And the horse was still pretty antsy on the trail. He wasn't sluggish, wobbly, or anything of the sorts. He was trotting ahead of everyone and him and the other OTTB that I was on we're both freeaking out at some tractors.
I have been everywhere in the barn and never seen any syringes; I'll have to check in the feed room for what they used. They also turned the hors back out with other horses after they gave him the thing and he was fine with them.
Well, I would more or less agree with you if we were talking about using actual sedation like ACP, but at this point, I think the OP has made it fairly clear that they are just using a calming supplement. Calming supplements are of questionable efficacy , I will certainly grant that. But I am genuinely curious as to why you believe that giving a horse some magnesium, thiamine, and maybe some tryptophan is somehow failing the horse. Do you feel the same way about supplements like Mare Magic?
I wouldn't want to put a horse on one of the oral paste calmers for being ridden by customers. It just seems to me the horse should be properly schooled and retrained before going out on trails, especially as its an OTTB- the instinct to gallop will still be there beneth the calmer. If the horse is too spicy without the calmer to ride safely, perhaps the owner should ride him and retrain him until the horse is comfortable being ridden out.
I'm not against calmers generally- in fact more than once I've wished I had a calmer to hand, just I would expect a riding school horse to be sane enough to be ridden without being calmed chemically. Perhaps using a mild calmer in the feed, like magnesium based suplements, would be a more long term solution. The horse should feel less on edge all the time so should learn to chillax a bit more!
If the horses are nervous or antsy on the trail, it's probably because they are not used to it. Giving them something to dull their senses is also going to dull their ability to learn. Teaching is a far better and longer lasting tool than any drug or calming agent.
Calming paste does not dull the senses. If anything, it could give them a slightly less stressful, and therefore more positive, experience, perhaps obviating the need for it in future rides. I do agree, though, that they do not sound like appropriate horses to put clients on. Posted via Mobile Device
I see no problem with calmers (usually either herbs or vit supplement, fed daily works quite well to take off the edge). However true sedating puts the rider and the horse in risk and a no-no for riding.
Thanks for all the responses! I agree, using something to dull the senses isn't right, but using osmething to help calm the horse down would be ok. He hasn't been out on many trails, and that's why he was being taken out by an advanced rider. I think the reason they gave it to him was because even with the calming stuff, he was still really antsy and pretty spazzy and freaking at the beginning , and if they didn't use anything to calm him, the could have hurt himself or someone else from being so wild.
This horse is ridden by little kids for horse camps and he's fine in the arena. He goes over the arena obstacles very well and that is probably why they decided to take him out. He needed some experience :)