fizzy/excitable horses

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fizzy/excitable horses

This is a discussion on fizzy/excitable horses within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category

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  • 1 Post By verona1016
  • 1 Post By jaydee
  • 2 Post By poppy1356
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    10-13-2012, 10:35 AM
Smile fizzy/excitable horses

How to calm an excitable cob cross with feeding...


I have a very excitable cob cross, who when I ride him, cannot stop dancing around and will just take the bit drops his head and takes off at a whimp..

His diet is key I am sure.. I would like to change it, he usually lives out in the summer but comes in during the day now to have a feed given to him by the livery stable I am housing him at..

However.. I would like to calm him down as they feed him sugarbeet and chaff, and I would like to eliminate all or most of anything with sugar in it..

Can anyone suggest perhaps a premixed high fibre horse feed that will help calm him down and help towards being a safer ride.. As well as keeping his weight and condition.

I have thought about a new bit, currently he is in a bubble, his teeth have been checked, but I will get them rechecked as he is grinding his teeth and shacking his head alot whilst out as well.

Hs saddle is new but has just been restuffed for better balance.

Any help would be much appreciated

Gateshead uk
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    10-13-2012, 01:32 PM
Green Broke
Since you are in the UK, hopefully the diet-conscious folks on your side of The Big Pond, will come in and offer solutions.

Myself and other folks in the U.S. Could give you a laundry list of things but they would serve no purpose if you aren't able to get them locally

Generally speaking, a high quality ration balancer like Triple Crown's "30%", Purina's "Enrich 32", or Nutrena's "Empower", might work.

You would have to read the ingredients list of anything that's available to you to be sure they aren't full of "grains", "grain byproducts", "hulls", or that "molasses" was NOT one of the top three or four items on the list.

That being said, you are correct the Lad needs a lot less sugar in his diet.

Since you used the words "fizzy and excitable" (I really like fizzy:), I interpret that to mean you feel sure he isn't having teeth or saddle fit issues.

Those would be words worth using on a ten year old boy that just ate a dozen chocolate bars and a gallon of HI-C but has no physical pain whatsoever - lollol
    10-13-2012, 03:01 PM
I'm also in the US, so specific product names probably aren't helpful to you, but sugarbeet (called beet pulp here) and chaff both commonly come in non-molassed form here. If he's being fed the kind with added molasses right now, you could just switch over to the non-molassed version.

Adding in a ration balance like walkinthewalk mentioned would also be a good idea. Also, there are various supplements that are designed to help calm a horse down. Vitamin B, 'Calm and Cool', 'Mare Magic' (raspberry leaves) and Quiessence are some of the supplements that are sold for calming here.
Spotted likes this.
    10-13-2012, 04:24 PM
Super Moderator
I have a couple of horses like yours and I could feed them on shavings and they would still be the same.
They are what they are.
If you're feeding sugar beet and chaff that have added molasses then try something like Speedi beet and Hi Fi lite instead. These are feeds on the Laminitis Trust approved list as low sugar/starch. There are others on there you could consider.
Always check on the contents of whatever complete feeds you buy as I've seen some that claim to be 'sparkle without fizz' that do contain a lot of molasses.
It might be worth getting your vet out to check for any signs of pain that might make him fractious - stomach ulcers, worms, any physical issues maybe in his back that could make him edgy.
If all this has no results then you need to learn to be a relaxed rider - that doesn't mean you take your eye of the game - it just means that you don't tense up every time you get on him. Horses like this need a deep quiet seat - no calves/heels turned in - and will often react to too much pressure on the bit by running away from it.
loosie likes this.
    10-19-2012, 08:59 AM

Thankyou for the input.

I no longer give Mr Dixie any suger beet or anything that is heating.. I went to a store and spoke about him and they recommended this sound and calm feed which basically is a mixture of non molassed chaff and pasture mix.

With a change of bit and a flash he is better when taken out but still rears at a whim..

I never lose my head, I keep focused but always try and get a nice ride which I hope he enjoys as well.. ie If I come across some flat green land I will take time out to school him.. this he hates as he wants to gallop every where, but it helps to settle him once I have his attention. Lots of circles, stopping starting.. just basically getting him to listern to me.

Then lots of varied walking and trotting on road and cross country, and the galloping as a treat which he absolutely loves, but most of the time a controlled canter, where permitting. I normally ride him for about 2 hours at a time, 4 times a week. With maybe a longer 3 hour if I have the time. Yes he is very fit, and seems to thrive on just going out.

Only he realised he could just cart me off once he grabbed the bit and lowered his head. That was very hard to stop him doing.

So now more schooling and try to get him to stop rearing, which he does by the road side when he has to wait for the cars to go by and its safe to cross.

I'm working on that.

    10-19-2012, 09:30 AM
Green Broke
This sounds like a training issue that has nothing to do with feed.

Beet pulp or sugar beet as you call it is a very cool calorie unless it has added molasses as stated.

My mare rears when she has to wait, used to run through the bit and will bolt. These are all training issues that we are slowly working out. Has nothing to do with the feed.

But I would start with having pain ruled out then start with the training.
loosie and jaydee like this.
    10-19-2012, 09:42 AM
Super Moderator
Sugar beet (no added molasses type) is about the safest form of high fibre/high calcium feed you can give a horse - don't be confused by the 'sugar' part - the stuff you buy for horses is whats left after the sugar has been extracted from the root plant called sugar beet
I would actually never feed a pasture mix to a horse that was inclined to be a bit fizzy - they are usually grain based and high in added molasses or even corn syrup.
loosie likes this.
    10-24-2012, 01:31 AM

I too think it sounds like there are training &/or pain issues. Changing the bit(to what?) and using a noseband that forces him to put up with it more will likely only be a temporary help and sorry to say but rearing is most likely due to rider error IME - you're holding him too tight so he has to go up.

I get the idea this is a relatively new horse for you? Especially as he grinds his teeth when out(& I presume you mean throws his head?), is it possible you're asking more than he's ready for? Considering the teeth & head throwing, have you considered/tried him without a bit? It's very possible that it's having a bit in his mouth(due to previous experience or pain, not nec. Current) is the major source of the problems.

On the feed front, yes, if he's getting too many calories generally, &/or starchy/sugary diet, &/or too little roughage, &/or he's imbalanced or deficient in some nutrient(Mg comes to mind as one commonly associated with overly 'nervy' behaviour), it could well be a problem. As others have said, beet pulp is generally a great, low sugar feed, but it is high in calories, so if he's already a good weight... or overgood, probably not the best. Cereal hay/chaff, such as oaten, can be high in sugar & can also have grains in it, so I'd keep that to a minimum, or if you think he's over sensitive to sugar, soak & drain it to get rid of extra sugar & oats before feeding. Lucerne/alfalfa chaff is another great horse feed generally which is quite low in sugar. It's another that's quite high energy though, so not the best option for 'easy keepers'.

So... without knowing whether your horse is thin, fat, healthy, etc, feed-wise I'd be inclined to feed him a 'normal' healthy diet of hay/grass and a complete supp or (grain/molasses free) 'ration balancer' for his nutrition. If he needs more than this, then you can think about 'hard feeds' for extra energy.

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