For most riders, if you’re not riding, you’re thinking about riding. But when you’re counting the weeks until summer or the hours until 5 o’clock, you’re not dreaming about spooking horses or missing shoes. Fortunately, there are supplements that can help you make the most of your time in the barn.
PROBLEM: An anxious or spooky horse makes riding difficult
SUPPLEMENT SOLUTION: Calming Supplements
We’ve all been there — you get to the barn and your horse seems a little more “up” than usual. He’s dancing on the crossties, jigging on the way to the ring, just a powder keg of nerves and energy, waiting for a match. So you throw him on the lunge line to get the bucks out and then just like any other day, you have a great ride.
For some horses, though, these “wild and wooly” days are more of a rule than an exception. If your horse is being fed, exercised and trained appropriately, and he’s still “too hot to handle,” a calming supplement may provide the support he needs to go from wild to mild.
There are two main types of calming supplements — those that contain herbal ingredients and those that are herb-free. Some show organizations prohibit the use of herbal ingredients, so many competitors opt for herb-free solutions (of course every organization is different, so be sure to check your rule book).
Taking the Edge OffTwo of the most common ingredients in non-herbal calming supplements are Vitamin B1 (also known as Thiamine) and Magnesium. Vitamin B1 plays an important role in nerve transmission, and has been shown to benefit horses that are nervous, easily distracted, jumpy and difficult to work around. Magnesium is critical to the normal functioning of the nervous system, and horses deficient in Magnesium can exhibit nervousness and muscle tension. Quiessence contains 16,000 mg of Magnesium, while SmartCalm® and Ex Stress combine he benefits of Vitamin B1 and Magnesium.
SmartCalm® Ultra goes one step further, combining Vitamin B1 and Magnesium with L-Trytophan. This essential amino acid is converted by the body into serotonin, a hormone that increases feelings of well-being and contentment, to calm and soothe.
A Quick Blurb on HerbsRaspberry Leaf is believed to help bring the hormonal system back into balance, making Mare Magic ideal for moody mares or studdish geldings.
Easy Mare combines hormonal support with nervines like Valerian and Chamomile, herbs believed to help rebalance the nervous system.