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This is a discussion on Paprika within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    04-16-2009, 07:16 PM

I have started feeding my horse paprika in order to keep his coat from fading out in the summer. But he doesn't seem to like the taste of it very much. I'm thinking if I add something sweet to his ration it might balance out the spiciness of the paprika and maybe he will eat it better. Does anyone have any suggestions about what I could add? I would prefer it to have some kind of nutritional benefit. Also has anyone every used paprika for this purpose and if so does it work?
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    04-16-2009, 07:36 PM
You could put honey or applesauce in his grain. My horses also like peanut butter. ;D

Corn oil is good for their coats, too, but I don't think it has that much of a taste. I've never tried it, but my horses eat it without a problem. Even Victor, and he's unbelievably picky.
    04-16-2009, 07:38 PM
How much Paprika are you using? Mine have never refused feed. I usually put in about a teaspon or 2..I usually shake it in over the feed in the bucket & them pour it in the feeders, so it does get mixed up a bit. I also break open a flax seed oil pill & when I have the funds, pour about a 12/-1 cup corn oil in it. Maybe that "masks" is somewhat?

I did notice some darkening on my Palomino, nothing really on the bay, but my Appy's brown became more red & his spots more pronounced.
    04-17-2009, 09:11 AM
I put in 2 teaspoons. He didn't refuse it all together but he only ate about half of his grain, and he did so with much less vigor than normal. I think I'll try the corn oil and see if that masks it enough. And then go with honey if that does not work.
    04-18-2009, 03:22 PM
Green Broke
My only caution with paparika is if any horse tends towards colic, ulcers, or a finicky stomach in general, I would not feed it.

As a fade preventative? It might work, however genetic color code plays a huge part as to whether a black horse fades to a dark bay by summer's end or not (using black as an example).

Years ago I an an inky blue/black Morab that was out on pasture all day long. She had shade if she wanted it but shade trees don't do much to filter the sun.

She was as inky blue/black by the first of Septembere as she was when she shed out in the spring.

On the other side of the coin, my black Tennessee Walker (who had the same turnout routine as the Morab), was faded to a dark bay by the first of September.

If the horse is a show horse, and if it's possible, it might be better to turn the horse out at night. If that isn't possible, perhaps only turning out during the when the sun isn't at it's peak and putting a light sheet on it might help

That all being said, I am assuming by "fade", color fading is what is meant and NOT a dulling of the coat. Dull coats indicate some sort of health issue that paparika won't help.
    04-18-2009, 03:35 PM
At my old farm we fed the horses sunflower seeds and it really brought it beautiful dapples in the horses and kept their coats healthy along with corn oil. I've never heard of paprika before but that's interesting! The sunflower seeds also made the manure pile pretty too haha
    04-18-2009, 10:04 PM
The copper in the paprika is what helps darken the coat. So you can really feed him anything with copper in it.

Even this hoof supplement will work:
Farrier's Formula from SmartPak Equine

Here are some treats if you think he might not like that:
Grand Hoof & Coat Sweethearts - Skin & Coat Supplements from SmartPak Equine

This supplement has a lot of copper:
SBP Equine Prodocts | Optamax Digestive Supplement | Horse Health Care | Yeast / Probiotics

Or you could always try Black-as-Knight. I give it to my mare and she LOVES it.
    04-20-2009, 08:08 AM
Green Broke
The base for Black-As-Knight is paparika. BAK is very expensive, which is why many folks will try just the paparika

A few years back, I bought BAK to try and keep my black TWH from fading to a dark bay and it did not work. He had a nice shine to his coat, but I get a better and healthier coat shine with Omega-3 Horseshine.

That was when I learned about color genetics when it comes to "true" black and "black"
    04-20-2009, 09:37 AM
He is eating it much better now that he has gotten used to it. I reduced the dose for a couple of days and then bumped it back up and now that he is used to it I am not having any problems. I might add some sunflower seeds to though, cause I have been thinking about adding some calories to his diet for the summer since he is being ridden so much more often.

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