Calming Supplements that Work

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Calming Supplements that Work

This is a discussion on Calming Supplements that Work within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • "calming supplements for horses"
  • Does vita calm work on a as needed basis

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    06-23-2013, 02:39 PM
Calming Supplements that Work

Does anyone know of a calming supplement that actually works? Preferably, one that is available at Tractor Supply Company or Farm and Fleet.

This would be for an 11 year old mare if that helps. She's a paint. She has occasional flare-ups, but is usually well behaved. She was a broodmare for most of her life with minimal human contact, so we've been working with her (and with a trainer for her). The thing is, when she does act up, it is really bad. She's kicked my mom twice already (accidentally) and me multiple times (not accidentally), along with spooking and half-trampling me- I'm lucky I didn't get a concussion.

The thing is, the farrier will be coming in a few weeks, and the last time he was here she went psycho. We have a run-in shelter for her and my other mare, but we don't have cross ties- she'd rip them out of the wall with ease. So, someone holds her on a lead line in the middle of the paddock while her feet are being trimmed. Our farrier is excellent, but he is in the most danger while trimming her feet, since last time he was here, she just decided that she was done and took off, ripping the lead line from my mom's hand and bolting around the paddock. I had to turn the electric fence back on.

I know that a lot of this is just her misbehaving, and she needs more training, but yesterday when I tried to bring her up from the field, she galloped four laps for no reason. I just want a calmer mare, so anything that you've used that works would be great.

Wow this post was longer than it should've been...Sorry!
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    07-02-2013, 03:13 PM
I've tried a few

I'm really happy with a natural herbal supplement made by the same company (Foxden Equine out of Virginia) that makes Quiessence. It contains raspberry leaf, thiamine, magnesium and tryptophan. It is called "Stability EQ plus" and comes in a powder form. A bit pricey but they provide great, fast online service. A small container which will probably last you for 3 - 4 months is around 50 dollars. Hope this helps!
    07-02-2013, 03:43 PM
Super Moderator
I think your horse has more of a need for some really good training than it needs a calming supplement - I use Quiessence as supplement for an IRS horse and it does nothing at all by way of calming - not that she needs it but I've noticed nothing different in her attitude at all, she's just the same as she's always been & she's on maximum dose
You could ask the vet to check her over for health issues - thyroid inbalance, lymes (if you live in a lymes area), ulcers, ovarian cysts or tumours that could be affecting her behaviour
But a lot of her acting up seems to revolve around her avoiding doing stuff that she would rather not do
Having a bridle on her when she has to be held or led would give you more control but I think you need to get someone experienced around her to sort her out
The only sedative that really helps for farrier work if she's as bad as she sounds is something you'll need to speak to a vet about.
    07-02-2013, 03:48 PM
Green Broke
Your horse needs training, not drugs.
Spend a few dollars on Julie Goodnight DVD's, Particularly Lead Line leadership. Also stop being delusional, horses don't kick anything accidentally.
    07-02-2013, 05:13 PM
Thank you for your advice.

I have used Quiessence on one of my previous mares, and it worked on her. I actually just got AniMed's Vita Calm, and am going to try it.

As for the training.... She was a broodmare for her entire life, virtually no human contact. My vet, farrier, and trainer have all agreed that she has most likely suffered from abuse (physical, as well as possible neglect), as she can be very emotionally detached- she would hide in a corner and not look at anyone when we first got her. She is slowly healing, but she still has some prominent mental and psychological scars. She has never been bridled (she was head shy when we got her) Before my mom and I began work with her, she had hardly been led on a lead line for more than a trip from a field to a trailer.

I understand that she needs more training, but please understand that we are doing the best we can with what we were given. Someone had seriously hurt this horse, and she has just recently developed a personality.
    07-02-2013, 06:28 PM
Green Broke
Julie Goodnight or Clinton Anderson DVD's are good. Just don't buy into the poor abused pony mentality! That part of her life is over and training is in session. My gelding was abused, but too bad, it's over and I go about expecting him to behave and even excel in dressage. Which he has, he still has issues time to time but I won't give in the poor poor pony and we go on. The last year or two he has really become my horse!
verona1016 and Boo Walker like this.
    07-02-2013, 06:53 PM
You're right gigem88- I'm just always a bit concerned about pushing her too much, and sending her back to the way that she was when we originally got her. We try to be extremely gentle with her, but still correct her firmly when she is out of line.
    07-02-2013, 08:50 PM
Super Moderator
You'll learn how to be firm without being aggressive or confrontational, it just takes time. If she's been abused then she is possibly defensive but as the other poster said it has to be put behind her now and she must learn that she can trust you. Wont happen overnight
If she's had such a bad, stressful life she may well need ulcer treatment - they will make a horse very fractious and edgy.
FlipFlopTipTop likes this.
    07-03-2013, 08:14 AM
Already taken care of the ulcer problem. After my first horse died (my other mare's sister) she had ulcers, so we put her on a papaya supplement. The other horse went on it too, since her stools weren't as "nice" as they should've been.
    07-03-2013, 08:16 PM
As stated by others first thing she needs is more training. Please don't give into her because she was abused. Don't feel sorry for her when she is being rude and let it become excuses. I've seen rescued horses who were abused end up even worse from this. They turn into horses who act out as they don't know anything else. Its the same as spoiling her. Do not tolerate aggressive/rude behavior. If you have to carry a crop or whip for times when she may kick out. She may hate you at the moment, but it will make her realize its not accepted. She wont hate you forever for it. Its like horses in the wild, if a young silly one comes goofing around when an older one doesnt want to play, the older one will let them know its not a loud.
Anyways, you know it needs to be worked on and Im sure you guys are. If you need help with training issues I suggest you start a new thread with details on it all

As far as calmers go.. I recently used Cool As Ice. My TB was being boarded when he's normally at home. He became very attached to some mares to the point he was dangerous if taken away from them and on his own. He was okay on a lunge line or ridden in the arena, but on the ground and working around him was hard to deal with. He would call, shuffle around, try to kick and even started pulling back while tied which got pretty dangerous. I moved him and his buddy home this past monday and was extremely paranoid about it. I gave him the dose as recommended 4-5 hours prior. By the time I was back to load him he was pretty calm. A little nervous but not what I would have been dealing with if he wasnt on a calmer.
Now the catch, Cool As Ice is not something you give on a daily basis with their grain for them all the time. Sure you probably could but it would end up being expensive and Idunno if there are any side effects with doing so, you would have to contact the company. It would for sure be safe to use on days the farrier is coming out and others like that. The container I got was $24 and 5 doses.
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