Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Washington State
There seems to be a misunderstanding about just what capsaicin is and how it relates to paprika and horse shows. I'd like to try to clear it up. Capsaicin is the chemical compound that makes chili peppers hot and spicy because it is an irritant. Capsaicin is found in the fruit of any member of the Capsicum genus of plants. Paprika is a member of this genus, but it is typically a very mild pepper which means that it contains very minimal levels of Capsaicin (we all know paprika isn't typically all that spicy, right?).
When you feed your horse paprika, it will not cause your horse to have skin sensitivity or to be hotter. Capsaicin has to be intentionally extracted and applied topically to cause skin sensitivity. The reason it is banned is because it is an abusive practice -- it causes burning pain and sensitivity when it is intentionally applied in its concentrated form to a horse's skin.
Feeding your horse paprika means that he will essentially trigger a "false positive" if he were tested at a highly competitive show. Capsaicin will be present in minimal levels on his bloodwork and what the testers don't know is that you've been feeding your horse paprika to make bring out his color -- not burning his legs.
The bottom line: feeding paprika does not cause skin sensitivity or hotness