Calming supplements: what’s on the market?

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  • Some horse calmers are instant or fast-acting — often in paste-form and administered via a large syringe into the horse’s mouth — while other equine calming supplements take time to build up in your horse’s system, which 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, a calmer can help to “take the edge off”, leaving you with a more relaxed horse that may be safer to handle.

    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

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

    Browse the wide range of horse calmers that are currently available below in our alphabetical list, which includes the manufacturers’ descriptions of their products…

    Animalife Vetrocalm Intense

    This paste works in 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.
    £12.99 for two 25ml syringes

    Aviform Equable 

    This calmer is suitable for nervous, excitable or highly strung horses as it soothes and helps promote focus for training and competing. Also available in a 100% compostable pouch.
    From £17.95 for 500g

    Blue Chip Karma

    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.
    £24.95 for 1l

    Cavalor Take it Easy Forte

    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.
    From £141.80 for six 60g syringes

    Dodson & Horrell Placid

    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.
    £15 for 1kg

    Equiform Nutrition Stay Calm

    A liquid feed supplement formulated to provide a calming effect on horses that display nervous and temperamental behaviour. Ideal for horses that may become stressed when competing or travelling.
    From £36 for 2l

    Equine America Super So-Kalm powder

    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.
    £29.99 for 1kg

    Equine Products Cool It 

    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. Also available in powder form.
    £5.24 for 30g syringe

    Feedmark Steady-Up

    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.
    £44.99 for 2kg

    Foran Equine Nutri-Calm syrup

    Calming supplement containing B vitamins, magnesium and L-tryptophan to aid nervous tension that may be as a result of reduced turnout, for example.
    From £41.96 for 1l

    Global Herbs SuperCalm

    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.
    From £14.37 for 500g

    Hack Up Instant Liquid Caalm

    A unique blend of chamomile, hawthorn and marshmallow flowers are blended with liquorice to form this liquid supplement. This unique balance of ingredients maintains healthy serotonin levels required to keep a settled mind and body.
    From £34.99 for 500ml

    Hi Form Herbanerve

    With increased stable time over the winter months, Herbanerve may assist in keeping your horse calm and stress-free without removing the edge for top class performance.
    From £105 for 500g

    Hilton Herbs Calm & Collected Gold

    A liquid supplement containing herbs, such as chamomile and valerian, to help maintain a healthy nervous system in horses of all ages.
    From £25.75 for 1l

    Horse First RelaxMe

    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.
    From £23 for 750g

    Lincoln Herbs Valerian Cordial

    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.
    From £9.50 for 250ml

    Mastacare natural herbal calmer

    This herbal supplement is ideal for excitable horses or those that become unsettled when stabled for long periods. It includes natural valerian root, hops and yeast.
    £11.49 for 400g

    Maxavita Maxacalm

    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.
    £29.85 for 900g

    NAF Five Star Magic

    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. It is available in liquid or powder.
    From £23.99 for 750g

    Nettex VIP Keep Kalm

    This vet-approved formula of natural casein and chelated magnesium supports concentration and well being. Ideal for use in all horses during periods of stress or change.
    £49.37 for 2kg

    Nupafeed MAH Liquid

    This supplement targets stressful and difficult behaviour by improving magnesium absorption without causing acid-base disruption. FEI compliant.
    From £35 for 1l

    NutriScience Anxikalm

    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.
    £36.99 for 1.2kg

    Omega Zencalm

    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.
    £27.99 for 900g

    Plusvital Tryptocool

    This supplement is designed to alleviate stress in horses prone to excitable behaviour. It contains tryptophan, magnesium and B vitamins to support the nervous system.
    £34.10 for 750g

    Science Supplements ProKalm

    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.
    £49.99 for 1.10kg

    Supreme Products Defuse

    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.
    From £8.75 for 80ml

    TopSpec Calmer

    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.
    £29.95 for 3kg

    Vital Equine Vita Calm

    This calmer contains a blend of crucial nutrients, including magnesium, which is involved in the maintenance of a healthy nervous system and appetite. A blend of B vitamins are included for correct release of carbohydrate, helping to maintain blood sugar levels, and to help maintain the integrity of the nervous system.
    £26.50 for 1kg

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