Horse Calming Supplements: Fireside Chat Video with Nick

Calming Supplements for Horses

Learn the facts on horse calming supplements

Horse calming supplements may help horses who are nervous, agitated, or on-edge feel more at-ease, focused, and confident.

Horse calmers use specialized formulas with ingredients including magnesium, thiamine, theanine, valerian, chamomile, and vervain. These horse calmer ingredients may support your horse’s nervous system, contributing to a happier and calmer horse.

In this Fireside Chat Video, we talk about horse calming supplements and what you need to know, including:

  • When to use horse calmers
  • How to use horse calming supplements
  • What ingredients to look for in horse calming supplements
  • Information about ingredients that may test at horse shows and events

Fireside Chat Video #14 – Horse Calming Supplements

What are Horse Calming Supplements?

Horse calming supplements are specialized horse supplements that may help a nervous or anxious horse feel relaxed and calmer.

Common ingredients in horse calming supplements include:

  • Theanine
  • Magnesium Oxide
  • Magnesium Carbonate
  • Magnesium Chelate
  • Organic Magnesium
  • Thiamine

These ingredients may help support your horse’s nervous system, allow your horse to feel more confident, focused, and at-ease.

If you and your horse participate in horse shows and events, you need to ensure you’re using horse calming supplements that comply with the FEI Prohibited Substances List.

Always review the ingredient list for horse calming supplements – and any other horse supplements. If you have questions about the ingredients – ask! You want to make sure you know what you’re giving your horse and why.

Remember to make sure you’re only buying supplements manufactured in an FDA-approved facility and that the manufacture is a member of the NASC.  

Five Questions to Ask Before Using a Horse Calming Supplement

Ask these five questions before using a horse calming supplement:

  1. Does the tack fit correctly? Check your horse’s saddle for chafing, rubbing, and overall fit. Make sure your horse’s bridle fits their head properly and that the bit is comfortable.
  2. How am I riding my horse? Your horse is intuitive and responds to your body signals. So, you need to make sure you’re relaxed and confident when riding. Your horse may be stiff and nervous because they sense you’re not 100% comfortable.
  3. What am I feeding my horse? Monitor the amount of grain you feed your horse and the ingredients in your horse’s food. Remember grains can be high in sugar and starches, which may make your horse overly excited or energetic.
  4. Is my horse getting enough exercise? In general, your horse should be moving for up to 20 hours a day. If your horse is standing in a stable too much or getting limited turnout, this could be contributing to your horse’s behavior.
  5. Does my horse have nutritional deficiencies? Discuss this with your veterinarian. There is a chance that your horse is lacking essential nutrients. For example, a magnesium deficiency may cause muscle tension and nervous behavior. And a thiamine deficiency may contribute to your horse spooking easily. Your horse may also be dealing with a hormone imbalance, contributing to fluctuating moods.

Always discuss any new horse supplements or dietary changes with your veterinarian. As well, discuss any changes to exercise or equipment with your trainer. It’s important you do not make too many changes or introduce new stressors to your horse.

Watch our Horse Calming Supplement Fireside Chat Video to learn more about when and how to use horse calmers. 

What are the Horse Calming Supplement Types?

There are three types of horse calming supplements:

  1. Nutrient-Based Horse Calming Supplements

    Nutrient-based horse calming supplements may deliver nutrients that support a healthy nervous system. Key ingredients include magnesium, thiamine, and theanine. Some nutrient-based supplements also use inositol or tryptophan – talk to your veterinarian about these ingredients and how they may impact your horse.

    It can take up to six weeks for your horse to respond to these horse calmers.

    Note: if you compete in rated events, nutrient-based supplements are the only approved supplement option.  
  2. Herbal Horse Calming Supplements

    Herbal horse calming supplements are herbal-based and may support a healthier nervous system. Key ingredients in herbal horse calmers include valerian, chamomile, hops, vervain, and passion flower.

    On average, it can take up to six weeks for herbal horse calmers to take effect. Remember that herbal horse calmers are not approved for competition in rated events.
  3. Moody Mare Horse Calming Supplements

    Moody mare calming supplements are herbal based and typically include raspberry, vitex agnus castus, and cramp bark. It’s important you discuss your mare’s health with your veterinarian before using these calming supplements. Your veterinarian will have pain management recommendations that can help your mare during her heat cycle.

The good news is that if you have a horse who is showing signs of nervousness, anxiety, or stress, there are ways to help and support your horse.

Always discuss your horse’s health, mood, and behavior with your veterinarian and trainer before making any changes to your horse’s diet, supplements, or exercise routine.

For more about the ingredients in horse calming supplements, watch our Horse Calming Supplement video.

As always, the Grand Meadows team is available to answer your questions about horse supplements and the ingredients we use. Contact us with your questions and feedback.

by Nick Hartog

In 1994, Nick Hartog became an owner and President of Grand Meadows Equine Supplements bringing his talents and extensive background in domestic and international equine sales and manufacturing. He has a reputation for plain speaking of the truth. In 1997, when the US horse supplement market was something akin to the Wild West with a complete lack of standards, Nick personally tested 32 different horse joint supplements to see if they matched the label. Unsurprisingly, to him at least, only 2 products matched the label claim. Read more...