This used to be my horse: "Hi, I'm perfectly calm, walking along.....BAM! OMG! THAT IS SCARY! I JUMP 4-FEET TO THE RIGHT!.....ok, I'm perfectly calm again, walking along.....oh wait, what happened to my rider? Oh, there she is...sniff, sniff.....what are you doing down there?"
I tried desensitizing. He wouldn't bat an eye. Until, of course, I was riding and that scarey invisible ghost appeared again. I tried massive, consistent exercise. No effect. So now, my horse is on a calming supplement. It's Smartpak's SmartCalm. I'm pretty sure it's show legal because it's just Magnesium, B-Vitamins, and a few other nutrients that normally found in horses and their feed. No herbs or anything. I haven't been to a show while using this yet, so I'll have to look into it more when I get to that road.
But yes, I have noticed a change in my horse. Now, when that invisible ghost appears before my horse, he simply studders in place a moment, and then regains focus on riding.
I only give him a half dose in his SmartPak, so it's only like $10 a month. Very worth it to me if it means one less fall!
And yes, I'm a hunter, but I would give him these supplements no matter what discipline we rode. OH, ALSO...I read somewhere online that excessive biotin intake can reduce the amount of B-Vitamins absorbed by a horse. Well, my farrier recommends I keep my barefoot boy on biotin, so I think he may have been jumpy as a result of the biotin. Maybe not, but my biotin/Smart Calm combo seems to work well for his hoof health and state of mind!
Monte - 15 year old Paint/TB
Auric - 13 year old Arab