PDA

View Full Version : Perfect Prep vs Calm & Cool vs Other Calming Pastes



forestergirl99
Mar. 24, 2011, 11:13 AM
So I"m looking for something to use on show days to help with my horse's nerves and anxiety so that he can learn showing doesn't have to be scary. I've heard good reviews about all of them, so which ones have you guys used? Which worked the best? Thanks!

SaturdayNightLive
Mar. 24, 2011, 11:16 AM
None of those will test, but they are all against the rules. You will be cheating by using them.

That said, now tons of people will pop on here and say "I use X ALL THE TIME".

Doesn't matter, it's still cheating.

But hey, who cares about following the rules right? Those only apply to people with ethics anyway. :rolleyes:

kelsey97
Mar. 24, 2011, 11:18 AM
I found the PP Extreme to be more effective and longer lasting than other calming agents. I have 2 mares, who are fairly easy to deal with EXCEPT when they come into season at a show and then they are nuts! We use the PP training day powder with the Extreme and the girls are soft and quiet like at home.

forestergirl99
Mar. 24, 2011, 11:21 AM
I"m not planning on using it all the time, and sorry but my having my horse learn from a positive, calm experience so that he can maintain that attitude at bigger shows is more important than "cheating" at a little, tiny local show. I'm not using them so that I can go in and win.

SaturdayNightLive
Mar. 24, 2011, 11:23 AM
:lol: Thanks for making my point about ethics.

forestergirl99
Mar. 24, 2011, 11:23 AM
I found the PP Extreme to be more effective and longer lasting than other calming agents. I have 2 mares, who are fairly easy to deal with EXCEPT when they come into season at a show and then they are nuts! We use the PP training day powder with the Extreme and the girls are soft and quiet like at home.

Thanks! :)

forestergirl99
Mar. 24, 2011, 11:26 AM
:lol: Thanks for making my point about ethics.

My eithics have to do with the happiness and well being of my horse. Didn't realize that was such a crime. Gah. I'm such a criminal! Please just cuff me, and lead me away! :(

SaturdayNightLive
Mar. 24, 2011, 11:28 AM
My eithics have to do with the happiness and well being of my horse. Didn't realize that was such a crime. Gah. I'm such a criminal! Please just cuff me, and lead me away! :(

YOU'RE CHEATING. Cheating is unethical, not matter how you rationalize it. Plenty of people take their horse's to their first shows without drugging them. ;)

But hey, like I said, the rules obviously don't apply to you. You're not trying to cheat - you're trying to make your horse happy. Good for you!

forestergirl99
Mar. 24, 2011, 11:40 AM
YOU'RE CHEATING. Cheating is unethical, not matter how you rationalize it. Plenty of people take their horse's to their first shows without drugging them. ;)

But hey, like I said, the rules obviously don't apply to you. You're not trying to cheat - you're trying to make your horse happy. Good for you!

Who said it was his first show? He's been to three shows and one clinic. High as a kite and nervous to bits each time even when I lunged him before. We've been very successful at each show, but he still hasn't learned to calm down and relax. Him learning to chill and be CONFIDENT(something that took him ohhhh....a year and halt to build AT HOME) is more important than winning. Our next show involves hunter courses, halting when he gets strong or fast, and trotting fences. Trust me. No one of going to complain about me cheating as a I walk out in last place.

Nickelodian
Mar. 24, 2011, 11:41 AM
If it's at a schooling show that isn't governed by USEF then it isn't necessarily cheating, depends on what the rules of that show are.

I don't have an opinion on any of the pastes....hope you get some better responses.

forestergirl99
Mar. 24, 2011, 11:47 AM
If it's at a schooling show that isn't governed by USEF then it isn't necessarily cheating, depends on what the rules of that show are.

I don't have an opinion on any of the pastes....hope you get some better responses.

Exactly. Thank you. And so do I.

forestergirl99
Mar. 24, 2011, 12:36 PM
Any thoughts?

Czar
Mar. 24, 2011, 02:34 PM
I thought PP was herbal, no?

southernbell
Mar. 24, 2011, 02:38 PM
I thought PP was herbal, no?

PP is amino acid based.

To the OP - have not ever used the others but PP can have a calming and steadying effect on one that can get a little "up" at shows. I know many people that swear by it.

Although, supposedly it doesn't test, it is used to alter a horses performance, so technically illegal.

Alice
Mar. 24, 2011, 02:38 PM
Especially with the herbal remedies, I think that an argument can be made that it is not cheating if it addresses a nutritional deficiency your horse may have.

I've not used either product so no advice, sorry.

Czar
Mar. 24, 2011, 02:40 PM
Especially with the herbal remedies, I think that an argument can be made that it is not cheating if it addresses a nutritional deficiency your horse may have.

I've not used either product so no advice, sorry.

So for arguments sake, if your horse tends to get ulcers b/c of anxiety, would you use something that didn't test but would be deemed illegal to help calm his nerves?

S A McKee
Mar. 24, 2011, 02:41 PM
None of those will test, but they are all against the rules. You will be cheating by using them.

:

Calm and Cool Oralx is not USEF legal. Contains Valerian and passion flower.

CBoylen
Mar. 24, 2011, 05:40 PM
Perfect Prep and Ex Stress I have seen some results with. I would avoid "Total Calm and Focus", it has a terrible smell and stains everything, besides not having much effect.

jay0087
Mar. 24, 2011, 06:28 PM
I thought the perfect prep extreme was legal. I have heard of alot of people that use it and think it works.

SaturdayNightLive
Mar. 24, 2011, 06:33 PM
I thought the perfect prep extreme was legal. I have heard of alot of people that use it and think it works.

It doesn't test. That doesn't make it legal. The rule says anything given with the sole intention of calming the horse is out of bounds.

But, like I said earlier, that rule apparently doesn't apply to everybody.

callie208
Mar. 24, 2011, 06:50 PM
Whether this is true or not, I am of the opinion that it is somewhat accepted and quite common to use calming agents at a small schooling show. Many of these shows/organizations do not have all of the same rules as the USEF shows, and they exist as an introduction to the horse show world. OP asked a question for the people who do use these, she did not ask for the opinion of people who don't believe in them. I think if you can't be helpful, you probably shouldn't post. I don't believe these calming agents are going to make such a drastic difference that a "cheater" will be going home with all the ribbons, because they used them and you didn't.
I used to use Quietex for one of my horses, many years ago at smaller shows where these substances were not forbidden, but honestly, I don't think it helped, and it seemed to make him a little narcoleptic. Falling asleep in the stall, a little twitchy while standing still, and then hot as ever in the ring. I have heard good things about ExStress, but have never tried it. I started showing the horse in the rated jumpers, and just learned to ride his "crazy" instead of trying to change him. Eventually he was quite calm around the shows, and saved all the energy for the ring. With or without the calming agent, your horse will learn to settle in over time.

CBoylen
Mar. 24, 2011, 07:02 PM
The rule says anything given with the sole intention of calming the horse is out of bounds.
That is not what it says. It says:
Any stimulant, depressant, tranquilizer, local anesthetic, psychotropic (mood and/orbehavior altering) substance, or drug which might affect the performance of a horse and/or pony (stimulants and/or depressants are defined as substances which stimulate or depress the cardiovascular, respiratory or central nervous systems), or any metabolite and/or analogue of any such substance or drug, except as expressly permitted by this rule.
That is a CYA clause for the USEF legal team, who often have to deal with cases that arise from new medications before the rulebook is changed, or improperly labeled medications and supplements that actually contain illegal substances.
If you want to take that clause to mean any substance that might affect the performance, you would have to consider and exclude everything that affects the performance of the horse, including his feed, electrolytes, adequan, legend, hoof supplement, gastroguard, and everything else you give or do to him to keep him healthy so that he can perform well.
A vitamin supplement is a vitamin supplement, whether it is for calming or for more energy, yet do you see anyone screaming cheater on threads about red cell?
And, besides all that, the thread is about a schooling show, not a USEF show, and while we're arguing over supplements the rest of her division is probably just reaching for the bottle of ace and simplifying the matter.

Beethoven
Mar. 24, 2011, 07:03 PM
Its not necessarily cheating if the school show doesn't follow the USEF rules.

The local show organization here follow most of the USEF rule except for that one. So most the horses are on ace there. I still do not believe in doing it so my mare is the tense and crazy one.:lol:

I think a little PP at a local isn't so bad.

danceronice
Mar. 24, 2011, 07:07 PM
Better they're a basket case at the schooling show and learn it's not a big deal than to give them calming drugs that you can't use when it's time to go to shows where they are illegal (whether they test or not).

Old OTTB was young and recently gelded and a basket case the first few times he went anywhere. He eventually figured it out. (He probably would have figured it faster if it didn't make ME a nervous wreck, but I was twelve, what did I know?) We just had to keep taking him places until he figured out it wasn't the track and there was nothing to get worked up about.

kelsey97
Mar. 24, 2011, 07:21 PM
Perfect Prep does not "drug" a horse, it is not a tranquilizer. It is an amino acid that stabilizes glucose levels in the blood. It helps your horse to stay on task and pay attention to the rider rather than everything going on around him at a show. It works best with a good canter or lunge the morning of your event. Yes, Forrestergirl a calm horse will have a much better experience than a nervous one. In the end you will have a much better show horse. Good luck to you.

S A McKee
Mar. 24, 2011, 08:34 PM
Perfect Prep does not "drug" a horse, it is not a tranquilizer. It is an amino acid that stabilizes glucose levels in the blood. It helps your horse to stay on task and pay attention to the rider rather than everything going on around him at a show. It works best with a good canter or lunge the morning of your event. Yes, Forrestergirl a calm horse will have a much better experience than a nervous one. In the end you will have a much better show horse. Good luck to you.

There are several PP formulas. I think they all contain Mag. That ingredient is more likely to have an effect than anything else on the label.
One of them contains Potassium. That will for sure have an impact as it slows the heart rate.

Equsrider
Mar. 25, 2011, 07:04 AM
I have had great sucess with the PP to help with Focus for my horse. Does it make them less spooky, NO, it it does allow me to keep their attention on what I am asking and if I ride the spook I think is going to happen it is much less severe, does it make them drop dead quiet, no! I also use a stomach buffer before showing on certain horses with nervous stomachs....that said, 1/4 cup of Epsom salts in their feed also adds enough Magnesium to help with same issue at a fraction of the cost....I would much rather use these aids with a nervous horse than a dose of DEX and a shot of Magnesium,and a handful of Robaxin, all legal,btw....and highly used at USEF shows...

just sayin"

sschuessler
Mar. 25, 2011, 07:43 AM
I would have no problem with giving a horse something with a track record of being nervous at shows.... Especially if it is just a schooling show. I would rather everyone stays safe, including the horse, than to fight all day long.

For those of you that oppose this, it is quite apparent you haven't ever had a flighty horse at a show that would require this. They can be perfectly fine at home, but at a show they can become nervous and unpredictable. If all it takes is one good experience (or who knows, maybe it will be 2 or 3) to get him to understand that shows and being away from home are not a bad place, then it is worth it.

And, if it is 'ethically' wrong for you to do it, maybe give a calming supplement to your horse and just school all day. Don't enter any classes, but just see how he reacts and go from there.

bumknees
Mar. 25, 2011, 08:12 AM
My first horse was .. well to put it nicely a wench from word one. To say she was not a 'level headed' horse at horse shows when we started showing would be an understatement. Heck even a few years later when she was doing very well she was not anywhere near being level headed. She would be concidered a horse best doped before entering the ring in todays world.

But I do not even know if OTC calming agents were available and well if I asked my trainer to ask the vet to give her some ace or rompum I would have been asked not so nicely to please leave the barn and never come back. Actually she made the worse "screwball" OTTB look like a bombproof horse..

What happened to just ride it out and to do the best you can and make your horse you have look their best?

Yeah she dumped me more times than I wish to admit.. I think I have every jump in the Chagrin Falls area perminatly imprinted on my forehead thanks to that horse. Nasty stopper when she wanted to be.. Wench from word one but learning how to ride her effectivly so her nastyness did not show taught me how to stay on most anything..

But I rode her the way she was. She would not a good first horse by todays standards heck probably would not even be a good intermediate horse by todays standards..

but I digress...

Why can not riders ride the horses they have instead of riding a horse they 'make' by giving them something?

Czar
Mar. 25, 2011, 08:31 AM
My first horse was .. well to put it nicely a wench from word one. To say she was not a 'level headed' horse at horse shows when we started showing would be an understatement. Heck even a few years later when she was doing very well she was not anywhere near being level headed. She would be concidered a horse best doped before entering the ring in todays world.

But I do not even know if OTC calming agents were available and well if I asked my trainer to ask the vet to give her some ace or rompum I would have been asked not so nicely to please leave the barn and never come back. Actually she made the worse "screwball" OTTB look like a bombproof horse..

What happened to just ride it out and to do the best you can and make your horse you have look their best?

Yeah she dumped me more times than I wish to admit.. I think I have every jump in the Chagrin Falls area perminatly imprinted on my forehead thanks to that horse. Nasty stopper when she wanted to be.. Wench from word one but learning how to ride her effectivly so her nastyness did not show taught me how to stay on most anything..

But I rode her the way she was. She would not a good first horse by todays standards heck probably would not even be a good intermediate horse by todays standards..

but I digress...

Why can not riders ride the horses they have instead of riding a horse they 'make' by giving them something?

How do you know your mare wouldn't have benefited from a calming agent?

It's not fun for the horse either to be high as a kite & anxious - if you can help them out; why wouldn't you?

It's like telling a mentally ill person that they need to suck it up & get over it. If medication helps to restore the body's chemical balances & can help the individual function - why refuse it?

Concetta
Mar. 25, 2011, 08:39 AM
I have found that it works really well for some...i'm curious to hear if anybody has tried their new formula yet PP Focus?!?....wonder if its better than the Gold formula as its given the same way ...night before/12hrs prior

Ex Stress is pretty good too...and also B Kalm Paste...i've also used something in the past called Quietude...not sure if they still make it

Daily type supplements....Dynamyte's Easy Boy seems to work pretty well..and i've also tried Horse First's Relax Me-which was just ok for the extremely high price tag

I like Quiessesnce the best for a daily calming supplement

Tap2Tango
Mar. 25, 2011, 08:44 AM
Sounds like the horse could benefit from just going and hanging out at some local shows. Treat it like it's any other ride, just at a different place. Maybe the first time don't even get on him. Just take him and see if you could find a quiet place to lunge. Then try to add something different each show. Once he is comfortable you could try showing unjudged. If he gets super nervous, go into the center of the ring, dismount and excuse yourself. Then if they have a schooling break, take him back in.

However, I am not opposed to giving him something if he is reallllllly bad.

cyberbay
Mar. 25, 2011, 08:54 AM
SNL - I hear you about the 'illegal' aspect, but at the same time, why should we hold horses to a higher level of soundness and calm than we do riders? How many riders took some aspirin that morning for aches, pains, headache, cramps, whatever? A LOT. How many riders have taken some sort of sedative -- xanax, herbal calmants, Pepto, etc -- for their show nerves? A LOT!

So, why, if a rider can do all of the above, a horse can have a little assist?

Bumbknees, I hear what you're saying, too
-- just learn to ride -- but falling off all those times is, well, not great. Bodies pay for that in the long run.

Also, schooling shows go by USEF rules all the time, but that usage is illegal, btw. It's called 'copyright infringement.'

A lot of horses get upset at horse shows. Maybe they just need a little exposure; others never really settle. Or, you could say that maybe horse showing ain't the greatest thing for horses -- fun for people, but not so great for horses. Maybe that's the question, not whether calmants are legit or not.

Pennywell Bay
Mar. 25, 2011, 09:06 AM
I"m not planning on using it all the time, and sorry but my having my horse learn from a positive, calm experience so that he can maintain that attitude at bigger shows is more important than "cheating" at a little, tiny local show. I'm not using them so that I can go in and win.

Stick w schooling shows, which is where your horse belongs if he needs a positive experience..... That is what they are made for!! :) Not being snarky, ask me how I know!!

I prefer to rated shows as well. However, my mare is not mentally "there" yet. So to give her that positive experience, we are beginning at the small local level.

That being said, I hear people swear by PP.

wanderlust
Mar. 25, 2011, 09:28 AM
My first horse was .. well to put it nicely a wench from word one. To say she was not a 'level headed' horse at horse shows when we started showing would be an understatement. Heck even a few years later when she was doing very well she was not anywhere near being level headed. She would be concidered a horse best doped before entering the ring in todays world.

But I do not even know if OTC calming agents were available and well if I asked my trainer to ask the vet to give her some ace or rompum I would have been asked not so nicely to please leave the barn and never come back. Actually she made the worse "screwball" OTTB look like a bombproof horse..

What happened to just ride it out and to do the best you can and make your horse you have look their best?

Yeah she dumped me more times than I wish to admit.. I think I have every jump in the Chagrin Falls area perminatly imprinted on my forehead thanks to that horse. Nasty stopper when she wanted to be.. Wench from word one but learning how to ride her effectivly so her nastyness did not show taught me how to stay on most anything..
I'm betting all the other people in the warmup with you and your "screwball" while it had fits and you continually fell off would have very much appreciated you giving it something to calm it down.

There is nothing worse at a horse show than the out-of-control horse/rider in the who make it terrifying for everyone else to try to calmly and quietly warm up.

danceronice
Mar. 25, 2011, 09:32 AM
For those of you that oppose this, it is quite apparent you haven't ever had a flighty horse at a show that would require this.

Wrong. See post farther upthread.

He eventually outgrew it. But at the time, you didn't supplement and drug them out the wazoo for every issue.

mvp
Mar. 25, 2011, 09:33 AM
Y'all can put on your hatey pants and stop reading now if you don't enjoy my far flung rants.

But here it is.



My eithics have to do with the happiness and well being of my horse. Didn't realize that was such a crime. Gah. I'm such a criminal! Please just cuff me, and lead me away! :(

OK, you (read: you all how agree with this line of thought, not personally forestergirl) want too much. You want to be the Antigone of the horse world who *knows* this is cheating by USEF standard but "follows a higher law" that's so much better.

It's not that simple or minor. This part of the USEF drug rules is intended to benefit horses as well. Because many horses "misbehave" when they are confused, afraid, sore, overfaced or whathaveyou, the USEF wanted to prevent people from just masking that behavior and cramming scared, sore horses into show rings.

The rule has important long-term consequences as well that we all can enjoy. By keeping a lid on what looks like "normal" quiet, we create a realistic standard.

Do you really want to have to compete with the WP version of quiet? The horse never moves his tail or an ear? Geeze!

What happens to all the horse who "flunk out" of the Hunter Ring because they can't meet that extraordinarily high standard?

What happens when you need to buy the extraordinary animal who can jump explosively from a dead-quiet lope, all while having no opinion but "Would you like fries with that?" If we simply agree to drug horses into having what looks like a great mind, then where's the incentive to breed that kind of animal?

FWIW, I think the OP and many others are already caught in this bad situation. It's hard (and also expensive) to produce the quiet show hunter "the old fashioned way." But that's also because what counts as a show hunter was built while people were using lots of "prepping" techniques to produce that WP horse who jumps. Judges can see a lot of unrealistically quiet animals. The rest of us chase that standard and the temptation to cheat is understandable and real.

All of you who argue that "breaking USEF rules at an unregulated show isn't *necessarily* cheating" are splitting hairs. Most little shows and people who attend those use the USEF drugs and meds rules as a guideline.

You don't want to do that? Then you can expect those cheaper, non-rated shows to become a free-for-all. So, then, you can only purchase a level playing field by spending 3X the price to show at the rated shows? Why would you want to contribute to this pattern?

I think most people aren't Antigone. They just want to get through the day with the particular horse they own. They get into "ethics talk" when it serves their purposes. I suggest something entirely different. Don't talk about what is Morally Right. Talk about what you want horse showing to be-- and if there will be room for you with your limited wallet in it-- if we say "Hell-- drug 'em as need be."

goodmorning
Mar. 25, 2011, 09:36 AM
I think rated shows can be a much better experience that some local shows. Now, I am lucky to live in an area where there are local shows held on A show grounds once in a great while. But the consistency in the footing, lines that are set correctly!, warm-up rings, and often overall grounds are reliable at the rated shows. I think these things can play a vital role in developing a young or green horse. Bad footing can lead to a suspensory, stopping, and overall soreness. Incorrectly set lines can also lead to trouble...Either way, not a confidence building experience.

Hacking out at shows is a good suggestion. See if your rated show holds any 'Opportunity' classes. These were suggested to me by a trainer for my TB once, as you can avoid all the major USEF fees but still get your horse in the ring, at a reliable. Count me in as appreciating inexpensive milage ;)

magnolia73
Mar. 25, 2011, 09:38 AM
There are two sides to this:

If you bought a young horse, it behooves you to set up great experiences at shows. Chemicals can help. :-)

But a horse show is a competition that should be fair. It's about how well your horse is trained, how well you prepared. It's not fair to drug a young horse to put him on the same playing field as the horse that is naturally calmer, or ridden or prepared better.

The most ethical solution that makes sense training wise is to use drugs at the shows to prepare your horse to compete down the road. So use the product, school, show unjudged, circle several times on course, prepare, and only compete when you can do so drug free.

magnolia73
Mar. 25, 2011, 09:39 AM
And... remember, what is just a schooling show for you may be Devon to somebody else.

bumknees
Mar. 25, 2011, 09:47 AM
How do you know your mare wouldn't have benefited from a calming agent?

It's not fun for the horse either to be high as a kite & anxious - if you can help them out; why wouldn't you?

It's like telling a mentally ill person that they need to suck it up & get over it. If medication helps to restore the body's chemical balances & can help the individual function - why refuse it?

Well we dont know because as I said they were not available other than an injection done by the vet.

Im sure it is not but I am equally as sure that some of her high as a kite and anxiousness( that even a word?) was me and my nerves. So why 'dope' a horse when in all probability it was the rider not all the horse?

Because not all acting up is a chemical inbalance some of it is because she pefered to be a wench.

showidaho
Mar. 25, 2011, 10:01 AM
That is not what it says. It says:
Any stimulant, depressant, tranquilizer, local anesthetic, psychotropic (mood and/orbehavior altering) substance, or drug which might affect the performance of a horse and/or pony (stimulants and/or depressants are defined as substances which stimulate or depress the cardiovascular, respiratory or central nervous systems), or any metabolite and/or analogue of any such substance or drug, except as expressly permitted by this rule.
That is a CYA clause for the USEF legal team, who often have to deal with cases that arise from new medications before the rulebook is changed, or improperly labeled medications and supplements that actually contain illegal substances.
If you want to take that clause to mean any substance that might affect the performance, you would have to consider and exclude everything that affects the performance of the horse, including his feed, electrolytes, adequan, legend, hoof supplement, gastroguard, and everything else you give or do to him to keep him healthy so that he can perform well.
A vitamin supplement is a vitamin supplement, whether it is for calming or for more energy, yet do you see anyone screaming cheater on threads about red cell?
And, besides all that, the thread is about a schooling show, not a USEF show, and while we're arguing over supplements the rest of her division is probably just reaching for the bottle of ace and simplifying the matter.

I don't post very often, but usually just read the threads...I have to say that I have NEVER read a post by CBoylen that I didn't agree with 110%! This is no exception! Well said, as usual.

Nickelodian
Mar. 25, 2011, 10:13 AM
And... remember, what is just a schooling show for you may be Devon to somebody else.

Actually, I'm fairly sure that if it says schooling show on the prize list, it's a schooling show for everyone attending.

forestergirl99
Mar. 25, 2011, 10:13 AM
Stick w schooling shows, which is where your horse belongs if he needs a positive experience..... That is what they are made for!! :) Not being snarky, ask me how I know!!

I prefer to rated shows as well. However, my mare is not mentally "there" yet. So to give her that positive experience, we are beginning at the small local level.

That being said, I hear people swear by PP.

I am. We aren't planning on doing any rated shows until he gets his confidence and chills at schooling shows. :)

ToTheNines
Mar. 25, 2011, 10:54 AM
I want to add that some of the worst accidents I have seen at shows, schooling or otherwise, have been due to rank horses spooking into others. So, that's something to think about for those who think their horses should just tough it out. There is also the safety of others to consider.

Personally I think the "fundamentalist" approach to calmers exhibited by some is a bit mindless with regard to the health (stress levels) of the horse and the safety of others. Sometimes ethical questions require us to hold and balance opposing views, which is a sign of intelligence.

SaturdayNightLive
Mar. 25, 2011, 10:57 AM
I want to add that some of the worst accidents I have seen at shows, schooling or otherwise, have been due to rank horses spooking into others. So, that's something to think about for those who think their horses should just tough it out. There is also the safety of others to consider.

So now we're drugging the horses to make them safer? Oh please.

If your horse is so dangerous that it has to be drugged, maybe it shouldn't be at the horse show in the first place.

SaturdayNightLive
Mar. 25, 2011, 11:20 AM
Personally I think the "fundamentalist" approach to calmers exhibited by some is a bit mindless with regard to the health (stress levels) of the horse and the safety of others. Sometimes ethical questions require us to hold and balance opposing views, which is a sign of intelligence.

If your horse is so stressed out by showing that it requires "calmers" to stay healthy, maybe it shouldn't be at the shows.

Sometimes having ethics requires us to forgo our desire to show a horse that is obviously unsuitable. This, too, shows intelligence. ;)

mvp
Mar. 25, 2011, 11:31 AM
I think rated shows can be a much better experience that some local shows. Now, I am lucky to live in an area where there are local shows held on A show grounds once in a great while. But the consistency in the footing, lines that are set correctly!, warm-up rings, and often overall grounds are reliable at the rated shows. I think these things can play a vital role in developing a young or green horse. Bad footing can lead to a suspensory, stopping, and overall soreness. Incorrectly set lines can also lead to trouble...Either way, not a confidence building experience.

Hacking out at shows is a good suggestion. See if your rated show holds any 'Opportunity' classes. These were suggested to me by a trainer for my TB once, as you can avoid all the major USEF fees but still get your horse in the ring, at a reliable. Count me in as appreciating inexpensive milage ;)

This is right. forestergirl, the absolute best/cheapest milage I put on horses was done this way:

Groom for your trainer at a big, long show. Get a stall for the young 'un. Don't waste your time and money showing. Make money or break even while you give the horse the best 5-day seminar of his little life.

Take him out as you have time. That can be 3 times day. He can go out and hack or lunge in the early AM . He can cruise around in hand and absorb the sights and sounds, mid-day. Then, when he has already seen a lot, gotten tired and had the chance to relax in his stall between the stresses of the Wide World outside it, you get on and school him at the end of the day. The rings will be empty. You can ask him to pay attention to you. He'll be prepared to do that.

What makes a multiple-day show much better than a 1-day schooling show is the opportunity for the horse do *just deal* over and over. A one-day show lets him know that it will be one day of hell for him to survive. At a 5-day show, he has opportunity and reason to learn to adjust.


That is not what it says. It says:
Any stimulant, depressant, tranquilizer, local anesthetic, psychotropic (mood and/orbehavior altering) substance, or drug which might affect the performance of a horse and/or pony (stimulants and/or depressants are defined as substances which stimulate or depress the cardiovascular, respiratory or central nervous systems), or any metabolite and/or analogue of any such substance or drug, except as expressly permitted by this rule.
That is a CYA clause for the USEF legal team, who often have to deal with cases that arise from new medications before the rulebook is changed, or improperly labeled medications and supplements that actually contain illegal substances.
If you want to take that clause to mean any substance that might affect the performance, you would have to consider and exclude everything that affects the performance of the horse, including his feed, electrolytes, adequan, legend, hoof supplement, gastroguard, and everything else you give or do to him to keep him healthy so that he can perform well.
A vitamin supplement is a vitamin supplement, whether it is for calming or for more energy, yet do you see anyone screaming cheater on threads about red cell?
And, besides all that, the thread is about a schooling show, not a USEF show, and while we're arguing over supplements the rest of her division is probably just reaching for the bottle of ace and simplifying the matter.

Nah-- you don't have to be a tee-totaler with things like Adequan and electrolytes.

I think it's clear that those are meant to support a horse whose soundness and health are "within normal limits." Insofar as you can't mask a great deal of pain as per the branch of the USEF rules pertaining to NSAIDs, I don't think Adequan and all is going to help a truly ailing horse "fake it" for a week.

On the other hand, I'd like the long-term consequences of tee-totaling "fundamentalism." Give me a supply of selectively-bred horses who can run and jump with no physical or mental help! That's hard to do. But here's my contribution. I categorically won't buy a horse whose owner talks about "prep." That sometimes puts me at a disadvantage. I rely on a sound body and sound mind. Sometimes the "nice mind" doesn't come with the super-stoic horse who will jump around looking sound into old age. But the nice minded horse will return the favor in spades, day in, day out. He'll be a consistent pleasure to keep and ride by me and many other people.

forestergirl99
Mar. 25, 2011, 11:39 AM
This is right. forestergirl, the absolute best/cheapest milage I put on horses was done this way:

Groom for your trainer at a big, long show. Get a stall for the young 'un. Don't waste your time and money showing. Make money or break even while you give the horse the best 5-day seminar of his little life.

Take him out as you have time. That can be 3 times day. He can go out and hack or lunge in the early AM . He can cruise around in hand and absorb the sights and sounds, mid-day. Then, when he has already seen a lot, gotten tired and had the chance to relax in his stall between the stresses of the Wide World outside it, you get on and school him at the end of the day. The rings will be empty. You can ask him to pay attention to you. He'll be prepared to do that.

What makes a multiple-day show much better than a 1-day schooling show is the opportunity for the horse do *just deal* over and over. A one-day show lets him know that it will be one day of hell for him to survive. At a 5-day show, he has opportunity and reason to learn to adjust.

This would be great except my barn doesn't go to shows very often. Especially not 5-day long A shows. If it was possible I'd be all over it though.

Pennywell Bay
Mar. 25, 2011, 11:45 AM
I am. We aren't planning on doing any rated shows until he gets his confidence and chills at schooling shows. :)

:) Me, too!

theoldgreymare
Mar. 25, 2011, 12:36 PM
Simple solution.... give him whatever you want or need to but if you do it at a schooling show ride hors concours.

mvp
Mar. 25, 2011, 12:50 PM
This would be great except my barn doesn't go to shows very often. Especially not 5-day long A shows. If it was possible I'd be all over it though.

I hear you. That's too bad. Sometimes I have hooked up with other trainers with whom I was friendly and got a grooming gig with them. It's hard though.

But when I was part of the 1-day schooling show world where horses were tied to trailers for one very long day, I didn't know what I was missing in terms of the much better "training opportunity" that came with even a pair of 4 or 5 day shows over the course of a summer or so. My eyes were opened in terms of why the show horses in the big barns were so business like at shows. They had been taught!

bumknees
Mar. 25, 2011, 01:38 PM
I'm betting all the other people in the warmup with you and your "screwball" while it had fits and you continually fell off would have very much appreciated you giving it something to calm it down.

There is nothing worse at a horse show than the out-of-control horse/rider in the who make it terrifying for everyone else to try to calmly and quietly warm up.

Well I never said I came off in the schooling ring now did I... And I never said " continually" either. Just to say I came off enough to have that many jumps imprinted on my forehead did not say continually, always, every approach etc.
Never said she was out of control either Or that I had lost control. I said BY TODAYS STANDARDS. I never once said I was showing her today actually I think I made it pretty clear that to the best of my knowlege OTC calmers were not available. So yeah think about it.. indicators are that gee I was showing this horse before things like calm and clear( is that the name of it?) or any other calmers.. And we had to ride what was given to us not alter it. So maybe while she may have been 'wild and out of control' by todays standards perhaps she was close to normal then..

Try reading all the words in a post instead of taking bits and peices and thinking you are getting the whole picture.

Grasshopper
Mar. 25, 2011, 03:23 PM
.

Also, schooling shows go by USEF rules all the time, but that usage is illegal, btw. It's called 'copyright infringement.'



Just a little sidetrack, but this bit had me scratching my head. How does a schooling show "going by" USEF rules constitute copyright infringement...?

S A McKee
Mar. 25, 2011, 04:28 PM
Just a little sidetrack, but this bit had me scratching my head. How does a schooling show "going by" USEF rules constitute copyright infringement...?

USEF holds the copyright to the Dressage tests.
It also holds the copyright to certain logos.
There was a rule change proposal to limit or prevent use of USEF rules by unrated shows or local show associations. I didn't bother to see if this passed. I'd guess it did but I really should check.

cyberbay
Mar. 25, 2011, 05:27 PM
Not to fatigue anyone on this, but when a show manager applies to the USEF for dates/recognition, and receives it, that manager now has use of the (copyrighted) USEF rules, the back-up of the Drugs and Medications program, and of the Hearing Committee. That's a big reason a lot of show managers want to get dates. It's also a big reason that a lot of show managers don't bother with the process.

When a schooling show operates, it has none of those institutional back-ups. Not that anyone really cares, but there IS a great deal of grumbling at schooling shows about drugged horses, competitors breaking rules (altho, technically, none exist), etc. But, there is no recourse for these infractions.

wanderlust
Mar. 25, 2011, 06:29 PM
Well I never said I came off in the schooling ring now did I... And I never said " continually" either. Just to say I came off enough to have that many jumps imprinted on my forehead did not say continually, always, every approach etc.
Never said she was out of control either Or that I had lost control. I said BY TODAYS STANDARDS. I never once said I was showing her today actually I think I made it pretty clear that to the best of my knowlege OTC calmers were not available. So yeah think about it.. indicators are that gee I was showing this horse before things like calm and clear( is that the name of it?) or any other calmers.. And we had to ride what was given to us not alter it. So maybe while she may have been 'wild and out of control' by todays standards perhaps she was close to normal then..

Try reading all the words in a post instead of taking bits and peices and thinking you are getting the whole picture. I did read all the words and I quoted them below, too. I don't think my inference of what you posted was that far off. I mean, you did say "Actually she made the worse "screwball" OTTB look like a bombproof horse.." You made her sound like a complete basketcase even compared to horses "back in the day."


My first horse was .. well to put it nicely a wench from word one. To say she was not a 'level headed' horse at horse shows when we started showing would be an understatement. Heck even a few years later when she was doing very well she was not anywhere near being level headed. She would be concidered a horse best doped before entering the ring in todays world.

<snip> Actually she made the worse "screwball" OTTB look like a bombproof horse..

Yeah she dumped me more times than I wish to admit.. I think I have every jump in the Chagrin Falls area perminatly imprinted on my forehead thanks to that horse. Nasty stopper when she wanted to be.. Wench from word one but learning how to ride her effectivly so her nastyness did not show taught me how to stay on most anything..

mvp
Mar. 25, 2011, 07:26 PM
So the arguments for using drugs that improve *mental* aspects of the horse's performance are:

1) the Antigone/It benefits the horse argument:

"I'll give my scared green bean a better experience at a show.

"Hey, it's better than Lunge To Death."

Both are good reasons, if you consider the short term. The second one does speak to a horse's longevity.

2) the You Can't Split A Hair argument:

"Where do you draw the line between "normal" and "illegal" performance enhancing stuff?

A rhetorically good argument, too. Why divide Perfect Prep from Adequan? Why not admit that you buy good quality hay with the intention of enhancing performance, too?

3) Safety.

"I'm protecting myself and/or other riders from a horse who gets rank."

Yikes! I hope no one really thinks these kinds of drugs are the difference between a happy day and a tragic one. I think the horse this unrideable will still be that way with most half-way acceptable drugs.

4) the Keeping Up With The Joneses arguement:

"This is what it takes to win."

"This is what it takes to keep my client safe/competitive/happy/spending money."

"Everyone does it. I'm an idiot who will lose her shirt if I'm the one person who won't."

IMO, this last set is the one that's in play. I think trainers make these arguments in private. I also think they'd rather not have to convince themselves to do this.

5) the Will Not Test argument

"If it won't show up on a USEF drug test it's either legal or without consequences. Either is 'good enough for me.'"

"If the show doesn't test or borrow the USEF's rules in writing, it's logically not against the rules because there are none."

Did I miss any? Just trying to lay out the full set on the table.

Vindicated
Mar. 25, 2011, 09:38 PM
I have not once commented on a drug thread, that I remember.

I have been to the dark side...and I qualified it to myself-as something that needed to be done to keep my customers.

It was not the way I was raised, it was not the way I was taught. It was the path of least resistance.

I have a horse, possibly the worst I have EVER tried to train. If he never makes it into the ring, that is fine. Heck I will be happy if he ever makes it around 2 courses in a row without having in melt down. In the meantime, I plan to train my horse. Once we can do everything at home, that I would expect him to do at a show-well enough to win a ribbon. Then I will take him to a local show, and let him hang out. If he looks like he is handling that okay then we will lunge, ect...

Train your horse, it can be done-it just takes TIME.

happyhacker
Mar. 25, 2011, 10:05 PM
I don't understand why people can't just answer the question.:no:

forestergirl99
Mar. 25, 2011, 10:31 PM
I don't understand why people can't just answer the question.:no:

Me either. :sigh:

alto
Mar. 26, 2011, 05:20 AM
happyhacker
I don't understand why people can't just answer the question.


Me either. :sigh:

That's why you just call your vet rather than posting on a board that is notorious for it's discussion aspect ...
wait ...
I think this forum may even be located in the
Discussion Forums
:rolleyes:

One reason to be cautious with "calming agents" is the difficulty in discerning whether the drug is acting in the fashion we assume ie is it producing true mental relaxation or just the appearance of it by altering the ability of the animal to display the outward signs of unrest ???
Of course you can have blood drawn & cortisol/stress hormones levels in the blood monitored but very few people consider this money well spent ...

obama549
Mar. 26, 2011, 07:02 AM
I thought the perfect prep extreme was legal. I have heard of alot of people that use it and think it works.

It doesn't test. That doesn't make it legal. The rule says anything given with the sole intention of calming the horse is out of bounds.

SaturdayNightLive
Mar. 26, 2011, 10:45 AM
It doesn't test. That doesn't make it legal. The rule says anything given with the sole intention of calming the horse is out of bounds.

:lol: Did I just get plagiarized?

Pennywell Bay
Mar. 26, 2011, 01:27 PM
Sorry to hijack- mildly curious- to those who take the "purist" view on supplements that calm by USEF rule (as do I)- what are your feelings for using them at schooling shows?

mvp
Mar. 26, 2011, 08:29 PM
Sorry to hijack- mildly curious- to those who take the "purist" view on supplements that calm by USEF rule (as do I)- what are your feelings for using them at schooling shows?

I think you could call me a ranting purist with respect to the "performance enhancing" part of the USEF drug rules. So I'm annoyingly qualified.

I should also say that I'm also unqualified. I don't buy the kinds of horses that need this kind of help to get to the ring. I just don't. That's because day in, day out, it will be too dang hard for a W-2 ammy like me to produce "hunter quiet." I start with some good ol' boy mellowness in the horse's head and it works really well in all situations.

So: I think showing on USEF No-no drugs is unfair. As another poster said, your schooling show is someone else's Devon. I don't care if the dinky show doesn't test or doesn't explicitly play by USEF rules. Most people know and respect the guidelines. You don't want to take ribbons from people who are trying to uphold standards you'd follow elsewhere, right?

If you want to give your horse a training experience with some X or Y on board, I think you can do all you'd like at a schooling show. Show hors de concourse if you like. Go to school and see the sights and don't show.

greenwoodeq
Mar. 27, 2011, 04:28 PM
I know this isn't day of calming advice, but I use B-1 supplements or moody mare (even for the geldings) to keep my OTTBs calm and easy all of the time. I think that those supplements work out way better in the long run for a happy experience, but if we are having an extra antsy day when I take one of them out schooling I use the calm and cool... works like a dream.

myalter1
Mar. 27, 2011, 05:38 PM
ok but someone just told me that Smart Calm ultra (magnesium/vitamin b/tryptophan) was illegal...but how it is that Perfect prep is NOT illegal. I'm so confused. I would be AFRAID to show...not know if something that my horse was being given, MIGHT test or MIGHT be illegal under the USEF CYA clause. What do you do then? hope for the best and show anyway?

S A McKee
Mar. 27, 2011, 05:39 PM
I know this isn't day of calming advice, but I use B-1 supplements or moody mare (even for the geldings) to keep my OTTBs calm and easy all of the time. I think that those supplements work out way better in the long run for a happy experience, but if we are having an extra antsy day when I take one of them out schooling I use the calm and cool... works like a dream.

I don't care what anyone does at a schooling show. It's up to them and what seems ethical to one person may not be to another.
However, Moody Mare is not USEF legal. Two or more prohibited substances. That's probably why it works so well. LOL

greenwoodeq
Mar. 28, 2011, 07:01 PM
I don't care what anyone does at a schooling show. It's up to them and what seems ethical to one person may not be to another.
However, Moody Mare is not USEF legal. Two or more prohibited substances. That's probably why it works so well. LOL

Sorry I meant Mare Magic... we switched off the Moody Mare but I always mess up the names. Anyway it(mare magic) is just raspberry leaves and those are legal and so are B-1 supplements as long as they aren't in a mixed supplement.

luvs2ridewbs
Mar. 29, 2011, 01:22 PM
Has anyone called USEF and asked their opinion of these products-as in whether or not they consider them legal?

findeight
Mar. 29, 2011, 01:43 PM
I don't understand why people can't just answer the question.:no:

I will...most of the "will not test" herbals don't work or work only if that particular horse is short of that particular substance in it's body which is causing the misbehavior. If that's not the problem they turn into expensive piss. Plus they are totally unregulated and there is no guarantee of purity or consistency from batch to batch.

Sooo, if I had one that misbehaved at shows, I would do one of 3 things at a schooling show.

1. Stay home until it was better trained.

2. Get another horse that was better trained.

3. Use a pharmaceutical grade product with known ingrediants and purity-I'd reach for the ace or similar. Of course, for me, I'd probably not enter any classes and just use the time to relax it without adding the stress of a group in that small ring and show nerves.

But, yeah, I'd reach for the ace if that was the way I decided I needed to go.

It was not the question but have to say if I could not get around a low baby Hunter course without trotting or stopping and was looking at a calming agent to keep it quiet??? Option 1 is the best answer of all.

Trixie
Mar. 29, 2011, 01:57 PM
Actually, I'm fairly sure that if it says schooling show on the prize list, it's a schooling show for everyone attending.

Yeah, but it means different things to different people. I've been showing for over 15 years, so as much fun as I have at schooling shows, winning is not on the list of Incredibly Important 99% of the time. It could be incredibly important for someone who is just starting out, so I try to be mindful of that and be as fair as possible - i.e., would probably opt to show unjudged and give my other competitors the benefit of the doubt for following the rules.

findeight
Mar. 29, 2011, 02:39 PM
Just for the sake of argument, if it was that upset at the show anyway? Why add asking it to perform in the show ring, judged or not???

Why not just pay the schooling or grounds fee and hack around, maybe the warm up area and a few fences??? Once it's settled there, then add more, hopefully without chemical assistance if it did the job on earlier outings where you just hung around.

mrsbradbury
Mar. 29, 2011, 02:44 PM
I have not used an OTC calming supplement on any of my horses, and do attend tons of local/ schooling non-rated shows to bring along my youngsters. I just let them be horses.

Yes, I have had a green horse spook at a massive mirror and fly sideways into two people STANDING & TALKING in the schooling ring. oops, my bad, my green horse spooked. I don't think an OTC herbal blend would prevent that.

1. I am not convinced they work. When I was younger, someone recommended calm & cool for my hottish mare. I didn't see a stinking difference, that mare went on to pack adults/ kids in the C/A jumpers up and down the west coast.
2. I worry about the health risks, remember most of these things are FDA approved or tested. There are no real quality controls on these products, for all you knoiw you are feeding your horse Rufenol and sawdust.

If people entered appropriate classes at schooling shows they would be safer. My example, I took 6 horses to the last show, 3 extremely greenies, and 3 baby greenies. 85% of the riders in those divisions were tikes on nice ponies & good citizens. I shouldn't have to feel that I need to atrificially calm my training horse to be extra safe for riders who are entered in classes which should be reserved for experienced riders on nervous/ green/ difficult animals.

I feel that if your horse is safe enough to be handled without plowing you into the dirt, he is safe enough to travel; keep with your good horsemanship and train your horse.

findeight
Mar. 29, 2011, 02:54 PM
2. I worry about the health risks, remember most of these things are FDA approved or tested. There are no real quality controls on these products, for all you knoiw you are feeding your horse Rufenol and sawdust.


NOT FDA approved...I know that's a typo and got left out.

I am no saint and can see an occaisional need but, again, if you got one that cannot get around a novice level course without being halted and stoppped anyway and is very nervous??? Why take it to a show????

southernbell
Mar. 29, 2011, 04:50 PM
None of these products are going to turn a psycho into a saint, if that's what you're looking for, you need a different product!

From what I can see, something like PP will take the edge off a nervous horse but it's not a miracle drug. I know someone who seriously has the quietest horse, ever, but he's young and gets a little distracted at the horseshows. They used PP once or twice, not to make him quiet, but help him focus and it did seem to help for that.

mrsbradbury
Mar. 30, 2011, 08:11 AM
NOT FDA approved...I know that's a typo and got left out.

I am no saint and can see an occaisional need but, again, if you got one that cannot get around a novice level course without being halted and stoppped anyway and is very nervous??? Why take it to a show????

Thank you Fideight for the correction. For me I don't care if I have to pull up and trot a line at a schooling show, I am not trying to be the 2'3" hunter champion of the universe, I want to develop my future 3-3'6" hunter. I feel that schooling shows are good way to round out the education like you OP. I think you are just peeping in the wrong window with your horse. Maybe you could ride him harder during the week before.