Thehorse.com - Full Article
A dappled coat has long been a sign of optimum equine health and good nutrition, but the reality behind dappling is more complicated. Our equine nutritionist offers advice on bringing out the bloom in your horse’s coat.
Posted by Clair Thunes, PhD | Nov 4, 2019
Q.Earlier this year I purchased a mare who had a dull coat and needed to gain weight. After several months she now looks amazing and has developed beautiful dapples. I’ve always heard dapples are related to diet, specifically fat. However, I don’t feed her that differently than my other horses, and they don’t have dapples. Why do some horses get dapples and some don’t?
A.Dapples on nongray horses are interesting. These irregular spots where the coat appears as a slightly different shade are seen on some horses but not others. Horses might only get them at certain times of the year. In the winter some horses have them, but when you clip them the dapples disappear. And as you have observed, dapples often appear to be condition-dependent. Traditionally, they are thought to be a sign of good health, so that would somewhat explain the condition connection...
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