The new year has arrived and with it usually comes the resolution to bring our horses back to fitness for the coming competition season.
The pressing question for many of us is how to keep hot-headed horses calm and collected, especially during the early weeks of slow work when the weather is often wet, windy and generally not horse-friendly.
While at present there are no official scientific studies to support the use of calming supplements, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that some really can help put the pleasure back into riding at this time of year.
Sally Scott, nutritionist at T.E.N. Supplements explains: “Some ingredients found in calming supplements are widely believed to be of benefit.
“Magnesium is thought to help alleviate nervousness and numerous case studies from horse owners show good effects. In addition, B vitamins and the amino acids lysine and arginine play an important role in supporting the nervous system and are thought to reduce anxiety.”
Support for the horse’s digestive system is also thought to help reduce excitability in some cases. On this basis some calming supplements may contain magnesium oxide as the primary source of magnesium. This may act as a buffer in the hindgut by helping to neutralise excess acid, which can sometimes lead to behavioural issues.
Live yeast is another potentially helpful ingredient as it is thought to have positive effects on the horse’s digestive system by increasing the population of beneficial bacteria in the hindgut. Horses with digestive challenges can be irritable and show signs of unsettled behaviour so keeping the digestive system in good order can be advantageous, not just for health reasons.
Herbs, such as chamomile, passiflora incarnate, lemon balm and hops, used in human remedies for their calming properties, are now also included in selected equine calming supplements and anecdotal reports are positive.
Riders such as Kim Gubler rely on a daily calming supplement to keep her Andalusian gelding Neptune more manageable. Kim’s preference is T.E.N. Positive Calm Behaviour.
She explains: “Neptune hasn’t always been the bravest out hacking or competing and the smallest thing could set him off. Since using T.E.N. Positive Calm Behaviour Neptune is calmer, more collected and willing to listen, but he also hasn’t lost any of his Spanish sparkle.”
T.E.N. Positive Calm Behaviour contains two sources of magnesium and the herbs chamomile, hops, passiflora and lemon balm to help promote calm behaviour.
If your horse requires advanced levels of magnesium then try T.E.N. Positive Calm Behaviour Plus with three sources of magnesium, probiotic live yeast and amino acids lysine and arginine, shown in humans to reduce anxiety.
Take advantage of a seasonal offer. Buy either product between 12 and 18 January and you will automatically receive 25% off.
T.E.N. guarantees 100% satisfaction or your money back on the entire T.E.N. range of online equine supplements.
Visit www.tensupplements.co.uk or call T.E.N. on 01908 311010, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm to order. Check out T.E.N’s credentials by taking the T.E.N. Horse Supplements Health test.