calming supplements - Page 2

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calming supplements

This is a discussion on calming supplements within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    06-10-2010, 11:35 AM
Originally Posted by corinowalk    
None taken! I agree that a true blue hot blooded horse wont be calmed by a change in diet. But unless you try to fix the diet, how do you know they are truely that hot? Before I switched my horse to a low starch diet, he was being fed 3qts of sweetfeed twice a day. He would run his pasture and riding him was bone jarring. It took a few weeks to truely take effect but now he's much more level headed under saddle and in his pasture. The only thing that changed was his diet.
Oh, yes, I don't argue with that at all. That's what I started with as well. Even though I never load her with grain (just 1-2 lbs) I switched her from sweet feed to beet pulp pellets (already for over a year). I still have to use Moody Mare to keep at least some edge off, and she still explodes for no reason from time to time. My other horse is different (although often SHE is the one who starts running and brings my other one in completely loose mind), so it's definitely a personality thing you can't fix. Lol!
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    06-10-2010, 01:56 PM
Totally true! And if they lacked personality, we wouldnt like them and would have to find something else. I like quirks in my horses and in my people! The point I think we are both making is that every horse, if we like it or not, is an individual. Certain things work and others don't. Horses are LOVELY arent they?!
    06-11-2010, 12:27 PM
Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979    
I would first evaluate a horse's diet and living enviornment before putting him on a calming supplement.

What exactly is he eating? What brand and type of feed? How much (by weight)? What kind of hay, how much, and how often? Any supplements?

What are his living conditions like? How much stall time? How much turnout? What size is his turnout area and with how many horses? Does he get picked on during turnout? Does he pick on other horses?

How often do you ride him, at what speeds, and for how long?

What breed is he? How old? What is his training/riding history? How long have you had him? How long has he been at his current barn?

All of the above can greatly effect a horse's behavior. Changing one or more aspects of his life may dramatically change his behavior. My TBxArab gelding went from "crazy" to puppy dog within 4 months of gradual feed and environment changes.
^^^^^ This WILL work. Answering those questions and seeking help with the answers in putting together a good regimen for your horse is what you need to try to get done BEFORE throwing your horse on ANY supplement or agent.

Originally Posted by kitten_Val    
No offense to anyone, but I don't believe the feed will calm down a truly easily-excited horse. Well unless you load it with 10 lbs of sweet feed and then switch to hay only. I feed my horse hay and 1 lb of low starch/low sugar (mostly beet pulp) pellets twice/day and she gets overexcited in matter of couple mins for no reason. And I mean head high, legs shaken, tail up, etc.
Our newest mare (Hothead) just dropped a lot of weight, so we started her on a pelleted feed. It's a 11% feed, so just enough to give her enough extra energy that she will maintain weight instead of lose it. Even this 11% has completely blown her up. She is an absolute wreck. She jumps sideways any time the wind blows. So, we reduce her feed a bit, and within a few days, another dramatic change in her behavior is WAAAAY apparent. This was only 1/4lb reduction of her daily ration. Feed DOES make a difference, and WILL make a difference, in EVERY horse. The amount is what varies between individual horses.

Originally Posted by franknbeans    
Good to hear about the Smartcalm-we are hoping it will work on a lovely (looking) warmblood our trainer has had over 6 mo and still cannot trust. Sometimes (at least a couple times a week) he just loses it. Like all of a sudden we have to spend half an hour putting on his fly mask (he has had one all his life) or, we have to spend his entire training time just going in and out of the barn on him.......have never seen anything quite like it, but doubt he will ever be truly safe and trustworthy. Hope it helps!
Some horses are just born with no sense. After getting on and working 70 different horses over the last 3 months, I've decided that yes, each horse has its own personality. But at the same time, some horses just aren't as smart, and just don't "get it" like others do. Horses like the WB mentioned have to have a steady routine, and nothing out of place. Every day, same thing, same way, same time, same place. EVERY DAY. Otherwise, the horse just won't retain anything its brain processes.

My husband just started a 9yo proud-cut QH (only gelded about 8mos ago.) that we have debated over and over whether or not he actually has a thinking side of his brain. Of course, due to torture and torment from the neighbor's kids, he was seen as a bulldozing danger. However, 90 days later, my husband is gathering cattle on him, which is a MASSIVE feat for this particular guy. He just doesn't have what it takes upstairs to be a rider. The owner has spent $2k on his training so far with us, and understands that she may never be able to ride him. And he's grade, and definitely not going to bring her money back. This is prime example of having too big a heart for too big a task. He just doesn't have what it takes.

By no means am I saying to give up on the WB, but this is probably the same case with him. ; )

Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979    
Well no, a change in diet won't help all exitable horses, especially if they're already on a "calm" diet. However, as I said, diet and environment "can" cause behavior changes and should be examined before putting a horse on a calming supplement.

My TBxArab gelding was only getting 1 lb of oats and 3 lbs of Alfalfa pellets for a while (along with grass hay a vitamin supplement), and he was still a bit hyperactive and jittery. Sometimes it doesn't take 10 lbs of sweet feet to negatively effect a horse's behavior .
^^^I semi-agree with this. In training, if a horse is allowed to be "go, go GO!!!!" and get worked up, this can progress into dangerous situations. I have seen many, MANY High Brow Cat colts come through the barn. They are, by FAR, the hottest horses I have ever seen. Even with any kind of HBC blood in them, there's always some kind of quirk. They're spooky, kick, bite, bare teeth, etc. And under saddle, after about 30 days when they actually start to really get an idea of what's going on, you absolutely HAVE to hold them back. Teach them, "Calm." "Collect." and "Tip your nose INTO the circle." Working on softness also really helps a "hot" horse. If you have a soft horse that's easily excitable, it is much easier to manage than a hard-mouthed and stiff horse that is easily excitable.

If I had more details about the particular horse, I could really be a lot more help.
    06-16-2010, 09:07 PM
Big difference between being "hot" and being a "schizoid".

Feed will help a "hot" horse. Not much to do with a "schizoid". They are a pain and usually you can never trust them--ALWAYS HAVE TO BE READY FOR STUPIDITY.

Said it before---always go for the good mind and if you have a choice choose conformation next. If you can afford to throw in looks all the better.
    06-17-2010, 12:09 AM
Hey guys! Sorry I haven't really been reading these reply's, we so far have tried b-kalm, it doesn't work.

Here are the answer to the above questions.

What exactly is he eating? 2 flakes of grass hay in the morning and again at night.
What brand and type of feed? He just get's hay, no grain
How much (by weight)? Really have to clue on the weight, we are boarding him right now so I don't handle any of the hay, he gets about 4 flakes a day.
What kind of hay, how much, and how often? same as above.
Any supplements? no
What are his living conditions like?
Large open paddock with open shelter.
How much stall time? none
How much turnout? all day
What size is his turnout area and with how many horses?
large paddock, one other horse.
Does he get picked on during turnout? He stays out all day.
Does he pick on other horses? Nope
How often do you ride him, at what speeds, and for how long? We ride him about twice a week and the trainer riders him 3 days a week, so about 5 days a week for about 1 1/2 hourse.
What breed is he? Arabian
How old? 6
What is his training/riding history? 90 days of training last year, 60 days so far this year
How long have you had him? about 2 years
How long has he been at his current barn? about a year

Onyx was abused earlier in life and when I got him he was so afraid of people that it would take hours to catch him and was really hard to work with him because every time you would try to do something he would think you were going to hit him, he has come a long way since then and is a great horse, he's very relaxed at home and has gotten used to being around other horses from 4h, but he still gets scarred around people he doesn't know. We will be taking him to his first show this weekend and I was hoping to find something that might help him stay calm, were going to clip him on Friday and are going to give him calm and cool before we do to see if it helps with clipping, he's fine with getting his face clipped and bridle path but not his ears, so were going to try it. For this show we might not actually enter, it would be nice to just get him used to it.
    06-17-2010, 12:28 AM
Is your horse a mare or gelding? But if its a mare and she is really difficult and stuff when she's in season buy chased berrys it helps mares that are over obssesed with the boys.
    06-17-2010, 12:34 AM
Onyx is a gelding, and proud cut, he's very friendly with the ladies, witch can and has been an issue, at the show we are going to put some smelly stuff around his nose so he can't smell any of the mares so hopefully that will help, but this will be his first show so it's hard to guess what he will do, I'm expecting the worse but hoping for the best.
    06-17-2010, 01:06 AM
I would guess that his hotness comes from the proud-cut more than anything. I have a proud-cut gelding who can be hot when the ladies are around. Not to stereotype but the 'arabian' isn't helping! LOL if it is for a show and just a one shot deal, try chamomile. Here is an article about how to use it and a good bit of other information on it. Chamomile – The Calming Herb For Horses | Natural Pet Health

We have only used it a handful of times and it really has helped. We used it before taking him to his first show and he went from that horse that drives you crazy screaming at the ladies to sleeping at the trailer. When it came time to perform, he was alert and focused without all the fizz.

As far as the problems with the are preachin to the choir! We had the vet out today to draw blood on him to make sure he is just mounting and not breeding. And to think, I chose a gelding because I wanted 'less hassle'
    06-17-2010, 01:49 AM
I wouldn't really call Onyx a "hot" horse, I have spent a lot of time around nice but crazy arabian's and he's nothing like them, in the past when we have had a big event at the barn he starts to shake and tries to get away from all the commotion, it's been awhile since he has been involved in a big event so he might be better now, we don't really know, I think we will just have to wait tell Saturday and see how it goes.
    06-17-2010, 08:01 AM
Originally Posted by 5cuetrain    
big difference between being "hot" and being a "schizoid".

Feed will help a "hot" horse. Not much to do with a "schizoid". They are a pain and usually you can never trust them--ALWAYS HAVE TO BE READY FOR STUPIDITY.

Said it before---always go for the good mind and if you have a choice choose conformation next. If you can afford to throw in looks all the better.
That's just so funny to put it this way. I agree though.

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