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Dark Coat Supplements?

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  • Dark Coat Supplements?

    Does anyone know how well Black As Knight or SmartDark & Handsome work and/or how they compare to each other? I had a horse on Black As Knight several years ago and it seemed to work well, but I am wondering how well it compares to SmartPak's version.

  • #2
    My top horse was a dark bay who would turn an ugly orange in the summers since he always lived outside. Black as Knight worked really well for him, although I had to give him pretty large doses of it to see results. Never tried the other one, sorry.

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    • #3
      Smart pak didn't make a difference

      My black mare turned orange as usual once she started sweating profusely in our 100F heat. The dark gray mare lightened up as well. I have only used the smart pak for 2 months, so I may have been late. Last year I did my own spanish sweet paprika, plus the platinum performance wellness. Not much difference.

      Note: The mares don't like being in the open stalls under fans most of the day. They look for shade in the pastures. The coats still look rich, but we are starting the shedding cycle now.
      Intermediate Riding Skills


      • #4
        Having never tried it myself, I have no clue. In the case of a poor quality/sunfried coat, Biotin helped a lot.

        I keep Vey in during the day and turn him out at night... it really helps as far as the bleaching goes.
        Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.


        • #5
          The main ingredient in both is Paprika. Having said that I've had much better luck with Smart Dark and Handsome than Black as Knight.

          Realistically the thing that works the best is having them in during the day and covered with a fly sheet that also provides UV protection when they are out. I have two black horses right now. One is covered/in during the day and gets Omega 3 sups and Smart Dark and Handsome and is black, the other is out with out cover, but in during the day and he is brown.

          Making sure you rinse off after every ride is also imperative - nothing fades them faster than sweat!
          True North Dressage
          Select Cheval Canadiens for dressage and eventing


          • #6
            I have used the Black as Knight SHOW FORMULA. It did help keep my dark bay mare dark, and the dapple grey is still dappled at 14 yrs old. I did give more that the directions said, I actually would make a soup out of it, so I was helping their coats and getting water into them, win, win situation in my book. Make sure if you are showing that you DO NOT use paprika, it may test positive for Capsasin which is illegal under USEF rules.


            • #7
              So how much more were you giving?
              The sweet paprika has a lower capiscin level, which is amajor reason I used it. I'm not competing now, just foxhunting and teaching them the baby eventing jumping..
              Intermediate Riding Skills


              • #8
                Did an experiment with BAK and four black horses at our barn: two on, two off, starting in January through summer. No difference in coat color except that the older, WT lesson horse (who sweats less) stayed darker despite NOT being on the supplement.

                Horse Journal rejected paprika as a coat color enhancer, although they make claims (unsupported) that an appropriate copper/zinc ratio will increase pigment production.

                My experience is that heat and sun are the actual issue - my horse bleaches UNDER his halter and with the unusually high temps we've had all summer, our black horses are even more bleached than usual this year. I think the only real solution is night turnout and lots and lots of rinsing (I personally don't bother, and just use QuikBlack before a show).


                • #9
                  Whicker, I started out using about 4 scoops in their grain, but when I wanted them to drink more I used about 1/2 quart of Black as Knight, they really loved it as a soup.


                  • #10
                    You have to feed 2 to 4 times of the BAK than they claim and it gets VERY expensive. It is mainly paprika, and paprika can give a positive blood test if fed in higher doses so be careful.

                    I tried other expensive supplements and eventually went to black oil sunflower seeds from wal mart in 50 lb bags. One cup morning and evening. My horses were darker on it than any of the other stuff.


                    • #11
                      Has anyone ever tried the henna shampoo from Cheval, rather than feeding a darkening supplement? I'd like to try it, but am scared I'll turn my bay black or cause a typical TB skin reaction.


                      • #12
                        Not sure if this is a common issue, but we started a horse on the SmartDark & Handsome about a week ago and he is not a fan of it...he's typically not a picky eater, but he doesn't want anything to do with it.


                        • #13
                          Tried the adjustment to copper/zinc ratio this year on my fader. Have tried other supplements in the past on this horse with no effect. If anything I have ridden sweaty in the sun more this year. Has made a significant difference in my horse. Who knows, its just one anecdotal example. Using Uckele poly copper and their poly zinc.