When I first got Rose she was almost black in color, as her winter coat had just come in but was not yet long. Two months later, after her trace clip and continual blanketing all winter, she began fading into a weird pumpkin orange color. This has no effect on her performance what-so-ever, but I don't find it to be a very aesthetically pleasing color when I know that she is supposed to be a black-bay. She began shedding out in February and her summer coat came in fully by April. I had my black-bay back, and she was for more on the black side. We rushed out to McIver state park and took some glamor shots.
Come May she was quickly fading to bay again, and you can see how light she got by August. A friend mentioned to me that I could put her on Black as Knight (BAK) to keep her black. It was an intriguing, albeit vein, thought. However, being my ever so resourceful and budget minded self I did some internet research, asked around, and decided to try the generic version first. PAPRIKA! So, Rose has been on 1Tbs of Ground Hungarian Paprika since August 1st. To make it most effective, you have to give it to them before their new coat starts growing in. This month she has begun shedding out her summer coat and is nearly all black again. Now only time will tell if the Paprika works or if I'm wasting my time.
In my effort to be a low-maintenance boarder and to alleviate my Catholic guilt about becoming a supplement freak, I pre-mix Rose's supplements once a week and store them in small Glad snack containers that are labeled with the days of the week and her name. It's a process that has worked out great, and I'm sure it will continue to. I'm just too frugal to go the SmartPak route, although I have to admit it's a brilliant way to take care of one's supplements with no effort. In addition I have also heard that 1/2cu. black sunflower seeds (for the oil) will help with the coat enhancement, so I will try and track a bag of that down at the feed store. There was room in my little supplement containers for the paprika, but I'm not so sure about the sunflower seeds. We shall see.
If you'd like to try it yourself, I use www.herbalcom.com to buy my raspberry leaves for $4.50/lb (Mare Magic is $33.90/lb and it's the same exact thing) and the paprika for only $4.55/lb (BAK is $11.71/lb, but does contain more than just paprika). As you can see, the paprika is a fairly affordable experiment and will save me about $100.00/yr (raspberry leaves save me about $208/yr). If I were to use SmartPak instead and go name brand instead of generic I would spend $478/year. Currently I spend about $123/year. So in all, going generic saves me about $300/yr and $356/yr mixing my own supplements. That's almost one month's board, or a really nice bridle...
Thanks for reading!