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Calming supplements-do they work?

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  • Calming supplements-do they work?

    I would like to try a calming supplement on a pony I have. He can be a little on the "forward side". I was wondering if anyone has a particular supplement they use with good results?

  • #2
    Im sure that some do work. Are you talking about at a show or at home?
    I ask only because not to long ago I read an article in a mag written by the USEF drug and med guy on this subject. In essance he said 'If they work they are illegal.'
    Friend of bar .ka


    • #3
      Ex Stress

      We've had great great success with Ex Stress.
      It is legal & natural.
      Can't say it worked for every single horse, but for some it did wonders.



      • #4
        Perfect Prep


        • #5

          My vet recommends any supplement with Vitamin B1, like Thia-Cal. Some horses that are "hot" or spooky have vitamin B issues.. that being said, that means it wont work on every horse. I have a gelding that is just very ADD .. on Thia Cal, he is a different horse - so much so that he started acting "badly" again, and I found out from our ranch manager he'd been out of his supplement for three days. Back on the supplement, and he's doing great again. If you get Smartpaks, Smart Calm and SmartCalm Ultra are just vitamin B as well.. these supplements range from $13 a month to $25 a month. SOOOO worth it if your horse responds to them.
          Rural Property Specialist
          Keller Williams Realtors

          Email Me for Horse Property!


          • #6
            If you would, give some more specifics on what exactly the pony is doing, when "it" does it most, and give the gender. There are alot of supplements, both natural and not so, that will work. Some are geared more for mares, some for all.

            However, good training is always your best bet. If said pony needs a Valium to behave then it's time to get a new pony... Especially when considering a child's safety, as most DO have off days, and some become immune or need constant management.

            Tough call, give us some more info that's more in depth of the exact issue at hand.
            Last edited by BSFKimbees; Apr. 17, 2009, 03:51 AM.
            "There is dignity in lightness, truth in patience,
            but only ignorance in force"... www.cedarpinefarm.com


            • #7
              We have a horse that HATES noises. He's older and retired. If we know there's a storm coming or other noises then he gets a tube of calm and cool which seems to work. He's also on Vitamin B1 and a supplement called Extra Calm or something?
              No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
              For Hope, For Strength, For Life-Delta Gamma
              www.etsy.com/shop/joiedevivrecrafts Custom Wreaths and Other Decorations


              • Original Poster

                The pony is really a sweet pony. Perfect manners. He's a 13 yr old med WB gelding. He just is not a good fit for my beginner timid kid, as he was a jumper pony in his previous life. He has no spook. I'm currently trying to sell him and he just came back from a lease. I was hoping a calming supplement might make him a little more "lazy". Just for my own "peace of mind". He has been great for W/T-which is what I will be using him for. His canter is forward and above my son's level at this time.


                • #9
                  Its not really fair to sell a very forward pony that maybe calmed on calming drugs. Be sure to tell anyone that comes out what he is on and why. Otherwise B1 is great and legal and when selling him you can be upfront that the pony needs B1 vitamins to keep him calm.
                  Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                  • #10
                    My mare gets smart calm and she still gets a bit quick and up about jumping. She is by nature lazy- the smart calm helps with things like spooking and tension. If the pony has been trained to be enthusiastic and quick about jumping, smart calm won't help.

                    Plus, I think those supplements by the nature of what they do are illegal to show on and it is probably harder to sell a pony that needs smart calm to be lazy then to just find a buyer who enjoys a pony with more engine.


                    • #11
                      If this is the pony's natural way of going, which you describe it sounds like it is, and not a training or behavioral problem, then giving it something doesn't seem fair. I understand though that since it is for sale, and that in the meantime you want the pony to be more rideable for your kid until it sells, why not have a more experienced or less timid rider get on for the first 10 minutes and then your kid?

                      For calming supplements, I have heard good things about SmartCalm (SmartPak product) but if the horse/pony is not deficient in magnesium or B, it will not help and might actually throw something out of whack. One thing we use to take the edge off of the anxious ones is an L-Tryptophan product. It's a naturally occuring substance and seems to take the edge off without making them seem sedated.
                      "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain


                      • #12
                        Horses have been fed extremely large amounts of thiamine without any apparent harmful effect. Thiamine is soluble and easily destroyed in the liver and kidneys so any amounts extra to the animal’s needs are rapidly excreted. Additional thiamine usually has a calming effect on a horse. Its not the deficiency that causes the hyperness or spookness in a horse. If a horse is truely deficient of b1 than they will show neurological symptoms not excess energy. The role of B1 in the body is carbo hydrate metabolism and nerve transmission They actually give horses more b1 for the calming effect not for a defiency. Also if you look in a lot of those calming supplements they have high levels of b1 The best thing is just to give a muli vitamin such as sho glo or dumor etc... that includes b1 (thiamine).
                        Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                        • #13
                          Are you going to be upfront with any buyers that this pony is on a calming supplement or are you hoping to hide it? This is my biggest fear as a buyer. I can go through all the proper testing for illegal substances, but somebody has found a product that won't test, they make their horse nice & calm for the buyer & the buyer gets horse home & a few weeks later, whamo they've got a crazed horse!!
                          Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!


                          • #14
                            Rural Property Specialist
                            Keller Williams Realtors

                            Email Me for Horse Property!


                            • #15
                              That's what I use and I think it works. Or my horse has been getting worked so hard, she's too tired to act spazzy.

                              But honestly, I noticed a difference around week two.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by 111 View Post
                                We've had great great success with Ex Stress.
                                It is legal & natural.
                                Can't say it worked for every single horse, but for some it did wonders.

                                It may be "natural" and it may "not test" but it is NOT legal to give a horse ANYTHING that is intended to alter its performance in the ring.

                                End of Story.


                                • Original Poster

                                  I was just wanting something for the time being-for when my beginner kids are riding him. I would never misrepresent him in anyway, shape or form. I was misrepresented about him when I purchased him. That is how we ended up with a pony that is just not a good fit for my kids. I would never, never, do that to someone else. He is a wonderful and beautiful pony-just needs a rider with a little more experience.


                                  • #18
                                    I have found that these things work great on some horses, and have virtually no effect on others.

                                    We have mostly used Cavalor Calm, although that is only for short periods.

                                    Calm and Cool from ValleyVet works well too as a dietary supplement, and it's pretty cheap too.

                                    If you just want to try something for when the kid rides, you can try getting the stuff in tube form (quietex is one, but there are lots). You give him a tube about 2 hours before the kid rides. Like the supplements, these work great on some horses, less great on others.

                                    That way you won't have to worry about him being not himself or misleading people when buyers come to try him.
                                    "I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." --Vincent Van Gogh


                                    • #19
                                      Perfect Prep

                                      I second the Perfect Prep. Although in a minority it made things worse. The majority it worked on, it really worked.


                                      • #20
                                        I've known horses to get more spazzy when taking quiet x and cool and calm so I'd ride said pony after giving it before the kids to make sure how it affects him.
                                        Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole