Racing, eventing, show jumping, pulling, and dressage, take a toll on horses physically and emotionally. On top of asking them to perform at the top of their game, we also play havoc on their digestive systems with high grain diets.
When you combine our husbandry practices and breeding for speed and athleticism, it is no wonder horses occasionally act as if they have lost their minds. Fortunately, we may be able to soothe troubled waters with calming supplements and consistent training.
We reviewed 10 products, trying to determine which we could recommend as the best calming supplement for horses. We analyzed safety and quality of ingredients, presence of potentially banned substances, effectiveness, and overall customer satisfaction.
10. Finish Line Horse Products Thia Cal
Ideal for: Performance horses, horses on high-grain low-forage diets
Thia Cal is intended as a daily supplement. It uses vitamin B1, or thiamine, which has been shown to provide a calming effect for deficient horses. Vitamin B deficiencies may be more common than you would think.
You can see it in horses who are stressed with performance and travel or those on low forage diets. A gallon of Thia Cal lasts two to three months.
- Comes as a liquid – has a dispenser with bottle
- All-natural ingredients
- Palatable for most horses
- Takes edge off excitable horses
- Not enough of a calming effect for some horses
- Can get messy
9. Majesty’s Kalm+ Wafers
Ideal for: Horses who shy or spook often
Majesty’s promotes balanced behavior in horses. Their wafers, rather than relying on one ingredient, contain Vitamin B1, Winter Cherry, Tryptophan, and Inositol. The target is to address a variety of equine emotions like anger, fear, and anxiety.
Winter Cherry reportedly has anti-inflammatory and antianxiety properties and Inositol is a B-complex vitamin.
- Comes as convenient wafer or treat
- A complex of nervous system support
- Can give as needed rather than daily
- NASC certified
- Some horses do not like the taste
- Excitable horses override the sedative – may need 2 or more wafers
8. Formula 707 Daily Fresh Packs Equine Supplements
Ideal for: Horses experiencing anxiety from soreness; high-strung or aggressive horses
Manufactured in Colorado, Formula 707 utilizes a multifaceted approach to the excitable horse. Magnesium, Thiamine, and Tryptophan have all proven effective in calming equine anxiety. Formula 707 use magnesium for muscle relaxation and Tryptophan to boost mood and improve serotonin levels.
Serotonin provides not only mild sedative effects but also decreases aggression, stress, and fear.
- Convenient pre-measured sealed daily packs
- Promotes relaxation and focus
- Premium ingredients – high bioavailability
- Apple flavor
7. Vita Flex Vision Focusing & Calming Supplement for Horses
Ideal for: High performance horses
Vita Flex Vision contains Vitamin B6, L-tryptophan, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Inositol, and Valerian Root Extract in a palatable alfalfa-based pellet. Valerian is believed to work with the neurotransmitter GABA to regulate effects of stress and fear on the brain. This product is highly affective in lowering anxiety and improving focus.
- Does not affect performance – no drowsiness
- Blend of 7 ingredients
- Long-lasting – 3 to 5 hours during hauling or event
- Pelleted like a feed
- Valerian is a banned substance in some competitive circles
6. AniMed Via Calm
Ideal for: Fresh or hot horses, horses in competitive training, stallions
Newly formulated to accommodate the needs of modern horses, Via Calm is composed of L-tryptophan, Vitamin B1, calcium, and Magnesium. It also features a dose of Yea-Sacc 1026 which is Baker’s yeast. It serves as a live culture in horses to support gut health and improve bioavailability of nutrients.
- Reasonably priced
- Does more than simply take the edge off
- May help mild stiffness and soreness
- May take a few weeks to see full effects
5. Perfect Prep Training Day Horse Calming Supplement
Ideal for: Aggressive or poorly trained horses, horses anxious from potential stomach issues
Perfect Prep EQ formulates an entire system for calming the anxious horse including pellets, pastes, and powders that address nervousness, lack of focus, poor attitude, gastric pain, lameness issues, and overstimulation.
Using the Perfect Prep Training Day Powder alone is effective, accomplishing a calm and quiet horse with taurine, inositol, B vitamins, and magnesium. We considered the Perfect Prep Calming System to be the best calming supplement for horses with anxiety especially resistant to treatment.
- No prohibited ingredients
- Will see immediate effects with continual improvement over 5 days
- Does not detract from performance
- Backed by entire system if your horse needs additional calming
- Only 32 doses – some horses need 2 scoops daily
4. MagnaGard Pre-Performance Paste for Horses
Ideal for: Stressed horses, horses at risk for ulcers, horses needing electrolyte supplementation
MagnaGard calms horses by addressing the needs of multiple systems, making it the best calming supplement for horses who are prone to colic or develop diarrhea from stress. Magnesiem is the primary calming agent that helps relax the nervous and muscular systems.
Trace minerals such as sodium, chloride, manganese, calcium, potassium, and magnesium serve important functions in electrolyte balance and neurologic transmission. Magnagard also supports the digestive system to alleviate any discomfort that may cause stress.
- Convenient dosing syringe
- Provides electrolytes
- Can use as needed – fast-acting, long-lasting
- Peppermint essential oil is soothing to gut
- Only 13 doses
3. Mare Magic
Ideal for: Mares that are cycling; geldings that are exceedingly spooky
Do you have a mare who is ill-tempered and unpleasant to ride during her heat cycle? Not only are mares subject to fluctuating hormones during estrus, but their ovaries may swell and become uncomfortable.
They sit under the saddle. The raspberry leaf in Magic Mare may help balance hormones, calm and sharpen the mind, and relieve inflammation. It is high in bioavailable magnesium, iron, potassium, and B-vitamins.
- High levels of magnesium help many horses
- Antioxidants – regulate blood sugar and are anti-inflammatory
- Works on geldings as well as mares
- Encourages high focus
- Raspberry leaf can lend too much energy
2. Farnam 554173 Quietx II Pellets
Ideal for: Stressed horses from heavy training; horses particularly anxious with veterinarian or farrier, dental work
Similar to Via Calm, Quietex II utilizes Thiamine, Magnesium, Tryptophan, and Valerian root to soothe the nerves of high-stung horses. Focused on easing situations that inspire anxiety in horses, the calming pellets take action in as little as two hours. It should be avoided in pregnant or nursing horses.
Moreover, it can exacerbate the effects of depressants such as tranquilizers. Many horse owners feel it is the best calming supplement for horses during shoeing.
- Comes in pellets and paste
- Dose is simplified – same for all horses
- Very effective for overstimulated horses
- Valerian and tryptophan are potentially banned substances in competition
1. Quiessence Foxden Equine Banana Flavored Magnesium Pellets
Ideal for: Hot horses with metabolic concerns, horses at risk of laminitis, tense horses with muscle and back soreness
This banana-flavored powder calms the equine nervous system and balances it using a simple few ingredients. Made with magnesium oxide and magnesium proteinate along with chromium picolinate and B vitamins, Quiessence calms without any sedatives or forbidden substances.
It may also help overweight horses with cresty necks or excess fat deposits along their toplines. Managing obesity and Equine Metabolic Syndrome is crucial in a comprehensive program to prevent founder.
- Stabilizes blood sugar
- Does not contribute extra calories
- No medications or forbidden ingredients
- Helps horses loosen up to warm up better
- Should not be used in horses with kidney problems
Whether you have a Quarter horse that just needs help focusing on his job or a hot Thoroughbred who you hope wins a clear Grand Prix jump-off, the industry is flooded with calming supplements. We selected those with the best reviews and high-quality ingredients and product vision.
We chose a liquid, feed-like pellets, powders, and pastes. Overall, we felt Quiessence was the best calming supplement for horses based on the effectiveness and simplicity of ingredients, lack of bannable substances, and uniform customer satisfaction.
Do you have any go-to supplements you use to soothe an anxious horse? We would love for you to share them.
Image credit: Marko Blažević/ Unsplash
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