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A friend of mine who has friesians, told me that with the horses they keep outside year round, they give them a teaspoon of paprika in their food to prevent them from being bleached in the sun. Has anyone every heard of this or tried it? Just wondering if there is any truth to it!!
That it does, works on all dark colored coats, but be aware that paprika is a pepper, and contains capsacin, which will kick a positive drug test! At least three Olympic horses were eliminated last year in Hong Kong after testing positive for capsacin, so only use on non-show or race animals!

I use paprika on my black mare certainly helps with sun bleaching also use it on a chestnut mare ..I was told it should be Spanish paprika. Again I stop it approx 2 weeks before showing Re: drug tests. I give 1 tsp on grain once a day .
Good Luck
PS I added a pic of the black mare in mid July ,she is out most the day we live in Southwestern Ontario lots of sun and heat ...
Very interesting, I would like to keep my black gelding - BLACK. But, if capsacin in an Olympic banned substance, is it harmful? If any vet info is available, please advise. Floyd Reid, Bishop CA
It's a banned item. If it shows up in a blood test there will be disqualifications and fines. Since it's banned it could also end up in a court case if the buyer bought a horse that had been fed banned items..... So why use it?
Actually, capsacin is NOT harmful to the best of my knowledge, but it does have some 'interesting' properties, which is why it is a prohibited substance. For starts, it is mildly anti-inflamitory, so like a very mild asprin or bute. This can be good with the oldesters who may be getting a bit stiff. But the other property is that for some unknown reason, it tends to make the horse more sensative to the touch in its' lower legs. The hunter/jumper people of less than reputable training methods beleive this make them more careful jumpers, and encourages the horse to not knock poles when jumping, as even a light rap may hurt them more than it normally would. So this is why it is banned from competition. Another commonly used tackroom item, good ol' Absorbine liniment, has to be used carefully for a similar 'unusual' prperty. Absorbine contains oil of wintergreen which is one of its major active ingredients. By itself, this is perfectly ok. BUT, if someone get overly enthusiastic and tries to speed up the action of say a leg brace by adding DMSO, this will pull the oil of wintergreen into the horses system, where it will mask the presence of other serious stimulants and/or illegal pain medications in blood/urine tests. Therfore it is also illegal. Shows how complicated our medication rules have become! But paprika is one of the major ingredients in the commercialy available product marked under the trade name Black As Knight. It is safe to feed ( at least as far as any literature I have read would indicate).

It is safe for the animals.. (I know some people with dogs that use it as well), but personally, I find that Flax Oil works just as good to keep the darker colors from bleaching. I tried the Black-As-Night on my dark bay filly (because when she sun bleaches, she looks very terrible), but it didn't do any more than her Health-E oil did, and since the health-E oil works on my grey and dun (yes, it's possibly to get a dun to get a sheen.. yay), I stick with that.. and their is no need to stop it two weeks before a show. That's the major down fall of the Black-As-Night and Paprika. During show season, if you are actively showing say a show twice a month, you can't use it at all, so you can have that nice deep black, just not during show season...
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