Monday, December 5, 2011

All I Want for Christmas is Horse Sunshade: Another Side Effect of Breeding for Color

Yes, it would make Annie look like a duck. A giant, yellow, fluffy duck. YAY!

Seriously though, this is a good idea. Annie gets awful sunburns in the summer on her delicate pink/white nose, and she HATES sunscreen. Hates it. I attempt to put it on, she tosses her head around like I'm trying to feed her poison, I eventually get some of it on her (and the rest on ME), then she rubs it off on my shirt or the nearest fence, and then the process starts over again. 

Apparently, this is a more common problem than I thought, because the enterprising owners of this website have actually founded a business because of Paint horse owners who are sick of seeing red, scabby noses on their poor babies.

Maybe Paint breeders should take a closer look at one of the consequences of breeding for "chrome," especially on a horse's face.

Obviously sunburn is a less awful side effect of breeding for color than, say, Lethal White Syndrome, but for suffering horses who don't care what they look like, it's still a nasty problem. Note: sunburn doesn't happen on all white horses; it seems to happen most on horses with pink skin, because the lack of pigment increases the skin's vulnerability. Pink skin is more common among Paints and Appaloosas.

Unfortunately, the above mask costs like $68, and I'm poor-- so Annie will probably end up with a home-made equivalent that makes her look like an equine version of the masked Elephant Man. We'll then proceed to play a game called, "find the mask in the pasture" because I'm sure it'll stay on her face for all of 2 hours.

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