Now that it’s summer, I notice dapples on my horse’s coat. Does being covered with dapples mean that she’s in superior health?

On first glance the answer to this question appears to be obvious. It is easy to picture a horse with a shiny coat covered in dapples that may be grey, but could also be bay or chestnut or palomino, and think that this horse must be healthy. On further reflection, however the answer may not be so obvious. Firstly, the question asks if she is in superior health. This leaves little room for qualification. Secondly, many horses with beautiful shiny dappled coats are also very round. Some have insulin resistance and others are just obese. Clearly, these horses suffer from over nutrition and are not in superior health. It is difficult, however, to keep a dappled coat without constant care and regular grooming. So, while a dappled coat is not necessarily a sign of superior health, it is usually a sign of superior care.