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Overheard At The Barn


Do these riders’ remarks sound familiar?

Chances are you’ve overheard it all before and thought it was simply the status quo for life at the barn. But while it may seem like these horses just need an attitude adjustment, there may be something going on under the surface that could be contributing to the behavior—and something you, your veterinarian, trainer, or other health care professional can do to help.

“He’s always on edge, scooting and spooking at everything.”


“Now he’s calm and confident and we’re both enjoying our rides again!”


The pros you know best
If your horse struggles with behavioral issues, be sure to consult with your veterinarian and your trainer. Your vet can help rule out potential health issues that may be giving your horse discomfort and causing him to act out. A qualified trainer will be key to helping you and your horse work through behavioral and training challenges.

What’s Missing?
If you’ve worked with your vet and your trainer and your horse is still displaying unwanted behavior, a nutrient imbalance may be a factor. Despite a diet that seems complete and balanced, some individual horses still aren’t getting all the magnesium they need for normal nerve and muscle tissue function. In fact, clinical signs of magnesium deficiency include nervousness and muscle tension. Similarly, horses lacking in vitamin B1 may be anxious, spooky, or unfocused. Calming supplements like SmartCalm and SmartCalm Ultra may help by providing these nutrients along with others needed for a healthy, balanced nervous system.

SmartCalm® Pellets

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SmartCalm® Ultra Pellets

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“He’s an angel on the ground, but once I tack him up he gets grumpy.”


“Now he’s an angel on the ground and under saddle!”

Outside his comfort zone
You’d be grumpy too if someone asked you to jog wearing a backpack that was pinching your shoulders. It would be hard to focus on anything but the discomfort—and it just might make you act out. Your horse may feel the same way when his tack doesn’t fit well.

If the tack fits
Finding the right fit may help your horse enjoy his work more. If you’re not sure your saddle is a good fit for your horse, contact a professional saddle fitter. A pad with shims may also help adjust the saddle fit. Another common area of discomfort is the bridle and bit. Make sure your bridle doesn’t pinch behind the ears, and work with your trainer to find the right bit for your horse.

Try a monocrown or Rockin’ SP

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Plymouth Elite Hunter Bridle by SmartPak

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Add a little fluff or soothing support

Back on Track Western Pad

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In a pinch

Find the perfect fit
Test ride any of our saddles! Find over 65 saddles at

“Some days she’s sweet and others she’s like the wicked witch!”


“Now I get the sweet girl all the time”

Sometimes it’s hard to be a girl
The saying goes “girls just want to have fun,” but sometimes it can feel more like “mares just want to be difficult.” If you’re struggling with an irritable, cranky mare, hormones — not
attitude — may be part of the problem. Once your vet has checked her for issues and found no health problems requiring treatment, consider trying a supplement designed for moody mares.

Mellow out the mood swings
The right herbal supplement may help support normal hormone levels in your moody mare. Look for ingredients like raspberry leaf, chaste berry, chamomile, and passion flower to help maintain a calm disposition and balanced temperament all year round.

SmartMare® Harmony Pellets

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“He hasn’t been himself lately. he doesn’t enjoy his work, especially when we go to shows.”


“He’s relaxed and he’s back to his old self!”

Understanding gastric ulcers
Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome is a painful condition that affects 60% of performance horses and occurs when a horse’s stomach lining is exposed to harsh gastric acids. Decreasing performance, change in attitude, and reluctance to work are all potential signs of gastric ulcers.

Tackling Tummy Troubles
If you suspect ulcers might be to blame, be sure to talk with your veterinarian. Once the ulcers have been treated with prescription medication like GastroGard®, there are things you can do to help keep your horse happy and healthy. Because your horse’s stomach was designed for constant grazing, it was never meant to be empty.

The SmartPak Small Hole Hay Net helps make your horse’s hay last longer, meaning he will have less time with an empty stomach that’s exposed to gastric acids. Since the
stress of training, traveling, and changes in routine are also hard on your horse’s stomach, you can try a supplement like SmartGut Ultra for ongoing gastric support.

SmartPak Small Hole Hay Net

(536 reviews)
SmartGut® Ultra Pellets

As Low As: $68.95
(219 reviews)


  1. 28-Day Treatment

    GastroGard® (omeprazole) is the only medication approved by the FDA to treat equine stomach ulcers. Requires a veterinarian’s prescription.

  2. Daily Support

    SmartGut® Ultra is proven in a university-led research study to maintain stomach health in horses under stress.

    SmartGut® Ultra Pellets

    As Low As: $68.95
    (219 reviews)
  3. Extra Support For Extra Stress

    UlcerGard® (omeprazole) is the only nonprescription medication approved by the FDA to prevent equine stomach ulcers, making it the right choice during stressful events, like horse shows.


     $34.95 - $188.73
    (181 reviews)
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: ULCERGARD can be used in horses that weigh at least 600 pounds. Safety in pregnant mares has not been determined. CAUTION: Safety of GASTROGARD in pregnant or lactating mares has not been determined. ®GASTROGARD and ULCERGARD are registered trademarks of Merial.
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