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Tums for the anxious horse?

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  • Tums for the anxious horse?

    My gelding is a nervous nellie on the inside. He gets the ulcerguard on days when I know there will be lots of stress (like trailer loading lesson). As additives for feed, I give him Succeed, probios, gastroade and smartcalm ultra.

    He will be starting back into work with my dressage instructor after a 7 month hiatus of no undersaddle and I want to try to ward off the stress of training 4 days of the week. Does Tums really help with heading off all that extra acid he will inevitably produce? Or should I just syringe him with the gastroade (basically pepto for horses) about 30 mins. prior to the session?

    I know the trainer will not go overboard, but I know she will challenge him mentally too (as in general just working away from a herd is challenging to him at this point).

    So far my "regime" has worked well from his day to day activities, but I am worried about the stress of training for him. Thanks for any advice :-)

  • #2
    what does he eat? has he been scoped for ulcers? my horse can be nervous and explosive and he's actually ulcer free.


    • #3
      My trainer went through a period where she gave Tums as treats. Our ulcer-prone guy didn't like them (he's a super-picky eater), and I wonderd just how many it would take to help a horse tummy.
      He does, however, like alfalfa cubes. We gave those to him when we brought him into the wash rack for grooming before he went to work. I mean, the kid gave him lots of alfalfa cubes! He loved them, thought he was mighty special, and the alfalfa was good for his tummy.
      Y'all ain't right!


      • #4
        I do feed Tums as a treat (she loves the tropical fruit ones), but to really get the "tums effect" I use Smart Gut by Smartpak. It's very inexpensive and attacks the problems from a variety of different angles, including probiotics and slippery elm, among other ingredients. I think anticipating stress of training is very smart. I also have used a flower essence called "Anxiety," which I get from Green Hope Farm. (You can find them online) They have an Animal Wellness collection and while it does seem a bit magikal and all, I have found it to work . . .


        • #5
          My vet recommended I give my big (17H ISH) guy 12 tums about 10 mins before working him each day. This was after I'd treated him for ulcers with gastrogard for a month. He said I could also try something like neigh-lox instead. My horse loves the tums - so when I go out to the pasture to bring him in to ride, I give them to him then. He prefers the peppermint or tropical fruit. Naturally, I'd picked up about 6 bottles of berry flavored ones (really cheap at Sam's!), and he won't touch those....
          And yes, alfalfa cubes (soaked) are also good for buffering acid. I give him some soaked cubes, with a cup of aloe vera juice added, about 15 mins or more before his breakfast. Nice 'wake-up ' snack for him on these bitter cold mornings!
          Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it ~ Goethe


          • #6
            After a course of GG I started feeding Tums as a treat. Even if they don't help they aren't going to cause problems. I also feed Alfalfa cubes, a probiotic and Recovery EQ along with all the hay he will eat. Seems to be working. I still give 1/2 tube UG when competing, trailering or anything that may up his stress level though.

            Hey Flipper, mine loves the berry flavored Tums if you want to get rid of them
            "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."