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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008

    Default Valerian?

    Does valerian root work to settle horses a little bit? I'm thinking of trying to give something to my young horse when things are nuts at the barn. He gets wired and won't settle. Tonight there were kids running all over making noise, the dogs running around barking, atvs/snowmachines running and being powerwashed outside.... and I just could not do a thing with my horse.

    Wouldn't stand in crossties. Could BARELY get him tacked up. Dancing all over, trying to look out all the windows, trying to barge me over to get a better look at what was going on. Tried to plow me over when I tried to put the bridle on. Tried to bite me when I made him back up.

    Got him into the arena -- barely. Immediately asked him to walk nicely beside me, using both hands on both reins to try to guide his head and keep him focused. The stuff going on outside was setting him off -- making him want to barge through his shoulder at me and spin out away from me.

    I gave up all idea of riding and just thought, ok, we can walk some serpentine loops around the arena, and halt and back up each time we cross the centre.

    Simple, I figured I would keep to my game plan and just be focused on what we needed to do. The distractions were dying down by now al ittle, anyways, so this should be easy. Nope.

    One hour later, I'm still fighting with this horse to just walk and stop and turn. Any time I tried to turn him away from me, he would try to plough me over or spin around. I figured if I could just ask ONE MORE TIME than he was willing to fight about it, That would be good for the day. Didn't happen.

    I thought I would try lunging but this horse, in general, doesn't lunge well and today was no exception. I just thought maybe he need to go for a little spin to let off speed -- nope. Just wanted to yank me around and be a big freak.

    Two days ago in my lesson, he was my fabulous, quiet horse. There were a few minor distractions and he barely flicked an ear and kept working quietly.

    Yesterday my trainer schooled him for me and he was fabulous. Didn't put a foot wrong.

    I'm thinking I might need a little something special for the crazy days out here, to help us out. I don't show so I have no concerns about what tests or doesn't. I did notice valerian (liquid) was available at our local health store as a sleep aid/anti anxiety. Anyone use this form?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2009
    Aiken, SC


    I have known a couple horses on it, and it worked for one, and didnt work for the other, what I do know is that for it to work at all it has to be used pretty consistently
    Live, Cherish, and Enjoy every moment.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009


    I am so glad someone else has a horse that just locks on things too. Today it was the wind, cant do a thing when its windy without risking life or limb with my ottb. Raspberry leaves, "magic mare" worked pretty well for my gelding believe it or not. Valarian works well if you get the correct dose for your horse, but not to be used in the show ring. Have you tried "rescue remedy" its drops or a spray that you use for panic situations, one spray for me, one for my horse, and we can calm down much better. Sometimes I feel being outside is just too overwhelming for my horse, and sometimes we dont even make it out of the barn..he is 13! "forever green" i say! I hear some ppl swear by "total calm and focus" either paste or a daily powder.

    good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 2008


    I loved Valerian for my mare! In my experience, it will not act like Ace, Rompun... It just takes a LITTLE edge off. In other words, it might work for your horse, but probably won't fix all you went through today.It does seem to be more effective on some horses than others, as another poster mentioned.It's hard to find now that it's banned in the show ring;however, you will find various herbal companies on-line. These companies sell herbals and give dosage suggestions for people, horses, dogs...That's a good place to start, but you might want to adjust a bit. You can find straight Valerian, and it should be cheap.- Grows wild through Ireland where many horses simply choose to nibble @ it, so they're shipping a lot over.Like I said, it worked well for my mare when I first got her off the track. I gave it daily am and pm, and it improved her ability to just settle a bit and focus. Thus, it helped me to begin reschooling. As for me, I just avoid those "overload" situations for now- where there's too much going on. She is expected to settle in at a show, but I wouldn't expect that she would settle around the fireworks that the teenagers nearby get hold of .I don't know that I'll ever mess with her when it's too busy. I don't have the patience for that much silliness anymore Hope this helps you. I have a "forever" greenie too- We sometimes need a support group!
    Last edited by Blackberry Farm; Oct. 11, 2009 at 09:39 PM. Reason: add onfo

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