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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 9, 2007

    Default Supplements/diet suggestions for a lazy horse?

    Has anyone used energy supplements for a lazy horse that worked? He needs to respect my leg more, which I know will not be fixed by a supplement or dietary change, but he also generally needs more energy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2005
    Out in The Country


    If your horse is indeed lazy and disrespecting your leg - he has to be TAUGHT to do it. You do not want to amp him up and make him high so you can get him forward. That might give you an occasional ride where you do not have to work so hard but honestly, that is nothing to build on. I suggest you have a good trainer get on him and ride him for 45 minutes and really ask the horse to send off and see what you can learn from watching and learning from that trainer.

    And a lot of horses in thsi case do well to learn lateral movements. I find a lot of horses that come to me for training that are dull to the leg - when I start teaching lateral movements, I can get them in front of the leg a lot easier very soon. Then the next step is consistency. When my horses are in the walk in the arena, they MARCH. They can saunter on the trail. I see a lot of my riders warm their horses up and let them drag along in the walk and it makes me crazy - you have to make the horse march in the walk or its not a warm up.

    Something else to think about - is he fit todo the work? Does he have a good attitude about his work? Is he having fun? Has he gotten bored - tired or - maybe you need to do something new and interesting to get him involved enthusiastically?

    OR if it is not an attitude and he's not really lazy but rather lethargic - you should talk to your vet about possible ideas on a lack of energy. If indeed it is a lack of energy - he could have a variety of problems.

    But if he is just lazy... I would not give him sugar - I would give him one of those cometoJesus riding sessions either with you or a trainer you can watch do it - saying - GET OFF MY LEG NOW!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2006
    Maryland/Indiana/New York/Vermont


    I agree with Lara.

    I ride all horses in spurs. But with the really lazy ones, so I'm not continually spurring them and "deadening" them to it, I carry a dressage whip.

  4. #4


    I have the same issue. 18 yrs old WB mare, very healthy, confirmed "just lazy" by vets and trainers. MAJOR whip and spur action to get her to trot at the start of a ride, and after walk breaks, then she is goes great. Not a "warm up" issue, have tried pre-warm up from ground. It's like she loves to be smacked around, but I HATE it. She is ridden fairly lightly 4 days a week with 1 of those a lazy trail ride. I just keep thinking her and I should share a espresso before a ride and she would be fine! Can't grain her too much or she gets fat. My gelding is the total opposite, so forward! Ideas that don't involve training?

  5. #5


    More info: she gets excellent quality grass hay and 1/2 lb crimped oats, Glazen Lite and salt. She has pretty much always been this way and I've had her for 12 yrs, but is getting slowly worse. I've tried SmarkPak SmartEnergy and that did nothing. I ride her dressage -2nd level.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 27, 2010


    My gelding is very similar. I'm very consistant with making him move off my leg immediatley and making him work the entire time he's in the ring, no walking around, dragging his feet until he cools off taking a walk around the farm. Even with consistancy and spurs and a crop being used properly, he still needed just a touch more to wake him up a bit. I have him on 2 oz. LinPro during the summer months and it gives him just what he needs. Makes him just alert enough that he's willing to be more forward.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2007


    For a slightly older horse, I would wonder if being slow in e beginning is stiffness from arthritis. Once she is made to work through it she can move smoothly and through her back and forward. I had one gelding that was like that, and adding a good joint supplement did wonders on speeding up his warmup time. I would also recommend a Chiro visit if possible.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2012


    Try Redcell... It works on our lazy pony.

  9. #9


    Thanks for the ideas. She is on Pentosan and joint supplements as preventative (+ multi vitamin/mineral), but doesn't appear to have stiffness or soreness anywhere except between the ears If not ridden for a few days she will run and buck like a filly in her paddock if the spirt moves her. I might try some sweet mix if I can feed just a little and have it help.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2008


    If you've got access to a vet with experience in traditional Chinese medicine, ask about Equine Du Huo blend. My Welsh-Arab cross grew pathologically slow and lazy, and nothing -- rest, joint injections, bloodwork, a course of antibiotics to cover tick-borne illness -- helped or turned up a cause for the lethargy. I had all but stopped riding him because it was such a miserable experience for both of us when my vet (a DVM who also practices acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, and TCM) suggested the supplement. Two days later, my pony was a different animal, happy and enjoying his work once more. He stayed on the supplement for the rest of his life, and now my Thoroughbred -- who has no need of anything to perk him up but does have some soreness issues thanks to his conformation, time on the track, and old injuries -- has been started on it, with great results. I was a skeptic going in, but the results were too dramatic to dismiss.
    Last edited by Sunnyhorse; Jun. 24, 2012 at 06:36 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2011


    I agree with the above posters with making the horse really get to work when riding in the ring. Making them move off your leg NOW, using stick/spurs when needed. I've had a few naturally very lazy hunters come through the barn, and what I found to work the best was a program designed to improve their overall fitness level. This included trot sets out in a big field followed by a long canter with some galloping at least twice a week. I usually finished with a nice trail ride back to the barn. Once the horse's fitness level increased, so did their energy while working in the ring.

    I haven't had great success in the past with any feed-through supplements or grain changes to increase energy.

  12. #12


    I agree and do use the *Jane Savoie* method to try to get her to be light off the leg. The problem is it requires MAJOR whip and spurs to get a reaction. All I need with my gelding is a light squeeze, and I am the only one who has ever ridden him. What I have been trying is after warm up, doing canter lengthenings and flying changes to wake her up. This helps, but we still have to have this big whip and spur thing before hand.

    I don't have any gallop safe fields on my property (too many rocks) but we do weekly trail rides.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2000
    Southern Pines, N.C.


    I used an energy supplement from Smart Pak. I wasn't sure if it was doing anything until the weather got cold and I forgot to change his Smart Pak. Wow. When my trainer noticed how much higher he was than the prior year, a light bulb went off and I immediately stopped the extra energy.

    He calmed back down to his normal happy self.

    Sorry, I forget which supplement it was. It was not Red Cell because I have some in my feed room for a boarder, and I know I did not use it.
    "I used to have money, now I have horses."

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2004


    i would say that your horse does no understand what you want, nor does he have the stamina to do what you want.

    what might work for you is to have him follow a more forward horse but keep the session s short because he does not have the fitness required.

    once he is more forward following, try going on your own...

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