Calming supplements: what’s on the market?

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  • Some calmers for horses are instant or fast-acting — instant calmers are often in paste-form and administered via a large syringe into the horse’s mouth — while some of the best calming supplements for horses 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 can bring new stresses with it. In these situations, calming supplements can help to “take the edge off”, leaving you with a more relaxed horse that will be safer to handle. This guide focuses on calming supplements that are given daily, but if you’re looking for something to take a more immediate effect for a one-off upcoming event, check out our guide to the best instant calmers.

    How to choose a calming supplement for horses

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

    Consider the form the supplement takes – calming supplements can come in liquid, powder and paste forms. Your horse may have a preference to one over another, which could make all the difference as if he won’t eat it, your horse won’t receive the benefit.

    Cost is another consideration – we’ve calculated the daily cost of all the calmers for horses featured in this guide to help you compare them easily. To make it as comparable as possible, we’ve used the smallest tubs available, but if you’re better off buying a larger volume of supplement if you can as the daily cost can become significantly lower.

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

    Calming supplements for horses: what are your options?

    Below is a selection of the best calming supplements for horses that are currently available, including the manufacturers’ descriptions of their products. If you’re looking for a solution for a one-off event, check out our guide to the best instant calmers, which are designed to be administered when required.

    NB: Cost per day has been calculated using the maintenance measure for a 500kg horse in light work (where there was variation) and the RRP of the smallest available tub. Some horses will require a higher dose, which will increase the cost per daily measure, while buying a larger tub will likely decrease it – these costs per day are a guide only.

    Daily calmers for horses

    TopSpec Calmer

    Form: Powder
    Sizes: 3kg, 9kg, 20kg
    RRP: £35.50 for 3kg
    Daily measure: 100g
    Cost per day: £1.18

    This calmer is suitable for horses demonstrating anxious behaviour, particularly those that cannot cope with stressful situations such as showing, travelling or competing. It contains a pure protected yeast, MOS, B vitamins, magnesium, tryptophan and sepiolite clay.

    Hilton Herbs Calm & Collected Gold

    Form: Liquid
    Sizes: 1l, 3l, 5l
    RRP: £32.58 for 1l
    Daily measure: 30ml
    Cost per day: £0.98

    A liquid supplement containing herbs, such as chamomile and valerian, to help maintain a healthy nervous system in horses of all ages. Also available as a powder.

    NAF Five Star Magic

    Form: Powder
    Sizes: 750g, 1.5kg, 3kg, 15kg
    RRP: £27.99 for 750g
    Daily measure: 25–50g
    Cost per day: £0.93–1.87

    This supplement contains herbs and bio-available magnesium, which are known to help reduce anxiety, support concentration and learning. It has been independently trialled, showing a reduction in anxiety with no sedation. BETA Innovation Award Winner, 2019. Also available in liquid form.

    Feedmark Steady Up

    Feedmark Steady-Up

    Form: Powder
    Sizes: 2kg, 4kg, 8kg
    RRP: £59.99 for 2kg
    Daily measure: 57g
    Cost per day: £1.71

    This calming supplement settles nervous tension while aiding your horse’s concentration and focus, and has a soothing effect on behaviour to help reduce spookiness.

    Equine America Super So-Kalm Powder

    Form: Powder
    Sizes: 1kg
    RRP: £34.99
    Daily measure: 30g
    Cost per day: £1.05

    This calmer provides three key micronutrients to help the horse to maintain a calm outlook and concentrate on his work — magnesium, calcium and vitamin B1. Also available as a syringe paste.

    In the UK? Buy direct at equine-america.co.uk

    Blue Chip Super Concentrated Calming Feed Balancer

    Blue Chip Super Concentrated Calming Feed Balancer

    Form: Pellets
    Sizes: 3kg
    RRP: £29.90
    Daily measure: 100g
    Cost per day: £1

    Stress and digestion have a symbiotic relationship stress can cause digestive issues, and digestive issues can cause stress – so along with all the nutrients your horse needs, this balancer contains magnesium, L-tryptophan and chamomile, which have proven calming effects. The probiotics in the balancer restore the natural balance of the gut flora and help to maintain the natural well-being of the digestive system, allowing optimum utilisation of the carefully formulated combination of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

    Global Herbs SuperCalm

    Form: Powder
    Sizes: 500g, 1kg, 5kg
    RRP: £17.50 for 500g
    Daily measure: 22g
    Cost per day: £0.77

    This highly concentrated calming herbal mix helps to reduces nervousness and winter excitability. A powerful natural antioxidant, it improves focus to assist with training and performance. It is also available in liquid and syringe paste form.

    Aviform Equable

    Aviform Equable

    Form: Powder
    Sizes: 500g, 1kg
    RRP: £30.95 for 500g
    Daily measure: 25g
    Cost per day: £1.55

    This calmer is suitable for nervous, excitable or highly strung horses as it soothes and helps promote focus for training and competing. It is formulated with pre- and probiotics and is available in a 100% compostable pouch.

    Blue Chip Karma

    Form: Liquid
    Sizes: 1l
    RRP: £29.95
    Daily measure: 25ml
    Cost per day: £0.75

    This supplement contains a form of magnesium that can be quickly absorbed into the blood stream, and L-tryptophan, which is included as it is a pre-cursor for serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone.

    Science Supplements ProKalm

    Form: Powder
    Sizes: 336g, 1.1kg, 3.3kg
    RRP: £14.99 for 336g
    Daily measure: 32–64g
    Cost per day: £1.42–2.86

    This supplement helps horses perform to their potential using a fast-acting formulation, which can “take the edge off” up to eight hours, or fed daily to achieve consistent performance. Also available in instant calmer syringe form.

    EquiNutritive No More Nerves

    EquiNutritive No More Nerves

    Form: Powder
    Sizes: 600g, 1kg, 3kg, 6kg
    RRP: £24.99 for 600g
    Daily measure: 30g
    Cost per day: £1.25

    This natural magnesium-free calming supplement combines seven herbs to help that settle anxious, stressy horses, keeping them focused and calm, while also supporting good gut health.

    NutriScience Anxikalm

    Form: Powder
    Sizes: 1.2kg, 3kg
    RRP: £35 for 1.2kg
    Daily measure: 30g
    Cost per day: £0.88

    A nutritional powdered supplement to help calm excitable horses in stressful conditions. Safe to use in competition horses, the key ingredients are L-tryptophan, which converts to serotonin and decreases anxiety, as well as B vitamins and magnesium.

    Dodson & Horrell Placid

    Form: Powder
    Sizes: 1kg, 2.5kg, 5kg
    RRP: £17.05 for 1kg
    Daily measure: 22–30g
    Cost per day: From £0.38

    A dried herbal blend suitable for horses and ponies prone to nervousness or excitability; including a blend of chamomile, lemon balm and vervain, which are renowned for their calming properties, while magnesium helps to support an even temperament. An ideal supplement for use when bringing a horse back into work.

    Horse First calmer for horses

    Horse First RelaxMe

    Form: Powder
    Sizes: 750g, 2kg, 5kg
    RRP: £25.30 for 750g
    Daily measure: 50g
    Cost per day: £1.69

    A unique double-action formula that works on both the gut and the nervous system. It combines magnesium with vitamins E and B to create a calmer more easy-going horse. Also available in syringe form as RelaxMeNow.

    Lincoln calmer for horses

    Lincoln Herbs Valerian Cordial

    Form: Liquid
    Sizes: 250ml, 500ml
    RRP: £9.50 for 250ml
    Daily measure: 10ml
    Cost per day: £0.38

    A natural non-sedating calmer derived from the valerian plant. This powerful ingredient maintains calmness in anxious, excitable and highly-strung horses. The non-drowsy formula means performance and focus are unaffected.

    Omega calmer for horses

    Omega ZenCalm

    Form: Powder
    Sizes: 900g, 1.8kg
    RRP: £29.50 for 900g
    Daily measure: 30g
    Cost per day: £0.98

    This supplement provides nutritional support to help with anxiety, stress and excitability. It is packed with powerful herb extracts, including brewers yeast, bio-available magnesium and liquorice, along with a variety of B vitamins.

    Maxavita calmer for horses

    Maxavita Maxacalm

    Form: Powder
    Sizes: 900g
    RRP: £29.85
    Daily measure: 30g
    Cost per day: £0.99

    A magnesium-based blend containing green-lipped mussel, L-tryptophan and soothing herbs, it helps take the edge off sharp and nervous horses without losing sparkle.

    Cavalor Sozen

    Cavalor Sozen

    Form: Powder
    Sizes: 400g, 1.5kg
    RRP: £69
    Daily measure: 20g
    Cost per day: £3.45

    This supplement calms and relaxes hot or nervous horses by responding to the imbalance between cortisol and adrenaline. This versatile approach is highly effective in horses that show too little response to, or have a high tolerance for, tryptophan–based products.

    Nettex eCalm calmer for horses

    Nettex eCalm

    Form: Powder
    Sizes: 1kg
    RRP: £44.99
    Daily measure: 20g
    Cost per day: £0.90

    This non-magnesium, natural calmer is prebiotic-like in functionality and has been shown to influence the natural gut microbiome, which in turn supports calmness and well-being as well as supporting the gut.

    Synovium Mgnium Calm calmer for horses

    Synovium Mgnium Calm

    Form: Powder
    Sizes: 1.5kg, 4.5kg
    RRP: £54 for 1.5kg
    Daily measure: 57g
    Cost per day: £2.05

    This magnesium calmer provides several forms of absorbable magnesium, B vitamins and essential fibre to support concentration, aid muscle tension and promote a calmer and more relaxed horse.

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

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