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  1. #1
    Schoolmaster
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    548

    Default Talk to me about ... Calmers ...

    Specifically supplement ones as opposed to syringes.

    My lad was diagnosed with ulcers 2 weeks ago. I'd always suspected and so fed him accordingly i.e. Low starch blablabla (this isn't an ulcers post as such, I'm sick to death of reading about them!)

    However, the one thing he has a tendency to do, which I'm now trying to combat is that he can be quite a worrier. It only takes one thing to startle him and I'll completely lose his attention. Thereafter he will be very spooky and seem to use anything as an excuse to exacerbate the issue. Then will come the loose droppings, I get cross because we can't achieve anything productive. I'll continue riding until he settles out of principle, but it seems like a pretty pointless exercise.

    Take tonight for example, I was leading him in from the field, wind blowing a hooley, someone was banging around in the feed room as we walked past, he didnt jump but it worried him. After that he spooked at an out of place bag of shavings a leaf that blew past his foot. He then wouldn't settle when tied up and is just a PITA.

    Im not worried that it's his feed as he goes through spates of worrying rather than it being all the time.
    I'm considering introducing a calmer in his feed to take the edge off the worried spells. Ultimately i don't want him worrying to be affecting his stomach.
    What do you guys recommend?
    Is it best to feed every day?
    Or better to feed during worried periods (although a little like shutting the door once horse has bolted) ?
    I've always been a fan of Science Suppliements, so their Prokalm would most likely be my first port of call. Anyone tried this?

    Thanks for reading. Any advice much appreciated

  2. #2

    Default Re: Talk to me about ... Calmers ...

    Hi there, I will follow this post with interest, as my mare sounds very similar to your boy. Although we don't have ulcers (or at least I am not aware she does), she has the loose poos when worried, attention quickly disappears elsewhere. I have just started her on Global Herbs Thoroughbred calmer (as advised by their feedline), but we are only a week in at the minute. Good luck with yours, it certainly is very frustrating when you have such days (or weeks, etc!!)

  3. #3
    Old nag
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    5,591

    Default Re: Talk to me about ... Calmers ...

    Calmers are such a mixed topic. Some swear by them, many say they have no effect. If your forage is deficient in magnesium then a magnesium based calmer can be effective. But will do nothing if the mineral is already sufficient. The only calmer which appears to routinely work is Valerian - which is precisely why it is banned in competition. I've seen (or think I saw...) good results in a stressy ISH on D&H Placid which is competition legal. But have had no impact (other than a placebo effect on the rider which is not to be sniffed at!!) from magnesium based calmers. IMO it is very much "pay your money take your choice".

  4. #4

    Default Re: Talk to me about ... Calmers ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shay View Post
    Calmers are such a mixed topic. Some swear by them, many say they have no effect. If your forage is deficient in magnesium then a magnesium based calmer can be effective. But will do nothing if the mineral is already sufficient. The only calmer which appears to routinely work is Valerian - which is precisely why it is banned in competition. I've seen (or think I saw...) good results in a stressy ISH on D&H Placid which is competition legal. But have had no impact (other than a placebo effect on the rider which is not to be sniffed at!!) from magnesium based calmers. IMO it is very much "pay your money take your choice".
    This is true.

    What I found worked well for my spooky Warmblood was Horse First Relax-me which includes stuff for settling for tummy’s too. I no longer need it but I do feed brewers yeast which does seem to stop him chewing wood and rubbing his teeth down the walls for the most part.

  5. #5
    Sport horse
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Yorkshire
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: Talk to me about ... Calmers ...

    My mare sounds similar to yours too, apart from in the yard she is very calm, I have more problems when we are hacking. She is fine in the summer but does become very spooky in the winter - I think she becomes deficient in something during winter but without doing a forage sample I'm not sure what. Last year I had her on D&H Placid (herbal) ^ as mentioned above, I do think this took the edge off her. A friend recommended feeding straight magnesium oxide which I started in September however I do think it made her worse, which apparently can be the case if the horse doesn't already have a mag deficiency.

    I took her off the mag to see if she settled down but noticed no change. I have just put her on Equimims Tranquility herbs calmer (I am a bit of a herb hippie!) which does contain Valerian Root, which as Shay mentioned is banned in competition but it says on the back of the pack that if you do compete stop taking 3 days before competition. I don't compete, hacked my mare at the weekend and she was great.

    Sometimes I do think it's in my head and not my mare but when I put her on a calmer, whilst she still jumps if something scares her, she doesn't seem to be constantly looking for something to worry her which in turn helps me relax and our rides much more enjoyable.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Talk to me about ... Calmers ...

    I have tried lots of different calmers on my TB. He always gets a bit fizzy this time of year. I have tried many including Global herbs Tb one, Hack up, magic , straight magnesium and others i can't remember. Anyway none of them worked. More recently I have used valerian as that seemed to work but I'm not so convinced now. I agree with the poster who said a relaxed rider is big help.

  7. #7
    Veteran alainax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lanarkshire
    Posts
    4,294

    Default Re: Talk to me about ... Calmers ...

    I'm trying the blue chip calming balancer just now. Needed a balancer so thought I might as well get calmimg one! Actually seems to be taking the edge off so far!

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