Supplements for a nervous show-er
 
 

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Supplements for a nervous show-er

This is a discussion on Supplements for a nervous show-er within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Supplementsfor nervous horses
  • Apple cider vinegar calming nerves of horses

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  • 1 Post By Alwaysbehind

 
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    08-17-2011, 11:56 AM
  #1
Green Broke
Supplements for a nervous show-er

My horse is normally very mellow, but he really stresses out when I take him somewhere new (like for a show).

I'm thinking of giving SmartPak's SmartShip & Show Paste a try and was wondering if anyone had any other recommendations for supplements that will keep his digestive tract and immune system strong while he's away from home. I know a few horses in my barn get U-Gard, but I'm not sure how effective that would be unless I kept him on it long-term, which seems excessive since I only show him 3-4 times per year.

Also, is there anything you do to help your horse relax in unfamiliar surroundings? Woody tends to keep his tension bottled up until he explodes (at my last show he bucked me off...) and then he wears himself out from worrying and is lazy in the tests. So I'd be willing to try anything to get the jitters out without also getting all his energy out.

I'm also planning on asking around my barn to see if anyone will let me tag along to their shows and bring Woody as a non-competing horse just so he can get more exposure to different environments.
     
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    08-17-2011, 12:04 PM
  #2
Banned
Have you tried something to help you relax? You being relaxed might help him.
sierrams1123 likes this.
     
    08-17-2011, 12:16 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
Have you tried something to help you relax? You being relaxed might help him.
I know I'm not quite as relaxed as when I'm schooling at home (who is?), but I don't think I get overly stressed at shows.

I took Woody out for our first trail ride together a few weeks ago (he'd been on a limited number of trail rides before I got him, and I've been on plenty with other horses in the past) I'd say I was plenty relaxed then, but he was still very tense, so I don't think his reaction is entirely from feeding off my nerves.
     
    08-17-2011, 03:56 PM
  #4
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
Have you tried something to help you relax? You being relaxed might help him.
LOL! That's a good advice though. I agree, first you have to calm down yourself (and even if you a little tense the horse can still feel it). As for calmers: they work for some horses and not others. I tried paste for my paint while back and it didn't do anything.

P.S. I'm always very nervous myself at the show. So far calming self down didn't work...
     
    08-18-2011, 01:01 AM
  #5
Trained
Hi,

If he's usually mellow, I think it sounds unlikely it's a magnesium deficiency or such & think it sounds just normal behaviour for a horse that's not used to getting out & about. I'd be taking him out & about as much as possible, if you want him to get used to it. 4 times a year won't help, but regular easy trips will. Start small/quiet - maybe take him to the ponyclub / showgrounds with a seasoned mate when no one's there & get him comfortable with that before taking him to smaller events, where he isn't overfaced by what's asked of him - eg. Don't ride him or expect much of him until he becomes more relaxed about just being there.
     
    08-18-2011, 01:09 AM
  #6
Trained
The best thing you can feed a horse to calm him down is apple cider vinegar. Sprinkle it on their hay, a little at first & let the smell dissapate before you feed. Then add more as the horse gets used to. It works, I guarantee you.
     
    08-18-2011, 10:39 AM
  #7
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by waresbear    
The best thing you can feed a horse to calm him down is apple cider vinegar. Sprinkle it on their hay, a little at first & let the smell dissapate before you feed. Then add more as the horse gets used to. It works, I guarantee you.
How does that work?
     
    08-18-2011, 10:58 AM
  #8
Weanling
Rescue Remedy. A little for your horse, a little for you.

I've used it on nervous dogs and had good results. Even if it was placebo effect, it worked.
     
    08-18-2011, 11:40 AM
  #9
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegod    
Rescue Remedy. A little for your horse, a little for you.

I've used it on nervous dogs and had good results. Even if it was placebo effect, it worked.
I've never heard of this, but looking it up on SmartPak and Amazon it looks like it's widely available and has very positive reviews! I will definitely give this a go! (I'd also be interested in seeing if this makes my cats' trips to the vet for their annual checkups any less traumatic )

Quote:
Originally Posted by waresbear    
The best thing you can feed a horse to calm him down is apple cider vinegar. Sprinkle it on their hay, a little at first & let the smell dissapate before you feed. Then add more as the horse gets used to. It works, I guarantee you.
I knew apple cider vinegar had a bunch of uses for horses, but I didn't realize it helped calm horses. I know someone who has a picky horse that won't drink water she's not used to, and the owner puts apple cider vinegar in the bucket to mask the taste when they're away from home. My guy doesn't seem to be as picky with his water, but would putting it in the water like this give the same calming effect as sprinkling it on the hay?
     

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