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Discussion on Calming supplements?

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kayla block
Member
Username: kaylab

Post Number: 10
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 - 2:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Has anyone had good experiences with calming supplements for a hot and spooky horse? I'm interested in dosage and ingredients and want to understand relevant research as well as read about anecdotal experiences.

I tried Wendall's Herbs (forgot which formula) and I don't think it made any bit of difference at all.

I've wondered about magnesium/b vitamins. There seems to be some good anecdotal evidence, but I have no clue if any research supports that combo.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 20487
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 - 6:16 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello kayla,
There is no evidence that Vit B / Mg supplements are any benefit in cooling and calming hot and spooky horses who are not deficient in these nutrients.
DrO
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Angie J.
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 1661
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 - 8:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Kayla,

I purchased a bucket of the Calm & Cool pellets but I haven't started the horse on them yet. It has the B1 and the typical calming herbs; Valerian, Black Cohosh, Passion Flower, Ginger root hmmmm, ginger don't sound calming to me. And hops, Wood Betony, etc. I think these would put me to sleep, but I'll have to let you know on the affect on the horse. My guess is the Wendal Herbs was similar ingredients? I worry about the valerian, not sure how safe it is for humans, much less horses so my plan is a one month trail period. Just to see if Mr. Anxiety will pay attention long enough for us to get somewheres.
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Cindy Davidson
New Member
Username: cindy333

Post Number: 4
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 - 9:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Kayla, we have used Quietx on yearlings, for our show, we give it before the couple hour trailer ride and again in the morning before the show and sale. We have used it for a number of years for this particular event, just to settle them a little,and it works. At least we feel it does.
I know it isn't herbal, but it is easy to give either oral or as a top dress, and I have seen no ill effects. If your horse is in good body condition and your feeding grains, Try Buckeye Grow N Win, it gives the animal all the vitamins and minerals it needs, but no starch and sugar which can sometime ad to being "hot", If you compete or have a senior horse there are some good formulas that also have GC in them, like Safe N Easy GC, Grow N Win with GC, check out the Buckeye Nutrition web site and see what they may have to complement your current feeding program. Awesome feed.
Cindy Davidson
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Elizabeth Kaufman
Member
Username: ekaufman

Post Number: 478
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 - 9:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Kayla,

I have never seen the supplements work, but I have owned 2 very hot horses that became pleasant and reasonable when I was able to put them on 24x7 turnout with a calm buddy. In both cases the transformation was dramatic and persistent. So be sure to explore management changes if you can. (This isn't a science-based recommendation, but still seems reasonable to me.)
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Melissa Thompson
Member
Username: thomboy

Post Number: 59
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 - 9:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Is the horse hot and spooky in general or just when you ride or work with it?
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kayla block
Member
Username: kaylab

Post Number: 11
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 - 11:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you all for your info and feedback! I was hoping for a magic answer.

DrO, I suspected I'd be throwing money away so thanks for the input.

Melissa, she's an Arabian with all the good and bad stereotypes anyone has ever had about the breed. She's hot, spooky, and smart. She's also moody (mareish??) Training has helped tremendously over the years I've had her. Mostly, I've learned to adjust to her and can read her well enough to know when she's hyped up enough to be unsafe and have behavioral ways to calm her down. But I was just wondering if anything else might help.

Cindy, if I understand it, I think Quietex is $$$ and for once in awhile use, rather than something that just generally calms them down?

Angie, based on my own response to valerian and tryptophan, I think those two things might work (if dose was sufficient) but they are not USDF show legal. And though I'm not currently showing, I don't want to depend on something that will test positive. The Wendal's version that I bought had only legally sanctioned drugs.

FWIW to anyone with a horse like mine, clicker training is one thing that helps a lot when she's really revved up. It forces her to focus and gives her positive things to think about instead of all the stuff she worries about.

But my horse will probably just always be hyper-alert, nervous and worried to some extent. She spooks over her own urine! (WAA?! Where did THAT come from??!)

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Edward Walker
New Member
Username: darlenh1

Post Number: 3
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 - 12:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have a mare who was "mareish". She is an alpha mare, but her temperament is so much better now. She is calmer. It has taken several ways to accomplish this. There are three of these ways which are most effective. The first is at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day. The second is a time set aside each day for discipline through ground work or ground work to see where her mind is before you ride her. The time for ground work can vary based on the type of personality she has, and, perhaps, her exercise can come through the ground work. I recommend strongly a book titled What Horses Reveal by Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling to aid in determining the personality your mare has, and the amount of time that should be allowed for working on establishing yourself as leader in your herd of two, plus the time needed for reinforcing skills and introducing new ones.
Calming supplements are a waste of time and money and may endanger the well-being of your horse when they are added to the body with prescribed medication. I'm sure you have heard about health concerns when herbal supplements react negatively with medication. The mare's good health isn't worth the risk. Stick with good hay and any mineral and salt blocks you may wish to add to the mare's daily nutrition.
The third and hopefully this won't have to be used is the addition of progesterone to her system. It is a natural hormone produced in the female's body when pregnant, and prevents estrus. The addition of this hormone has a proven calming effect on mares. It can be introduced into your mare's body through intramuscular injection. Your mare may only need this injection once every three months if it is effectively preventing her estrus cycle. Otherwise, you may have to introduce the drug orally. The common market name for which you can find this oral form of the progesterone hormone is Regu-mate. Regu-mate is progesterone mixed with oil, and it can be easily given by putting it under your mare's tongue or putting it on her feed}. The Regu-mate dose must be given once daily, and you may not need to use it if exercise and discipline work. Talk to your vet about the hormone and your mare's need for it.}
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Angie J.
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 1662
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 - 12:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Kayla,

LOL!! My 19 year old Arab mare used to spook when her own tail hit her, so I know what you are saying! If it's any consolation, she is better now that she is older. I know her ways pretty good after 17 years! The main thing with her is being consistent and cool and calm myself. My teenage daughter has a harder time riding her (her name is Kaylee, and I keep typing that to you, so if I don't catch that, I mean Kayla when adressing you) because she don't have the experience of letting her whole body be limp and at the same time "ready" for anything. Only way I can explain how to ride my mare.

I didn't buy the calming supp for her, it's for the now infamous Tango..who else?!
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 3531
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 - 2:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Kayla, how hard and how often is your mare getting worked? Unlike a some of the other breeds, Arabs are not horses that can sit around in a stall all week then be worked on the weekend. The need a lot of exercise. Angie's comment about turnout is a good one. If it is possible, either work her a couple of hrs. a day or turn her out, or both. Trouble with Arabians is that the more you work them, the fitter they get and the more work they need!

I have used a calming agent on our stallions that's put out by Select. I think it's called "becalm" but am not sure. (It's in a small yellow pail type container.) My trainer thinks it works, but I have my doubts. Now that my stallions are getting a lot of hard work they are both pretty calm regardless of the situation they are in.
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kayla block
Member
Username: kaylab

Post Number: 12
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 - 2:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sara, all of the behavioral/work solutions are pretty much in gear and you're very right. She needs regular work or she's totally doofy!

Edward, I don't think I'd want to put her on Regu-mate. I just wanted to find out if there were any easy answers and it seems like the real solution is what I'm already doing. Hard work. Regular work. Mood check-ins before mounting.

I just wanted an EASY solution!
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Rodney D
Member
Username: parker66

Post Number: 28
Registered: 3-2008
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 - 12:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

There is no "supplement" that will help keep your horse cool. Just save your money.
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Muffi Delaney
Member
Username: muffi

Post Number: 229
Registered: 1-2006
Posted on Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 - 2:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have to echo Ed's comments above and add some to what helped me with my Alpha Gelding.
Food is a big deal - he gets like a kid on cool-aid if he gets any processed feed with either Alphalfa or Molassas in it. so mostly GRASS Hay only and Bermuda is the best as it has the least heat in it. he gets all the grass hay he wants - Free Feeding.
next I do have to be with him every day - to run him (lunge him) or to ground work him. with out that he gets very boinkey.
third I do give him a daily suppilement. I found a very positive result with Command Serene supplement - for HIM - my other hose there was no difference so I don't waste the money on the second Arab.

so the combination - Mostly it is in the feed. Immediatly I see if he is getting too much sugar/protien and not enough exercise to counter act it.
I now have my "perfect horse" now that I know what I need to do with him.

For my Arab - he is a senior horse - at age 17 he is still very very perky, and like all Arabs he gets excited easy. Up untill the past 4 months he was primarily my husbands horse so I left him mostly to him. My husband has chosen to ride a Mechanical horse now (Dirt Bike) over the Arab so I get to be his primary rider now. Since I am paying more attention to him and riding him a lot he has really changed a lot too. he is calmer now with me because I think he trusts me more and sees me as "his Rider" now. Very Very Smart horse. so to calm him down it just took "face time". (and I love every minute of it!)

So Kyla - experiment with different things. try the method Ed and I use. something will undoubtably work for you.
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