12 ‘instant’ calmers that offer quick action

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  • The best instant calmers for horses are fast-acting — often in paste-form and administered via a large syringe into the horse’s mouth — while other horse calming supplements that are fed daily take time to build up in your horse’s system and are more likely to be in powder or liquid form. They all have the same overall aim of reducing acute stress and overall anxiety, which should allow your horse to learn better and have a lower risk of stress-related disease.

    Any change of routine or novel situation can bring new stresses with it. In these situations, the best instant calmers for horses can help to “take the edge off”, leaving you with a more relaxed horse that may be safer to handle. Some are designed to work alongside a daily calming supplement, while others are effective on their own.

    How to choose an instant calmer

    Despite lots of anecdotal evidence to support their effectiveness, there is limited scientific research into how calmers and their active ingredients work in horses. Popular ingredients include:

    • magnesium, which is thought to produce an anxiety-reducing effect
    • tryptophan — a building block of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter associated with lower levels of stress
    • valerian, which is thought to reduce anxiety

    We’d usually suggest to consider the form a supplement takes, but these all come in paste form. Instead it’s worth considering the time each one takes to act as although they’re billed as “instant calmers”, most take at least an hour or two to enter your horse’s system.

    Cost is another consideration – some of these syringes deliver multiple doses so are better value for money if they work for your horse. You’re also better off buying multipacks where available if you’re likely to require the calmer on multiple occasions.

    If you compete with your horse then it is important you make sure any supplements you use do not contain any prohibited substances.

    Best instant calmers for horses

    NAF Instant Magic

    NAF Instant Magic

    Form: Syringe paste
    Sizes: 3 x 30ml
    One syringe: 1 serving
    RRP: £16.50

    This natural calmer contains a combination of herbs and bio-available magnesium known to help maintain calm, support concentration and learning. It has been independently trialled, with peer-reviewed, published results showing a reduction in inappropriate responses, and an improvement in the horse’s cognitive profile with no sedation. Feed 1–1½ hours before event.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk, viovet.co.uk, gsequestrian.co.uk, naylors.com or gooutdoors.co.uk
    In the US? View now at amazon.com

    Science Supplements ProKalm

    Science Supplements ProKalm

    Sizes: 60g
    One syringe: 1–2 servings
    RRP: £9.99

    This supplement helps horses perform to their potential using a fast-acting formulation, which can “take the edge off” in as little as 30 mins – peaking two to four hours after administering, lasting up to eight hours. Effects are more predictable and consistent when fed alongside Science Supplements ProKalm powder.

    In the UK? View now at viovet.co.uk or gsequestrian.co.uk

    Equine America So Kalm Paste instant calmer for horses

    Equine America So Kalm Paste

    Sizes: 30ml
    One syringe: 3 servings
    RRP: £12.99

    So Kalm Paste is formulated to settle stressed horses so that they can focus on their performance. It contains a premium grade magnesium with L-tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid associated with the production of serotonin. Administer 10ml 1½–2 hours prior to exercise or event, or for a slightly faster effect, try Equine America Super So Kalm Paste.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk, equine-america.co.uk, viovet.co.uk or gsequestrian.co.uk

    Animalife Vetrocalm Instant calmer for horses

    Animalife Vetrocalm Instant

    Form: Syringe paste
    Sizes: 1 x 25ml, 12 x 25ml, 250ml refill
    One syringe: 1 serving
    RRP: £12.99 for 1 x 25ml syringes

    This paste works within 30 minutes and lasts for hours, helping your horse maintain a relaxed outlook and deal with stressful situations. It supports the replenishment of oxygen in the blood to help horses deal with stress, fear, anxiety and tension. Can be used every 2–3 hours as required, and available in powder form for young horses,

    In the UK? View now at viovet.co.uk 

    Global Herbs Supercalm Instant Syringe

    Global Herbs SuperCalm Instant Syringe

    Sizes: 30ml, 12 x 30ml
    One syringe: 2 servings
    RRP: £8.90 for 30ml

    This calming herbal mix of holy basil, winter cherry and amla reduces nervousness and excitability, and improves focus. It’s designed for use before competition or stressful events and results are usually seen within an hour. Can be used in addition to SuperCalm powder or SuperCalm liquid.

    In the UK? View now at globalherbs.co.uk, viovet.co.uk or gsequestrian.co.uk

    Equine Products Cool It instant calmer for horses

    Equine Products Cool It Paste

    Sizes: 30g
    One syringe: 1 serving
    RRP: £4.99

    Containing L-trytophan, magnesium, vitamin B1 and a probiotic, this supplement is useful in stressful situations, such as fireworks. There is no withdrawal period so is ideal for competition horses. Administer 3–4 hours before needed. Also available in powder form.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk, equineproducts-ukltd.com, viovet.co.uk or gsequestrian.co.uk 

    Supreme Products instant calmer for horses

    Supreme Products Defuse

    Form: Liquid
    Sizes: 80ml syringe, 500ml, 1l, 5l
    Single measure: 60–120ml or 1 syringe
    RRP: £9.45 for 80ml

    A vitamin, magnesium and amino acid-based supplement that helps calm nervous animals. Designed to be used as an “on-the-day” calmer, it can be given when you feel it is required without build up.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk, viovet.co.uk or gsequestrian.co.uk

    Horse First RelaxMeNow instant calmer for horses

    Horse First RelaxMeNow

    Sizes: 30ml
    One syringe: 1 serving
    RRP: £11.50

    This syringe paste is designed to be fed as a booster alongside Horse First RelaxMe when your horse is particularly excitable or stressed. It should be administered two hours before performance to settle nerves and stomach.

    In the UK? View now at viovet.co.uk or amazon.co.uk

    Synovium Calmingard instant calmer for horses

    Synovium Calmingard

    Form: Gel
    Sizes: 10ml, 5 x 10ml
    One syringe: 1 serving
    RRP: £8 for one 10ml syringe

    This natural instant calmer formula is administered in gel form. It does not sedate, is safe for competition and is formulated to help horses who get stressed, anxious or excited. Administer 1–2 hours prior to requirement.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

    Coligone Calm Down Paste instant calmer for horses

    H Bradshaws Coligone Calm Down Paste

    Form: Paste
    Sizes: 50g
    One syringe: 1 serving
    RRP: £9.99

    Fast acting and effective soothes the digestive tract and guards against gastric irritation during times of stress, while the naturally sourced calming capabilities of calcium and magnesium relaxes stressy horses. It is formulated to replenish the good bacteria in the hind gut, which is lost during stressful periods. Use 20 – 30 mins prior to requirement.

    In the UK? View now at viovet.co.uk or gsequestrian.co.uk

    NutriScience Anxikalm Triple Strength Gel

    NutriScience Anxikalm Triple Strength Gel

    Form: Gel
    Sizes: 30ml
    One syringe: 1 serving
    RRP: £11

    This apple-flavoured gel formulation helps calm excitable horses in stressful conditions. It is described as the most concentrated L-Tryptophan syringe on the market, which combined with vitamin B, helps to decrease anxiety and stress. Give 2–3 hours before requirement.

    In the UK? View now at viovet.co.uk or gsequestrian.co.uk

    Cavalor Take It Easy Forte instant calmer for horses

    Cavalor Take it Easy Forte

    Form: Syringe paste
    Sizes: 60ml
    One syringe: 1–3 servings
    RRP: £25.83

    This paste-type formula is enriched with several calming essential oils. It works quickly and can help horses to become more calm, relaxed and focused. For best results use one third the night before, one third in the morning and one third an hour before the stress-inducing event.

    In the UK? View now at viovet.co.uk or ebay.co.uk

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