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This is a discussion on Paprika? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Why is paprica baned at horse shows
  • Paprika for scratches in horses

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  • 2 Post By Tangiest Illicitness
  • 1 Post By Darrin

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    08-02-2012, 11:40 PM

Ive been hearing a lot of people saying paprika makes their horses coat darker? My mare has some sun bleaching and I would -really- love to know more of how this works, and how safe it is. Before and after pics would be amazing too (:
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    08-03-2012, 10:12 AM
It's safe, won't hurt anything. I tried it with my TWH but I really couldn't tell a difference.
    08-03-2012, 10:56 AM
Subbing - my black mare gets sun bleached too - I'd love if she stayed black :P
    08-03-2012, 11:11 AM
The only thing to keep in mind is that it is a banned substance at a lot of shows, so you need to make sure it's out of their system before competing.
    08-03-2012, 01:06 PM
Paprika will NOT darken or reverse the bleaching that's already happened to the coat. It can only prevent it from happening, so you need to start feeding it early in the spring, before the winter coat completely sheds. Once the color has bleached there's nothing that can bring it back.

The copper in paprika is what gives the coat "sunscreen". Copper is very good for the skin (bonus- if you have a horse that's prone to getting the bacteria "scratches", copper has been shown to help clear it up from the inside out) and healthy skin = healthy coat:)

Capsaicin is a substance in peppers, and a natural pain reliever, which is why it's banned from use in rated horse shows. If you're feeding your horse paprika and plan on going to a rated show, you need to stop it at least 2 weeks before. Of course if you stop feeding it, your horse will be susceptible to bleaching during that time.

Typically you need to feed between 1 to 2 tablespoons a day. You can buy bulk sizes at places like Sam's Club, or American Spice online also has larger tubs. Hungarian Paprika typically has a higher copper content, but make sure you're getting the sweet stuff, not the spicy kind!

Uckele makes a copper supplement that I'm going to try out. Hopefully it works! Poly Copper
TrojanCowgirl and PunksTank like this.
    08-03-2012, 04:08 PM
Thank you so much for the information! I don't know if I'll give it to my black mare or not - but I think I'll definitely give it to a Belgian I may be getting soon - he has awful scratches! Thanks so much :)
    08-03-2012, 04:14 PM
Green Broke
We've got two black geldings and tried paprika. It's pretty powerful smelling and they refused to eat it. One wouldn't even eat at all until we scrubbed the bucket we carry his food in and his feed bucket.
    08-03-2012, 08:21 PM
Glad I could help:) Definitely give paprika/copper a try for the scratches. My horse had chronic scratches year 'round for close to 10 years until I "accidentally" discovered the paprika/copper thing when I started feeding it to my horse to help with his coat. It's cheap enough that if it doesn't work for your horse you won't be out much. Give it at least a few weeks for the residual bacteria to clear up.

Re: the smell and horses refusing to eat it, this is where that copper supplement would be a good option. My horse gets three pounds of soaked senior feed per feeding, so it's really easy for me to hide the paprika in his food :p
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    08-03-2012, 11:22 PM
I've heard it works, esp on pali's. Haven't tried it myself though!
    08-04-2012, 01:48 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Army wife    
I've heard it works, esp on pali's. Haven't tried it myself though!
Copper works for Pali's, that's for sure. Know a guy who will take his horses from the coast with no copper minerals left in the grass to eastern OR where it is still present for a couple weeks. His horses will go out white and come back turning gold. Those that have already turned into a pali come back a deeper gold.
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