Today’s post is from Claire at Animalife. Animalife is a UK Company committed to the development of advanced technologies to assist the health, wellbeing and performance of your horse.
There are a number of situations that you can find yourself in where your horse is likely to become nervous or excitable. For most horses, new experiences such as large crowds or unfamiliar territories are likely to make them nervous; for some horses, nervousness is just naturally a part of their nature and so they may be quite skittish even in the best of environments. It is important to remember that in the wild, horses are often the prey of other animals. This means that the flight instinct is strong in them, hence why horses are so prone to bolting if they become too nervous.
There are a number of techniques that you can use to try to calm a nervous horse; however calmers are a good way to help the horse from within. Adding calming supplements into their feed can help horses with long-term problems while administering one-off treatments can help to control their nerves during high-stress situations.
There are two main ingredients that form the basis of many horse calmers: magnesium and oxygen.
A deficiency of magnesium can make a horse much more prone to the following signs of both mental and physical excitement:
- loss of appetite
Horses naturally excrete magnesium through their kidneys, but extreme sweating through intense exercise can mean that their levels drop much more quickly than they would normally.
This means that if you have a horse with a heavy training regime, they could benefit enormously from the introduction of magnesium-based calming supplements. Replenishing the magnesium levels will help to reduce the afore-mentioned symptoms and prevent your horse from suffering from long-term stress.
Some experts recommend that all horses have calming supplements incorporated into their diets during the spring time. This is because the grass that grows during this season is naturally lower in magnesium than at other times of the year, so making up the levels in the horses’ diets is a good way to counteract the problems which this can cause.
Both exercise and stress can deplete oxygen levels, making horses tired and, in turn, even more anxious. Administering an oxygen calmer enhances oxygen levels once again, which helps the horse to feel less nervous, concentrate better and recover more swiftly. Oxygen calmers are often given on a one-off basis, either after exercise to aid in muscle recovery, or before a big event to calm nerves.
Consult your vet
All horses are different and as such require different treatment. Always consult your vet or other equestrian experts to find out what is causing your horse’s nervous behaviour and which calmers will be most appropriate.
Question for you:
- Do you feed your horse a calming supplement? Can you tell a difference with them taking it?
- Does your horse get nervous in certain situations? If you don’t feed a calming supplement, what do you do to calm them down?
This article was written by Claire on behalf of Animalife.