With a multitude of calmers for horses available on the market, it’s hard to know which one to choose. The ingredients all differ, as do the price and effectiveness of each. This article takes a look at ingredients and a selection of top-performing calmers for your horse.
Best ingredients in horse calming supplements
So what can be found in your horse’s calming supplements?
There are so many types of ingredients that can be found in horse calming supplements and with so many different combinations and formulas available, it can be difficult to decide what would be best to buy. You will find that one type works much better for your horse than another will. Trial and error are usually key. Combinations of ingredients in the formula usually work best and provide the most all-round relief. Always ensure you read the label of ingredients on the packaging carefully, so you are in the know about what you are administering to your horse.
With that being said, here are 5 of the very best ingredients you will most commonly find in horse joint supplements:
Magnesium sulphate is quite possibly the most popular ingredient that can be found in horse calming supplements. It is true to say that many horses suffer from a magnesium deficiency which can often leave them feeling nervous and with excess excitement. Magnesium provides a clear all-round calming effect for horses. Many studies have shown Magnesium to have significant soothing and calming effects. Daily feeding has also proven to have a noticeable effect on anxiety.
Tryptophan is referred to as an amino acid that is said to have a significant calming effect on horses. It is used regularly in horse calmer supplements and is often high up the list of ingredients, but there is little to no research to suggest it has a valuable effect on calming horses. It is very possible, however, that by combining this ingredient with others, such as Magnesium sulphate, it may have an enhanced effect on calming your horse. Many believe Tryptophan is a must-have ingredient in supplements of this nature.
Thiamine and Niacin
Thiamine and Niacin (otherwise referred to as B vitamins) are considered to be a very important addition to your horse’s diet. B vitamins are regularly found in calming supplements. Feeding at much higher levels has historically been known to calm nervous or anxious horses and help them stay relaxed and comfortable, even in particularly anxious times.
You will often find Thiamine and Niacin together in formulas for calming supplements as they work together hand in hand for a maximum effect. These won’t necessarily work for all horses, but the success rate in using these vitamins as calmers is exceptionally high.
Vitamin E is a very valuable ingredient in any horse supplement; fresh pasture is usually your horse’s main intake source. Fresh pasture isn’t always readily available to your horses. Despite providing hay as the next best option, Vitamin E levels decrease as soon as the pasture is cut, meaning your horse may lack some nutrients.
Vitamin E is a very potent antioxidant that works to help your horse’s body deal with stress, illness and certain medical conditions and is a key ingredient in any good horse calming supplement.
A variety of herbs
Herbs can be a great natural alternative for calming horses. They are becoming more and more popular to use amongst owners and you will find that many commercial horse calmers now include at least one herb into the mix.
It is not uncommon to see Chamomile in many horse calming supplements, and is a great addition to any formula. It has been used as a natural remedy in human medication for years and is generally safe for most people and animals to take. You may notice herbs included in horse calmers are Vervain, Valerian and HOPS. Be careful if you are giving Valerian to horses at a competition. It is a banned substance under FEI and Jockey Club rules.
Let’s look at some of the best horse calming supplements on the market today and how these might help you manage your horse’s temperament.
*The products featured in this article feature affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links.
COOL IT! from Equine Products UK Ltd
Equine Products UK Cool It is one of the best and fastest-acting horse calming supplements available over the counter. No official dosage amount is recommended, it can be given at a rate of up to one heaped scoop per day, which is provided with the product. Many racehorse owners and trainers choose to use Cool It, which is widely accepted as an effective calmer. It is also available in syringe form.
It is recommended to keep the horse on a maintenance dose and use more or less depending on requirements or expected events i.e travel, and competition. Effects can be seen after only a few days of use. Read our review here.
Ingredients of Equine Products UK Cool It 900g
- Magnesium Oxide in chelated form
- Calcium Carbonate, Maize Starch, Dextrose, Mannan-oligosaccharides
- L-Trytophan 2,000mg
- Vitamin B1 60mg
No More Nerves from Equinutritive
EquiNutritive – Suitable for horses and ponies with or prone to ulcers, laminitis, cushings and EMS
The power of plants underpins everything that the Equinutritive brand stands for. All products are formulated using 100% natural, plant ingredients. Equinutritive uses premium, human-grade ingredients to assist with a particular issue and consider how they work in conjunction together so that all products are the very best in terms of efficacy and your horse receives the maximum benefits. ‘No More Nerves’ expertly combines 7 calming herbs for horses, to keep horses calm, focused and easier to ride. No More Nerves is non-sedating, so your horse won’t lose their sparkle. The product even comes with a cardboard scoop, fitting perfectly in line with the brand’s sustainability promise.
Ingredients in No More Nerves
- Lemon Balm
- Raspberry Leaf
- Marshmallow Root
Why use No More Nerves from Equinutritive product?
- Non sedating so your horse doesn’t lose their sparkle
- It’s completely Magnesium free. Magnesium deficiency is actually very rare in the UK, so feeding magnesium based calmers can have the opposite effect on your horse.
- No added nasties or fillers, just 100% pure plant goodness.
- Keeps horses focused and calm, making riding easier and more enjoyable
- Suitable for horses and ponies with or prone to ulcers, laminitis, cushings and EMS
- Settles anxious, stressy horses by regulating the nervous system, minimising the stress response.
- All packaging is sustainable, with no use of hard plastic tubs. The herbs go into biodegradable plastic wrapping which breaks down within 6 months. This is then placed into a cardboard box, which doubles up as a shipping box, thus reduces the need for excess packaging
- One time order available or subscribe and save discount available
Top Spec is a brand that has been around for many years and one that is trusted by the equestrian community. The Top Spec Calmer is ideal for horses that are particularly anxious or suffer in stressful situations. It covers a great mixture of ingredients that combined are known for their calming properties for different reasons. This calmer for horses is also known to take effect pretty quickly (usually within a few hours) and conforms to BETA UFAS NOPS code for HRA/competition use.
Ingredients in Top Spec Calmer
- B Vitamins
Horse First Relax Me Calmer
The Horse First Relax Me Calmer has a huge following and many owners love using this product to help calm their horse and relieve stress and anxiety. Many choose to use this product when their horse is in particularly stressful situations such as going out to a show or new surroundings. It is a fast-acting formula which can also be bought in syringe form. This is particularly helpful for horses that tend to chuck their feed around the stable and will ensure they get the full dose orally.
It is noted that this supplement works on both gut function and the nervous system.
Ingredients in Horse First Relax Me Calmer
- Vitamin E
- Magnesium Sulphate
- Thiamine Hydrochloride
- Folic Acid