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80s rider
Apr. 16, 2009, 08:22 PM
I would like to try a calming supplement on a pony I have. He can be a little on the "forward side". I was wondering if anyone has a particular supplement they use with good results?

bumknees
Apr. 16, 2009, 08:35 PM
Im sure that some do work. Are you talking about at a show or at home?
I ask only because not to long ago I read an article in a mag written by the USEF drug and med guy on this subject. In essance he said 'If they work they are illegal.'
http://www.myvirtualpaper.com/doc/SamInfo/SM_Dec08/2008112502/

111
Apr. 16, 2009, 10:06 PM
We've had great great success with Ex Stress.
It is legal & natural.
Can't say it worked for every single horse, but for some it did wonders.

http://www.peakperformancenutrients.com/proddetail.asp?prod=1115EX

kimball1
Apr. 16, 2009, 10:23 PM
Perfect Prep

IrishWillow
Apr. 17, 2009, 01:32 AM
My vet recommends any supplement with Vitamin B1, like Thia-Cal. Some horses that are "hot" or spooky have vitamin B issues.. that being said, that means it wont work on every horse. I have a gelding that is just very ADD .. on Thia Cal, he is a different horse - so much so that he started acting "badly" again, and I found out from our ranch manager he'd been out of his supplement for three days. Back on the supplement, and he's doing great again. If you get Smartpaks, Smart Calm and SmartCalm Ultra are just vitamin B as well.. these supplements range from $13 a month to $25 a month. SOOOO worth it if your horse responds to them.

BSFKimbees
Apr. 17, 2009, 02:17 AM
If you would, give some more specifics on what exactly the pony is doing, when "it" does it most, and give the gender. There are alot of supplements, both natural and not so, that will work. Some are geared more for mares, some for all.

However, good training is always your best bet. If said pony needs a Valium to behave then it's time to get a new pony... Especially when considering a child's safety, as most DO have off days, and some become immune or need constant management.

Tough call, give us some more info that's more in depth of the exact issue at hand.

dghunter
Apr. 17, 2009, 09:24 AM
We have a horse that HATES noises. He's older and retired. If we know there's a storm coming or other noises then he gets a tube of calm and cool which seems to work. He's also on Vitamin B1 and a supplement called Extra Calm or something?

80s rider
Apr. 17, 2009, 10:34 AM
The pony is really a sweet pony. Perfect manners. He's a 13 yr old med WB gelding. He just is not a good fit for my beginner timid kid, as he was a jumper pony in his previous life. He has no spook. I'm currently trying to sell him and he just came back from a lease. I was hoping a calming supplement might make him a little more "lazy". Just for my own "peace of mind". He has been great for W/T-which is what I will be using him for. His canter is forward and above my son's level at this time.

rabicon
Apr. 17, 2009, 10:52 AM
Its not really fair to sell a very forward pony that maybe calmed on calming drugs. Be sure to tell anyone that comes out what he is on and why. Otherwise B1 is great and legal and when selling him you can be upfront that the pony needs B1 vitamins to keep him calm.

magnolia73
Apr. 17, 2009, 12:21 PM
My mare gets smart calm and she still gets a bit quick and up about jumping. She is by nature lazy- the smart calm helps with things like spooking and tension. If the pony has been trained to be enthusiastic and quick about jumping, smart calm won't help.

Plus, I think those supplements by the nature of what they do are illegal to show on and it is probably harder to sell a pony that needs smart calm to be lazy then to just find a buyer who enjoys a pony with more engine.

Iride
Apr. 17, 2009, 12:23 PM
If this is the pony's natural way of going, which you describe it sounds like it is, and not a training or behavioral problem, then giving it something doesn't seem fair. I understand though that since it is for sale, and that in the meantime you want the pony to be more rideable for your kid until it sells, why not have a more experienced or less timid rider get on for the first 10 minutes and then your kid?

For calming supplements, I have heard good things about SmartCalm (SmartPak product) but if the horse/pony is not deficient in magnesium or B, it will not help and might actually throw something out of whack. One thing we use to take the edge off of the anxious ones is an L-Tryptophan product. It's a naturally occuring substance and seems to take the edge off without making them seem sedated.

rabicon
Apr. 17, 2009, 02:16 PM
Horses have been fed extremely large amounts of thiamine without any apparent harmful effect. Thiamine is soluble and easily destroyed in the liver and kidneys so any amounts extra to the animal’s needs are rapidly excreted. Additional thiamine usually has a calming effect on a horse. Its not the deficiency that causes the hyperness or spookness in a horse. If a horse is truely deficient of b1 than they will show neurological symptoms not excess energy. The role of B1 in the body is carbo hydrate metabolism and nerve transmission They actually give horses more b1 for the calming effect not for a defiency. Also if you look in a lot of those calming supplements they have high levels of b1 ;) The best thing is just to give a muli vitamin such as sho glo or dumor etc... that includes b1 (thiamine).

eclipse
Apr. 17, 2009, 02:21 PM
Are you going to be upfront with any buyers that this pony is on a calming supplement or are you hoping to hide it? This is my biggest fear as a buyer. I can go through all the proper testing for illegal substances, but somebody has found a product that won't test, they make their horse nice & calm for the buyer & the buyer gets horse home & a few weeks later, whamo they've got a crazed horse!!

IrishWillow
Apr. 17, 2009, 02:23 PM
http://www.smartpakequine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=4589&cmPreserveSource=true&cmPreserveCategory=true

FancyFree
Apr. 17, 2009, 02:26 PM
http://www.smartpakequine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=4589&cmPreserveSource=true&cmPreserveCategory=true

That's what I use and I think it works. Or my horse has been getting worked so hard, she's too tired to act spazzy. :lol:

But honestly, I noticed a difference around week two.

Pirateer
Apr. 17, 2009, 02:30 PM
We've had great great success with Ex Stress.
It is legal & natural.
Can't say it worked for every single horse, but for some it did wonders.

http://www.peakperformancenutrients.com/proddetail.asp?prod=1115EX

WRONG!
It may be "natural" and it may "not test" but it is NOT legal to give a horse ANYTHING that is intended to alter its performance in the ring.

End of Story.

80s rider
Apr. 17, 2009, 03:11 PM
I was just wanting something for the time being-for when my beginner kids are riding him. I would never misrepresent him in anyway, shape or form. I was misrepresented about him when I purchased him. That is how we ended up with a pony that is just not a good fit for my kids. I would never, never, do that to someone else. He is a wonderful and beautiful pony-just needs a rider with a little more experience.

lonewolf
Apr. 17, 2009, 03:17 PM
I have found that these things work great on some horses, and have virtually no effect on others.

We have mostly used Cavalor Calm, although that is only for short periods.

Calm and Cool from ValleyVet works well too as a dietary supplement, and it's pretty cheap too.

If you just want to try something for when the kid rides, you can try getting the stuff in tube form (quietex is one, but there are lots). You give him a tube about 2 hours before the kid rides. Like the supplements, these work great on some horses, less great on others.

That way you won't have to worry about him being not himself or misleading people when buyers come to try him.

Flsunnfun
Apr. 17, 2009, 03:22 PM
I second the Perfect Prep. Although in a minority it made things worse. The majority it worked on, it really worked.

rabicon
Apr. 17, 2009, 05:13 PM
I've known horses to get more spazzy when taking quiet x and cool and calm so I'd ride said pony after giving it before the kids to make sure how it affects him.

BSFKimbees
Apr. 18, 2009, 01:50 AM
Thanks for the additional info on Mr. Pony Pants...

I'm guessing he is just not a beginner pony, and that's okay. I'm thinking he's just a forward moving guy and a little too much for the beginner child. It could be for a number of reasons honestly and probably just his chemical make-up plus past history as you mentioned that he was a Jumper Pony. If he was trained properly for the Jumpers, then his flat work probably contained some Dressage which can easily be tapped into if you know the cues.

I am going to suggest rather than place him on ANYTHING, you may want to elliminate some sugars and starches in his diet #1, such as sweet feed, Alfalfa hay ect... Place him on a simple LOW starch pellet feed and just grass hay or Timothy hay (if you can get that in your area). More forage then grain, especially with ponies, just give him something to chomp on when the others are being fed.

Give him more turnout than stall time and always lunge before riding. Simple lunging (to voice commands) can help him get his energy out and help him focus on verbal commands such as "slow" ect... Also, teaching him the "Half Halt" command (as well as your youngster) can make life a lot easier for everyone. You can actually teach this yourself as it's not a hard command to teach, although again if he was properly trained for the Jumpers he should already know it. Internet research can help tremendously as it's quite simple to teach, and a child can perform this as well. Another handy cue is the "head down" cue which is almost a Half halt type of cue, just better as it promotes relaxation throughout the horse's neck and back. Again, it's just repetitive stuff that almost anyone can teach, even from the ground and at any age.

In general he sounds like a good pony, just not "beginner" trained. You can actually help him out from the ground, without supplements, in order for him to work for you, for the long run. If he has no Buck, Rear, Bolt (and I mean bolt not just foward movement) then honestly he has the makings of being a true child's pony. These guys just need to learn how to slow it down and become desensitised to things such as "loose legs" and "crazy hands" as I like to call most beginner children.

I personally wouldn't give up. It could be a fun project for you and your children honestly and if properly researched you can see HUGE results within just a few months! Summer is approaching afterall...

True pony packers are worth their weight in gold. However, they weren't always that way, they have to learn it. And they don't have to be 30 years old either. 13 is as good an age as any.

For instance, I have a 3 year old PACKER pony that gives beginner lessons, plus places top 5 in Pleasure classes, and he is that way because he was trained that way, and I am NOT a professional trainer. Ya just have to expose them to absolutely EVERYTHING you can think of, kids can be weird in the saddle, afterall. I have to ad also that his Sire is a Jumper pony (gone packer as I now own him) and his Dam is a nutcase, from life experiences though and I don't own her. It can work...

Good luck!

80s rider
Apr. 18, 2009, 10:46 AM
Thank you BSF for the comments. I will start him on the low starch feed this week. He really is a great pony and has stolen all our hearts. I really want to make it work, and I will do as suggested with ground work, etc. He has no rear, spook, or buck. My kid is continuing with lessons on a school pony, and gets more confidence with each ride. Hopefully it will work out. Thank you.

BSFKimbees
Apr. 18, 2009, 12:03 PM
Best of luck to you and Pony! I'd be interested to see what other (and more professional) pony trainers have to say on this... Anyone?

Iride
Apr. 18, 2009, 10:03 PM
Thank you BSF for the comments. I will start him on the low starch feed this week. He really is a great pony and has stolen all our hearts. I really want to make it work, and I will do as suggested with ground work, etc. He has no rear, spook, or buck. My kid is continuing with lessons on a school pony, and gets more confidence with each ride. Hopefully it will work out. Thank you.

Try the Triple Crown Low Starch ;) ...it's a really good one.

Another thought I had... how about having your kid's trainer give her some lessons on the lunge line? It will give her the confidence she needs to get accustomed to the pony's natural stride and pace -- without having to worry about being 'taken' by the pony at liberty. It might do a world of good.

rabicon
Apr. 19, 2009, 04:23 PM
Well yes lots of turn out and watch the feed. Our fat pony only gets wheat bran to satisfy him getting something and his vitamins so he is sure to get everything he needs without feed. This has worked out great for him except that he is still fat:lol:

horsegirl123
Apr. 19, 2009, 04:58 PM
We were given a pony two years ago that sounds identical to yours. When we first got him I had him on Thia-Cal only because the previous owners had him on that. I saw so much potential in this pony. The pony had all the makings for an awesome pony. My daughter made this pony her project pony for the summer. She did lots of flatwork and ground poles. She did not always ride him in the ring but mixed it up with riding out in open fields. After a month being with us we took him off the Thia-Cal and he has not ever needed it. Fast forward one year I now have a student riding this pony who has only been riding 1 1/2 yrs and they make an awesome pair. Ofcourse now his previous owner can not believe how far the pony has come. The pony had it in him all along. He just needed some time and patience to figure out his new job.

If you think the pony has potential it might be worth an investment to find someone to work with the pony. You never know what you may have.
Good luck!

SaraGR
Apr. 19, 2009, 05:41 PM
I used quietex when my TB gelding broke a splint bone and I had to keep him quiet while handwalking him so he wouldn't aggravate it while it was healing. It worked, but this horse, who had never colicked in his life, couldn't stop colicking. It contains valerian root, which my (human) physician father said slows "gut" function. BE CAREFUL with these types of herbal supplements. They can have just as strong side effects as anything else.

DreamsofbeingaHunter
Apr. 19, 2009, 06:34 PM
I just give my guy SmartCalm on a daily basis to keep the edge off... then for shows or a lesson or an outing or any kind he gets just Vit B1. It was worked wonders on him. He's a strong and forward TB that I do the A/O hunters on and is usually running away with me. However, when he's on the supplements he will become a stick and spur ride and I'll look like a mini stirrup kid trying to get my pony to move!!!

We are using Perfect Prep at work on our babies that we show on the line and we hate it! We have only seen little or no results depending on the horse. I know lots of trainers that use injectable Mg and it seems to work for them, however they are usually lunging those horses as well.

kiwifruit
Apr. 19, 2009, 08:15 PM
I have to echo the gut thing with valarian root. I tried calm and cool with my horse the other day just to see if it made a difference, and it did, very quiet, even when two yappy dogs jumped out from behind a bush. But the day after, he was off his feed and not looking too good. Could be just coincidence but I won't do that again. I've had pretty good results with Smartcalm Ultra, more turnout and warmer weather. I do think this spring has been pretty crappy for the Northeast, warm one day, rain, wind and cold six other days.

ideayoda
Apr. 19, 2009, 09:35 PM
For the calming/focusing mag/cal have to be together, not one w/o the other. Valerian is a diruetic, calming but that is why it is illegal as well. Work and being properly on the aids (so the horse is not trapped between the aids) are the best calmative.

Eyemadonkee
Apr. 19, 2009, 10:35 PM
WRONG!
It may be "natural" and it may "not test" but it is NOT legal to give a horse ANYTHING that is intended to alter its performance in the ring.

End of Story.

Guess I better stop feeding my horse "performance" feed... and alfalfa for that matter. I may be giving him an unfair advantage by providing him with high quality feed. I better take him off electrolytes and his iron supplement as well. Sorry for filling in the gaps in my horse's nutrition... which is all any vitamin can possibly do. If they aren't deficient, it won't do anything. And assuming it's water soluable, it just gets excreted.

Now, if we were talking about any "non-essential" substance which alters the horse's behavior, then it is illegal. (I.E. Valarian or Devils Claw). But vitamins, minerals, and amino acids are all essential and can not be considered to be "performance altering" as they are necessary for life. In fact, without them, you could likely create a very quiet (though malnorished) horse as well. Your call.

Old_Guy
May. 11, 2009, 03:12 AM
Try the new Perfect Prep Gold. It is a slower acting formula, but it seems to work well on a great spectrum of horses. Farm Vet has it.

Iride
May. 11, 2009, 07:05 AM
Try the new Perfect Prep Gold. It is a slower acting formula, but it seems to work well on a great spectrum of horses. Farm Vet has it.

What's in it?