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Need a Calming Supplement for a Pony Mare

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  • Need a Calming Supplement for a Pony Mare

    I have a wonderful 13 year old grade pony mare that we use for adult and children's beginner lessons. She is amazing with the children at home, but when we go to shows she needs a confident rider to keep her from getting too nervous. With the little girls that really want to show her she gets nervous, jiggs, neighs and starts getting goofy at the in gate.
    -We have tried schooling her before hand (ie the wet blanket method) and she still acts up out of nervousness, while being to tired/lazy for the little girls to get an effective ride out of her.

    -I do not believe she is magnesium deficient, she is not nervous or tense at home. And she is on a vit/mineral supplement for senior horses that receive low calorie diets.

    - She is not excessively mare-ish either at home or shows.

    - She is a reasonably fat mare, who I am afraid would founder if given half a chance (we've managed to avoid that so far, yay!) She is kept on a dry lot, gets plenty of exercise and receives a balanced, if low calorie diet. I worry about supplements that have lots of amino acids in them, would these cause a founder in a really easy keeper horse? The easy keepers aren't usually the ones that need calming. LOL

    So I'm really interested in an herbal supplement that will take the edge off this mare at small local hunter/4H shows, none of these girls are interested in showing seriously yet. And when they get to be mature enough riders to learn how to steady a nervous horse, this will be the mare that they can learn on.

    In the mean time, any suggestions?

    Thanks for reading, and have a nice day!
    A student in all things.

  • #2
    A calming supplement is merely a crutch. She needs more exposure to shows to give her the confidence she needs to relax. With small children involved I would be leery to rely on a supplement.
    Take her to every show you can. Have her stand around in all the excitement. Make it part of her environment as much as you can. It sounds like she is a sweet girl and will figure it out that she is safe and can relax.
    It might take some time but it will be worth it.


    • #3
      Look at this

      My daughter rides a mare for a friend of mine and she needs something to help take off the edge. It took a while for the results to be seen by we both believe it's helping her. It won't make her sluggish and I don't think it will be tested if that's a concern.
      I do agree with Ponies that exposure is the best solution. Hopefully this won't be something our mare will be on forever, but this will be her first year of showing come Spring and we want her to not stress and make the first times positive ones, so if this helps we'll give it a try.

      Good luck!
      "If you've got a horse, you've got a problem"


      • #4
        If your intention is to alter the pony's behavior at shows with "something", be it herbal or not, you are in essence drugging the beast and this is illegal under every governing body's rules. What is the difference between a (legitimate, effective) herbal sedative and "a little bit of ace", really? Why is one OK and not the other?

        This assumes that there are effective herbal calmers out there, and there probably are. But most of the ones that are sold are useless anyhow. Which is not to say that you couldn't find something pretty darn potent in the world of "herbal supplements" with a legitimate, drug-like effect.

        Handling a goofy, jiggy pony at the in-gate is what these kids need to learn.
        Click here before you buy.


        • #5
          This assumes that there are effective herbal calmers out there
          Absolutely - we doped up FP (Feral Pony) for his haul to the training barn & poor guy pretty much slept through his first week

          This was a powdered blend of Burdock, Cascara Segrada, Dandelion, Echinacea, Garlic, Ginkgo Biloboa, Golden Seal, Gotu-Kola, Kelp, Myrrh, Oregon Grape, Pau d'Arco, Rose Hips, Skullcap, and Yarrow - nice smelling stuff & he was happy to eat it mixed with some apple.


          • #6
            Whatever medicinal effect it may have had, it just SOUNDS . . . peaceful!

            Don't you think Gotu-Kola (Go-To Cola?) would be a great name for an herbally-enhanced soft drink? Remember the time/date stamp on this post when someone tries to make their billions--I want a small cut!
            Click here before you buy.


            • #7
              I am going to give your question the respect it deserves. A jigging pony is obviously not a happy content pony. Your question is how to help her be happy and content, especially in comparison to the pony you know she is at home. I have started giving mine Ulcergaurd before and at shows to help with his tension and reactivity. He is kicking quiet at home, and I know that is the way he wants to be. He also gets SmartCalm Ultra. I am getting the feeling that the bit of stress caused by trailering and being away might upset his tummy. It is not a training issue and he has been to a zillion shows. He has been good as gold since starting this program.

              Less stress for the horse, happy healthier horse, safer riding conditions, what's to criticize? I have no problem at all with a bit of whatever calms them a bit. I also think that using a calmer to break a pattern of being tense and stressed will in the long run help teach them out of that behavior.

              Rules prohibiting "altering behavior"? At a small local show, it is not something I would loose sleep over. Maybe those folks with the steady eddy show ponies should be a little more generous and tolerant of those who are not so lucky. It is not all a matter of training. Some are born to show, some are not. You can tell after the first few shows. It is very difficult for some to brave it past the in gate all alone into an arena full of jumps.
              Last edited by ToTheNines; Jan. 27, 2011, 05:08 PM.
              Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


              • #8
                I recently put my young TB mare on Mare Magic and have loved the results. She is not mareish at all so I didn't put her on it for that reason. She is very quiet in the barn, but when in a new situation she is very nervous. I debated between Quiessence and Mare Magic and ultimately decided on the Mare Magic mainly due to the lower price. She has been on it for a few weeks now and I have been more than pleased with the results. I have had another horse on Quiessence in the past and loved it, but that was a horse that was nervous the majority of the time. I would recommend trying the Mare Magic since yours isn't nervous at home. Good Luck!


                • #9
                  Once you get the pony settled down with Quiessence or something similar, could you continue the magnesium supplement at a reduced dosage? I believe it only works if the animal is already magnesium deficient.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thank You

                    Thanks to all the people who responded to this post with your suggestions and opinions. It is wonderful to be able to access such a broad and diverse section of the equestrian community.
                    thanks again,

                    A student in all things.


                    • #11
                      Keep in mind too, that the girls are probably nervous about showing as well. It is very easy for a pony to pick up on rider anxiety through tension in the rider's seat and reins. Exposure to showing for the pony with a rider who is calm and confident will help the pony. Try setting up a mock show day in a lesson for the girls. They can get gussied up in their show duds, and bring in an outside friend to be the 'judge'. It will push them a little past their comfort zone while being at home in a super low-pressure atmosphere. Good for kids, good for pony.
                      Leap, and the net will appear