Any suggestions for calming supplements?! I'm at a loss.. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Washington
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Any suggestions for calming supplements?! I'm at a loss..

Hey there. So a bit of back story is that I recently moved Max to a barn with the option of pasture board, but for the wintertime it's been a bit difficult monitoring how much hay he's getting and he started to loose a bit of weight. As a result I asked if he could have a stall for the pm so I could give him as much hay as necessary. Unfortunately the only stall available is on the opposite side of the barn from all the other horses. Max can hear them, but can't see any.

Max is big on seeing others so he has been getting extremely stressed and I'm worried about colic or ulcers. He's mildly coliced from stress once before. Very mild- I barely knew it was happening before it was over- but still. It's a concern of mine. I'm getting him on a gastro supp through smartpak to hopefully help prevent upset stomach, he's already on thiamine to help take the edge off, but does anyone know of some calming supps they recommend? I know all about smart calm and total calm and focus but those seem to really knock him out almost too much- it's an odd thing to watch and he does not perform as well in our training on them.

I'm wondering if anyone has had success with more natural or cheaper alternatives? Any stories or suggestions I'll take, thanks for the help!
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 09:35 AM
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Try lavender oil, put some on the back of your palm and let him smell it, if he likes it, massage it into his muzzle. It should calm him down a little, but this all depends if you believe in alternative methods or not ;)
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post #3 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 09:37 AM
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I have has success with Valerian Root, it is cheap, you can get it at Wal-mart, it does not knock them out just takes the edge off. Start out with two and see how it works, you can increase it or decrease as needed.

Some examples of how I have used it when I got a new horse in who was running around really stressed about being in a new place I gave him four capsules, broke the powder into some feed within an hour he was quiet milling around his new stall. When one of my geldings got an injury to his face he would not let me look at it I gave him 5 valerian root and it about knocked him out I was able to clean him up while he was relaxed. Same gelding had to have surgery and was confined for 8 weeks, I gave him two a day, one in the morning and one at night and it kept him from going crazy in his stall during his recovery. I have another mare who gets worried about the vet I give her two an hour before the vet gets here and it just takes the edge off so she is more relaxed and cooperative. So you can experiment and adjust as needed, Valerian root is in a lot of calming supplements but is mixed in with other ingredients and they are pricey, like I said above it is cheap, readily available and easy to use.
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Ah yes! Totally forgot about valerian root! Are those just 500 mg capsules?

Farah- I swear by lavender oil for myself too! That seems to help him a tad but not for very long. But lav oil on the muzzle is def one of my quick fixes for a stressed pony.
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 10:37 AM
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My best friend has a TB gelding who is very herd bound. You can't even take her mare out of sight of him (like into the barn) or he freaks out completely.

So, we tried some herbs with him. We've tried lavender, camomile and valerian root. The best success we've had is giving the lavender one day, then the next day giving the camomile and just a pinch of valerian. The valerian smells god-awful, so we crush up some peppermints and mix it with the herbs and grain. Works like a charm. He's MUCH calmer than he was before and doesn't freak out when you take the mare away. It was to the point that he was hurting himself trying to get to her if he couldn't see her. Now, he'll pace the fence at a trot until he can see her again, but he doesn't call and he doesn't end up dripping sweat like he did.

We got the herbs whole at a local natural grocer and I think we spent less than $10 for all three. They've lasted almost two months, giving about one tablespoon per day crushed up in his evening feed and alternating between the lavender and camomile/valerian.
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post #6 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 11:03 AM
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Try starting him on magnesuim my horses have been on it for a few month now. My gelding is usally a nervy reck not any more. Hes calm and quite now not the drugged up kinda quite just relaxed and not so uptight.

Not sure i will like him being so calm when i can ride him again. he was a blast to ride when all nervy he loved run and seemed to have never ending energy.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 11:05 AM
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You can also get an unbreakable or plastic mirror and put that in his stall.
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 11:26 AM
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Yeah lavender is more.. Like, it works for a short while haha. I really don't know otherwise, try what DraftyAires said! I love using herbs/ natural meth
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 11:28 AM
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I've heard that red raspberry leaves are good, you can order them bulk online. This may be more so for irritability but might work (this is what is in mare magic)
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-09-2013, 08:52 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
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I have one of my horses on Vita calm.., mainly to help keep him calm in what he views as stressful situations. He is honestly the most sensitive horse I have ever met, and just a change of weather leaves him stressed for at least a day. So I have been trying this supplement and it does help him. I never wanted a supplement that affected his energy level while being ridden, and this has been working great! It does seem to help take the edge off his stress, and it leaves him just as energetic when he is being ridden. The best part is the price... $12 at tractor supply, and it lasts us about 2 months on the dose that we give him.
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