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equine coat colour enhancer, from Cheval International. RRP $NZ85.

April 20, 2002

Gold-As-Sun Coat Enhancer
Cheval International's Gold-As-Sun coat enhancer is for palominos, buckskins, duns, and chestnuts. I was expecting a liquid mixture, but the ingredients are: ground extruded whole soybeans, vegetable oil, Western South Dakota chopped wheat hay, molasses, paprika, celery seed, seaweed, nutmeg, pure cane sugar, annatto, riboflavin, biotin, and bioflavinoids.

It's recommended you feed two heaped tablespoons a day (one for miniatures), though it's quite safe to feed more if your horse is large, sweats a lot, or is washed in chlorinated water.

When is a chestnut not a chestnut? When it's a washed-out pale ole wannabe palomino.

We really should not judge a book by its cover, and nor should we judge a horse by its colour. But many people do, especially prospective buyers and show judges. How can you change your horses' coat colour? Not too easily. Dyeing is hardly politically correct, nugget is messy, and feeding gallons of the oil-of-the-moment is either unhealthy for the poor miscoloured animal, or too expensive.

Enter Cheval International's coat enhancer products, Gold-As-Sun and Black-As-Knight. The latter will help black, brown or bay coats which have been faded by the sun to return to a deep dark colour, with a shine. According to the tub, Gold-As-Sun, which is for palominos, buckskins, duns, and chestnuts, is "formulated to emphasise golden/bronze highlights".

It was this product that my chestnut broodmare, Shirelle, test-ate for me. She's an average chestnut, not dark and rich, and not overly pale - just in between.

I chose her for the review, rather than my other two chestnuts - one a very dark colour, the other a more reddish chestnut. Shirl also has dry feet - though the pictures below don't really show it, they are quite functional but dry and tending to have mild vertical splits. During the test time Shirl had no other supplements - only her usual weekly selenium, and I mixed the two tablespoons of Gold-As-Sun with a tiny amount of cool feed.

I saw results in only two weeks - though quite subtle - and big changes in four weeks. Even her dry feet now appear more "normal", probably thanks to the biotin in the product - along with other goodies. It is recommended to feed Gold-As-Sun in Spring, so I had expected slower progress than average considering I was feeding it in late March. Interestingly, in the changeable weather we've been having she's got a great shine on her coat still, although it has not thickened as much as I would have expected in the weather.

This is a great product for safely improving - or highlighting - your horse's coat colour. After seeing results quickly, and even better results in four weeks, I had more than half a tub left, so there's easily enough left for another coat change.

Highly recommended, and bound to be sought after by show exhibitors and sales preparation operations.

Below are pictures from the test. Other than the first picture (taken in January) I took the pictures in what appeared to be the same light, but the changes visible to the eye were not always picked up well by the camera. Pictures untouched and unaltered (and horse unbrushed).


Picture taken in January, unfortunately a slightly dull day.

WEEK ONE - March 17

A brighter day this time, so she's looking quite shiny.

WEEK TWO - March 24

After two weeks Shirl has more of a goldy tinge, though the pictures are not really picking that up. Considering the changeable weather her coat is looking excellent, with quite a shine still. (Unbrushed in this picture).
On holiday for 10 days so no pictures, but after not seeing her for that long I noticed a huge difference in her coat. (See below)
WEEK FOUR - April 7
Shirl now has a very goldy tinge, and although not flaxen, is a big contrast to her coat, and very shiny. Unbrushed in this picture.

The below picture better shows her golden highlights.

The dryness of her feet has also gone, although, again, this is not immediately apparent in the picture.



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