

I am not a nutritionist -- these are things I have learned from living with two metabolic horses since 2007:)
 

Orangehorse

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 November 2005
Messages
9,821
NO, no - he is liver chestnut NOW, he was orange for years. So it is alphalfa that he no longer getting.
 
Top