Choosing a calmer

Choosing a calmer
11 May 2020 | Foran Equine

A recent article in a popular equestrian publication listed in excess of 20 different equine calmers available for horse owners to choose from. Calming supplements vary greatly in their ingredients, presentation and in how quickly and effectively they work. Some are designed to be instant or fast-acting and are often in the form of a paste or gel, which is administered via a syringe into the horse’s mouth. Others come in a liquid or powder form and are added daily to the horse’s feed. These have a build-up or cumulative effect and the benefits are usually seen within 2 weeks, although, in some horses the results can be noticeable within days.

Despite the many differences between these products, they are all formulated with the aim of reducing nervous behaviours, including acute stress and general anxiety.  This in turn may improve concentration levels and reduce your horse’s vulnerability to stress-related disease e.g. gastric ulceration.

There are lots of factors that could influence your horse’s behaviour, negatively and positively.  Before introducing any calmer into your horse’s daily ration it is important that you consider all elements of their management that could be affecting their behaviour.  The key factors to think about are;

  • Total diet i.e. is your horse getting enough fibre or too much starch?
  • Turnout i.e. is your horse cooped up in a stable with limited foraging time?
  • Exercise i.e. does your horse have a varied daily routine?

These factors may influence your horse’s behaviour from increasing reactivity to the development of stereotypies e.g. box walking and therefore they warrant significant consideration.  Read  more  about a nutritional  approach  to  behaviour  management.  

Nervous behaviour in a horse can affect learning ability and overall performance, as well as making everyday situations such as shoeing, travelling, and clipping very challenging.  Nutritional support for balanced behaviour can be provided by supplementing the diet with Foran Equine Nutri-Calm, which is suitable for all horses prone to nervousness.  It can aid concentration, promote a more even temperament and encourage relaxation. Foran Equine Nutri-Calm also helps to support a healthy appetite; something which is often reduced in nervous horses.

Foran Equine Nutri-Calm includes;

  • L-tryptophan, which is the precursor to serotonin, commonly referred to as the “happy hormone”.
  • Magnesium to support regulation of the nervous system
  • B vitamins (B1, B6, B12, Niacin) which have a variety of functions, including, being part of the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin and stimulating appetite.

Foran Equine Nutri-Calm is highly palatable and comes in both a liquid daily dose and a convenient gel syringe that can be useful when travelling or competing.   The effectiveness of Nutri-Calm will depend on the individual horse and what is driving their nervous behaviour. Nutricalm can be fed daily for as long as needed, if you have a specific event that you are working towards then we advise that you start feeding Nutricalm 7-10 days ahead of the event for maximum affect.

The ingredients in Foran Equine Nutri-Calm are all free of prohibited substances and are therefore safe to use in competition horses. Find more information on calmers, their ingredients and effectiveness here. If you’ve got a query about feeding or calmers, get in touch with our expert team.