Mood Supplements ? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-15-2019, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2019
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Mood Supplements ?

Hello! I made this account specifically so I can ask this very important question haha.

I already tried googling a few things but I wanted some honest opinions on some calming supplements/mood supplements. Some of you may be thinking this is for a moody mare but itís actually a moody gelding.

Iíve had this man for almost a year now and his temper is the worst I have ever seen. He is rarely aggressive towards me, but heís very aggressive towards my other submissive gelding, the neighbor mares, and a few of my family members. My vets are convinced he was just gelded at a very late age (he is 10 now and they think he was gelded a few years back before I got him.)

I have tried so many things to calm his temper short of medications/supplements but I think I might be ready to try those. Iím tired of my other little gelding getting beat up on the daily for no reason, despite being submissive and being around the big guy for almost a year now. At times I have thought about selling him but he has way too much potential and I refuse to give up on him.

Have you guys tried any of those calm/mood supplements and what are your opinions on them? Iíd prefer something herbal and natural but if that doesnít seem to help Iíll have to try some others and possibly speak with my vets again I suppose. Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-15-2019, 10:58 AM
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I've read many use the same mood supplements on geldings as on mares...
No idea if they work or not...

However, some horses just are best as a solitary animal.
Not every horse wants to be with other animals and not every horse is people oriented and no changing that either.
Me, I would give your gelding the ability to see but not interact or touch the other horses so he can not inflict injury to any of them.
He would be a one-person handles animal for everyone's safety.
He is not to be trusted and it has nothing to do with his being gelded is his personality.
Fence him securely in his own run so no other living being/animal can be hurt by him.

"Potential" or not...if something happens to you you better have a plan what happens to you, his caregiver and handler, for his sake even if that means euthanasia take place to safeguard the horses future cause a nasty horse who attacks other animals and humans would be on a fast trip to the sale and slaughter bound.
Few will tolerate a aggressive animal as they are a legal liability, potential or not.
Sorry, not meaning to be mean but this is a real and realistic future you need to secure for this animal.

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post #3 of 6 Old 07-15-2019, 11:43 AM
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Gelding early or late removes the hormonal cause for aggression. He is not aggressive because of a late gelding. He is aggressive because of fear, poor training, inappropriate handling or his own base personality or any combination of the above. There are other nutritional and neurological factors that could exacerbate an aggressive animal by causing stress, excitability or nervous reaction. A diet that supplies all of his nutritional needs and has added omega 3s can smooth some behavioral issues. Adding supplements like magnesium can also help some horses that may be deficient or just need a bit of a boost.

Taking a good look at his actions in all situations and analyzing his feeding can give you some answers.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-15-2019, 12:09 PM
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Has your vet done any actual tests to see if he was castrated properly.
Ive had a few that weren't and they tended to be more prone to aggression than most of the stallions I've had dealings with.

Regumate is sometimes used on stallions that are overly aggressive, it lowers testosterone, but that's only going to work if your gelding has levels that are too high.

I wouldn't suggest any of the supplements because I've got no experience of them.
Magnesium helps horses that are tense and anxious but its not a 'be nice to others' supplement

You can work on his attitude towards you, which sounds not a real problem anyway but you can't control how he treats other horses out in the field.
I have had a few like that and they were better off segregated so they could see the others without hurting them
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Just winging it is not a plan
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-15-2019, 05:02 PM
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I have a gelding as you are describing. I have asked the vet to do a testosterone test to see if he had any remaining testosterone. Vet told me it would be a waste of money since both testicles were removed. He's a repro vet so I trust his judgment. Said it was learned behavior.

I have tried calming supplements, but they didn't change his behavior. I tried magnesium, and it seemed to hype him up even more. He wants pasturemates and can be normal when he feels like it. As soon as the other horses let down their guard, he would attack and even go for the throat. No matter who I put him out with, it would make the other horses miserable. Even my 1600# herd boss wouldn't knock him down to size, but he would swiftly defend himself with a dangerous kick.

I keep him by himself within sight of the other horses behind a metal pipe fence. It's better that he's the only miserable one instead of all of the other horses. I can't put him on the opposite side of a joining fence. He will play buddy to get the horse close enough, then bite or kick through the fence. I'm not talking nips either. Flesh removing chunks since he holds on tight.

He is not aggressive to humans or even dogs and cats, and loves attention from people. He would be dogfood if he turned on a human. He can stand tied or ridden next to any other horse without even a hint of aggression and even in a crowded arena.

My only advice can be to keep him seperate from your other gelding who is obviously stressed from the bullying. I would seperate them with at least two fences without being in reach of each other. The bully can hurt himself charging or kicking through the fence. It's better to have both of the horses comfortable and safe. FWIW I had thought about a shock collar, but I never tried it since I thought it could possibly make the behavior even worse.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-15-2019, 09:21 PM
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As others have said, being gelded early or late often does not lead to this type of behavior. It relates to past experiences and innate personality.

Supplements are unlikely to help, and some horses need to be separated. Sometimes you just have to find the right situation to keep a horse like this with others. For example, my gelding is not aggressive but he can't be kept with a certain other gelding because he tries to play so hard that the other gelding kicks and bites him. He does well with two mares.
There is one gelding at my barn who just has to be kept in his own paddock because he guards his territory from any other horse.

It would be important to understand what is the cause of the aggression toward other people. Is it surrounding food, certain types of handling, or...? I would suspect if he is not aggressive toward you but only toward others, he distrusts that people will handle him properly until he knows them well enough, which would be a defensive response. Or possibly this is a territorial type of behavior. Either way you should try to understand it so you know what will help deter it. If he needs more trust, you can work on making sure other people handle him gently and built that trust. If he is territorial, you can work on making him accept more people in his space.

None of that will change how he treats other horses when left alone, and most horse people agree that is something that we humans can't change. All you can do is change how the horses are turned out to keep them safe.
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