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  1. #1

    Default Advice on calmers...

    My Welshies’ previous owner has told me she introduced a calmer going in to spring as he can be very fresh when going out on a hack this time of year.

    He is also anxious in his paddock and paces if the other horses come in before him (which I can’t change due to my working hours). Churns up the ground and gets me in trouble.

    He also gets very excited if he sees the others going in and out of yard on a hack whilst he is turned out - and if he has seen this, when I bring him in he will rush out and jog wherever he is going until tied. He is not nasty at all and generally easy, besides being a bit of a fidget and excitable/impatient.

    I understand the rushing and pushiness is a separate issue and I am constantly working on it! The main issue is excessive freshness when I hack him.

    Any advice appreciated.

  2. #2
    Old nag
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    5,544

    Default Re: Advice on calmers...

    Reduce his hard feed - or cut it out all together. You probably won't have spring grass yet but the extra sugar leads to the notorious "spring madness". If you feed a molassed chaff consider switching to something without.
    You may find that just reducing feed and removing sugar is sufficient.

    Calmers have mixed reactions with some folk saying they are worthless and some swearing by them. Anything with Valerian in it will work better - but its use is banned in competition. Magnesium based calmers sometimes work if you have grass / hay deficient in magnesium - but will do absolutely nothing otherwise. Herbal calmers without valerian might have an impact depending on the horse. You can also choose between something you feed every day and something you give singly just before something stressful.

    My personal view is that calmers work quite well - on the human. You think they have had a calmer therefore you are calmer and so are they and so on. In your place my personal preference would be for a valerian based product if you are not competeing. If you are I would opt for Dobson & Horrell Placid in the feed and NAF Magic shot in the hour before a hack. I have absolutely no evidence it works on the horse - but that was the combination we used on my daughter's stress head BS ponies and it worked OK for her!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Advice on calmers...

    Amazing reply couldn’t ask for more thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by Shay View Post
    Reduce his hard feed - or cut it out all together. You probably won't have spring grass yet but the extra sugar leads to the notorious "spring madness". If you feed a molassed chaff consider switching to something without.
    You may find that just reducing feed and removing sugar is sufficient.

    Calmers have mixed reactions with some folk saying they are worthless and some swearing by them. Anything with Valerian in it will work better - but its use is banned in competition. Magnesium based calmers sometimes work if you have grass / hay deficient in magnesium - but will do absolutely nothing otherwise. Herbal calmers without valerian might have an impact depending on the horse. You can also choose between something you feed every day and something you give singly just before something stressful.

    My personal view is that calmers work quite well - on the human. You think they have had a calmer therefore you are calmer and so are they and so on. In your place my personal preference would be for a valerian based product if you are not competeing. If you are I would opt for Dobson & Horrell Placid in the feed and NAF Magic shot in the hour before a hack. I have absolutely no evidence it works on the horse - but that was the combination we used on my daughter's stress head BS ponies and it worked OK for her!

  4. #4
    Old nag Cortez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Ireland
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    7,137

    Default Re: Advice on calmers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shay View Post
    Reduce his hard feed - or cut it out all together. You probably won't have spring grass yet but the extra sugar leads to the notorious "spring madness". If you feed a molassed chaff consider switching to something without.
    You may find that just reducing feed and removing sugar is sufficient.

    Calmers have mixed reactions with some folk saying they are worthless and some swearing by them. Anything with Valerian in it will work better - but its use is banned in competition. Magnesium based calmers sometimes work if you have grass / hay deficient in magnesium - but will do absolutely nothing otherwise. Herbal calmers without valerian might have an impact depending on the horse. You can also choose between something you feed every day and something you give singly just before something stressful.

    My personal view is that calmers work quite well - on the human. You think they have had a calmer therefore you are calmer and so are they and so on. In your place my personal preference would be for a valerian based product if you are not competeing. If you are I would opt for Dobson & Horrell Placid in the feed and NAF Magic shot in the hour before a hack. I have absolutely no evidence it works on the horse - but that was the combination we used on my daughter's stress head BS ponies and it worked OK for her!
    These words are Gold ^^^ :-) You can also perhaps try lunging him before going out on a hack. More work + less feed = calmer horse.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Advice on calmers...

    He was underweight when I bought him, he is 18 and struggles to keep weight on anyway) before I got him he was left in a field for 5 months pretty much. So I started off feeding him twice daily. Since, I’ve cut this down to an evening feed only, he does seem better. I’ve started switching his chaff to hifi, not sure if this makes any difference?

  6. #6
    Old nag
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    5,544

    Default Re: Advice on calmers...

    HiFi Original is laced with Molasses. Its probably better to switch to HiFi Molasses free at least. HiFi original is 9% sugar for only 8MjKg engery. Molasses free is only 2.5% sugar but 8.5MjKg so much better quality feed to help with condition but with less sugar to fizz him up.

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