Sedating a horse?

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Sedating a horse?

This is a discussion on Sedating a horse? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horse sedation to take the edge off
  • Biggest risk of riding a sedated horse

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    06-23-2012, 06:46 PM
Sedating a horse?

I take lessons at a place that used to breed TBs, their last foal is now 2. For my last few lessons we've gone on trail rides. Two of the TBs are ex racehorses and have only been off the track for at least a year, but not two. These horses are now Western saddle horses and are being ridden by kids every week for summer camps.

The issue is, the two OTTBs are fine in the area, but when they are out on the trail they get a bit hot (excuse if I don't use that term in the correct contest). The OTTB that my friend was on was given a sedative (I don't know how much or what sedative) about 20 minutes before we brought him in to groom and tack up.

The owner does natural horsemanship and loves his horses very much, and they clearly love him too. Is it right to be using a sedative on a hot OTTB? They used less on him this time than they did last time he went out on a trail. He didn't seem to have a sluggish response either ride; he seemed fine. I wouldn't have known he was drugged up if I wasn't told.

So, back to the question, is this wrong and unprofessional. The owner has been working with horses for +35 years, and I trust and value his opinion. Was it wrong to sedate the horse? And what is your opinion on sedating horses?
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    06-23-2012, 06:54 PM
There are a number of products that help take the edge off the horse. A sedated horse is pretty quiet and dopey and riding it would put both horse and rider at risk.
    06-23-2012, 06:56 PM
Green Broke
To me it would be wrong and unprofessional.
    06-23-2012, 06:56 PM
No it's not a good practice and it's certainly not natural in any way, shape or form. I suggest you not take lessons from such a goofy place that drugs up horses so beginners can ride them on trails. This sounds like an accident waiting to happen, stay out of it's way.
    06-23-2012, 06:59 PM
Super Moderator
I think it is very wrong. If the horse is too hot to go out in trails, it should be ridden in an arena and trained professionally, until it is comfortable with the great outdoors. Seriously, it is just like sedating a kid because he doesn't get maths. I doesn't solve anything and it doesn't prove love - but it does prove fear and being unable to face this problem in a manner that is truly beneficial for the horse.

Besides, riding a sedated horse can be very dangerous. I'd stay far away from this place.
    06-23-2012, 07:02 PM
I don't know if they necessarily sedated him, but they may have given him something to take the edge off.
    06-23-2012, 07:03 PM
And as a note-we're not beginners :)
    06-23-2012, 07:05 PM
Super Moderator
Nonetheless, edges are for being taken care of in a professional manner, not just for being "taken off". The horses deserve better.
    06-23-2012, 07:06 PM
If they're giving him something like Calm and Cool or another calming supplement, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. That is not at all the same thing as sedating the horse, though.
    06-23-2012, 07:08 PM
Originally Posted by Saranda    
Nonetheless, edges are for being taken care of in a professional manner, not just for being "taken off". The horses deserve better.
Oh for heaven's sake, a calming supplement for a horse who can get too hot for its own good isn't doing the horse some sort of grave disservice.

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