"Smokey" blacks...keeping them from "fading"

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Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2009
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I plan on showing this girl in my local club shows this year. I think she'll do well and am looking forward to working with her this year.


You can see from this photo (taken last summer) that her black fades, especially in her mane/forelock. What would my best options be to get this mane/forelock looking its best for the coming show season (first show May 6th, last show early July).

I'm wondering if I should start stalling her during the daytime as early as now to keep her out of of the sun. I have also contemplated buying a neck cover but that wouldn't help me with her forelock. Also, the stalling during the day may not be a bad thing come summer because her left side of her face is all white/pink down to her nose so she susceptible to burning. I just hate the idea of doing it to her.

Your thoughts? Suggestions? Tricks/Tips?
I've been wondering the same thing. The Arizona sun is brutal to my smokey black. We joke that he becomes chocolate easter bunny colored. This past summer I started stalling him more. His mane was still pretty faded, however, his coat remained a really rich, deep black. I did recently clip him and I've been keeping up with keeping him shaded/stalled so we'll see how that works too. I've also been considering using a sun screen on his coat
I have several dilute balck horses, including the stallion in my avatar. You will need to color the mane and tail that has faded, and yes stall during the day and out at night.
I would bring her into a stall for hottest/sunniest part of your days, and yes, definitely dye the mane/forelock! Unfortunately I have not found anything that will bring a coat color back to a faded horse after they have been in the sun too much for the season.
Thanks for the input thus far everyone! So what's the best product to use for dying it then?
I'm sold on dying the manes with FATFOAM that can be found at Walmart.

Easy, no mess, no drip but wow it stinks
Saw a video that suggested Quick Screen spray sunscreen for coats - I'll be trying that this year on a couple of mine that fade badly. Can't say yet whether or not it works, but guess I will find out. : )
Many many moons ago we showed a young gray Arab that was just beginning to grey-out.

His dappling was so spectacular we of course wanted to keep it in tact during show season.

We kept him blanketed in a light weight/light colored (to reflect the sunlight) cotton sheet on the

limited occassions he was outside during the daylight summer sun.

It worked quite well - nowdays it seems with all the color enhancing shampoos, neck coverings

the job would be much easier.

Depending on your location and amount of wildlife being outside at night, only, could be a good option.
Equuisize: We don't have much in the way of wildlife that is of concern for our minis and being out at night. In fact, they already are out 99.9% 24/7. And, knock on wood, we don't have a dog issue either....so it's a safe as one can hope for at the moment. I also considered the screening blanket for her as well, along with a face mask to protect her there. May try the stalling and if I find it's making her too irritable, I could then go the cover route as well.

Thanks for the ideas on products to use Marty and Flying minis!
Ever since my horses live in a box stall, they have the most amazing coats and mane/tail. Not only does sun do damage, but urine does so make sure stalls are bedded and clean, and tails braided up if they're mares.
Smokey blacks will never look as black as a true black. That dilute gene just gets in the way. Keep him in during the day, as others have said. I have had many smokey blacks and many you can not dye the mane and tail as it tends to look funny on the odd color black. I also found that no amount of supplements would give them the shine and dark color of a non dilute.

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