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Update to Forum Rules: Criminal Allegations

In our continuing effort to provide an avenue for individuals to voice their opinions and experiences, we have recently reviewed and updated our forum policies. Generally, we have allowed users to share their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, trainers, etc. within the industry, and that is not changing.

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Forum rules and no-advertising policy

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Calming Supplements

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  • Calming Supplements

    I'll be taking my horse off of the farm over the winter to get him used to different venues. He tends to be a bit reactive and can be a 17.1 hh handful!

    Any advice on calming supplements to help ease the adjustments? I won't be taking him to shows but I'd be interested in the legal ones.

  • #2
    Quietex really worked for us!


    • #3
      If he is just normal and reactive, working, time and experience, and lunging are probably your best options. Calming supplements mostly don't work. If it's something else and he is magnesium deficient, that will help, but it won't change who he is.


      • #4
        UltraCruz Equine Calming Supplement. I'd be happy to send a sample to be sure he eats it!
        Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.


        • #5
          Magvet brand magnesium made a very definite difference in my horse


          • #6
            Highly recommend Divine Equine. I've seen results within 4 days on 3 different horses - 2 of which are more on the reactive side; the other paces frantically all the time (stopped pacing completely once owner added this to her feed). The ingredients are all natural and it's about $25 for a tub.

            My mare is highly reactive and it took the edge off so she could think and process without losing her cool


            • #7
              performance equine Magrestore. I, and some of my friends, have had success with this. Very absorbable magnesium


              • #8
                I’ve used Smartpak ultra calm with success


                • #9
                  There have been lots of threads on this on horse care.

                  Most calming supplements contain magnesium as the active ingredient.

                  If a horse is jumpy because of a magnesium deficiency then a magnesium supplement can fix that.

                  If he is just nervous but nutrition is OK then excess magnesium will have no effect beyond diarrhea.

                  Most effective thing would be to evaluate diet, decide if mag deficiency is likely then just supplement that.

                  There may also be a placebo effect on the rider


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kynesha View Post
                    Highly recommend Divine Equine. I've seen results within 4 days on 3 different horses - 2 of which are more on the reactive side; the other paces frantically all the time (stopped pacing completely once owner added this to her feed). The ingredients are all natural and it's about $25 for a tub.

                    My mare is highly reactive and it took the edge off so she could think and process without losing her cool
                    As long as it is understood that "all natural" does not necessarily = "legal".

                    I don't know the status of the supplement referred to above. It may be perfectly within USEF rules, or not.

                    I am saying this in "general";
                    OP, research is necessary if you want to keep to legal supplements. USEF drug rules are available online and you must compare the supplement ingredients to the list of controlled/banned substances.

                    Don't ever take anyone's word that the stuff they are selling is "legal" if you are competing under USEF rules. You must be sure that what you feed to your horse is allowed in competition since you (not the person who sold you the "legal/not legal supplement) will be held accountable for a violation of the drug rule.

                    If you find it difficult, call or email USEF.
                    Last edited by skydy; Nov. 21, 2017, 02:12 AM.


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'd like a product just to help him on this first outing which would be riding in a friends ring. He's not normally a nervous horse once he gets used to the idea but I wanted to give him some ease the first time out and off the farm.


                      • #12
                        Confidence EQ gel is amazing. It contains “a copy of the Equine Appeasing Pheromone secreted by mares as they nurse their foals.” It has done miracles for my horse but must be applied 15-30 minutes prior to the stressful event. It has no effect whatsoever on an already stressed animal. It’s pricey but it’s the best I’ve found and I believe the company offers samples. You could use it before loading into the trailer and if it’s a long trailer ride (over an hour) then once more when you arrive or tack up.

                        I’ve also found Equine Science Solutions “Focus Pro” cookies to be useful and they work even if the horse is already anxious.


                        • #13
                          Supplements tend not to work "one time only." You need to feed them over time, especially the magnesium ones.

                          Various pharmaceutical tranquilizers work on a one time only basis. I have never used these but you could ask your vet.

                          I would suggest in addition also doing a lot of agility/ obstacle/ bomb proofing work with him before you leave. The work here is twofold. First, it gets the horse used to various stimuli. But more important it establishes that you can be a quiet and safe guide around new stimuli and the horse will look to you for guidance.

                          This step gets skipped alot with dressage horses but it's just as important as for trail riding and western horses because you never know when an empty coffee cup will blow clattering down the bleachers as you pass!

                          A couple of months ago I took my horse to a local fall farm type thing for a tricks performance. Afterwards, we had her in a paddock behind the bandstand, and she was fine until the Johnny Cash cover band started up. She started getting reactive, which is very unusual for her, but when I came to get her, I was really pleased and delighted that she came straight to the gate to ask me to get her out of there. I didn't have to chase her down and calm her down and struggle to get the halter on. She knew that I would take her out of the situation and she was up on tiptoe but behaved herself walking to the back of the property and the trailer. Having a horse that looks to you to solve problems like that rather than just losing its mind is really wonderful. It felt like a milestone.


                          • #14
                            Just passing this on from my equine nutritionist because I found it interesting. Magnesium works in come horses and not in others because irritability/sensitivity is a symptom of low magnesium. So, if your horse is low in magnesium, magnesium will help. But, it will not have a calming effect on a horse who is not low in magnesium.

                            I actually found this to be true in myself when my prescribed high doses of Vit D depleted my magnesium levels. I experienced irritability and anxiety completely out of my normal nature. I increased my magnesium intake and I could feel the difference almost immediately.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dressurfrau View Post
                              Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'd like a product just to help him on this first outing which would be riding in a friends ring. He's not normally a nervous horse once he gets used to the idea but I wanted to give him some ease the first time out and off the farm.
                              and why not just try to go there without giving him anything?? My young horse just had her first outings. I did plan it carefully. We went to 2 little quiet clinics and then to a show. She is a high energy horse, but also very self-confident and curious. She loved all this adventure! At the show she acted like she had done shows all her life... I believe if you give them something it will somehow mess them up. They are not able to really experience the situation like they would without any calming supplement.... Maybe it even confuses them.


                              • #16
                                A lot of times at home they are used to everything so they notice every little grain of sand out of place. But at a show everything is unusual and they just take it all in. Like a kid with "sensory overload" that just shuts down.

                                watch that type around show 10! But it is very common.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thx everyone for the feedback. I'm planning on taking him out some places. He just had a reaction to a vaccine and colicked lightly so that makes me hesitant to plan a lot. I'll see how it goes.