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.