Not all horses suffer from stress, anxiety and nervousness, but you will find many that do. It can be pretty stressful to watch your horse if they exhibit these symptoms consistently and if you are regularly dealing with a particularly hot horse you could be putting yourself in danger.
Many owners choose horse calming supplements to take the edge off and they can really make the difference when it comes to safe handling and riding. They can also make your horse feel much more relaxed and at ease in their surroundings. Most calming supplements work in a similar way however the ingredients in the formulas vary enormously. This is why it is important to be in the know about what you’re feeding your horse. You certainly don’t want to make the situation worse for yourself.
Calming supplements can help your horse become the best version of themselves and assist in relieving them from stress, anxiety and nervousness. These supplements are designed to help horse’s that need them the most, but should never replace proper handling and training.
Let’s take a deeper look into calming supplements for horses and some of the best calming supplements available on the market to buy to help you with your search.
Why Use a Horse Calming Supplement?
Calming supplements are generally only used for horses that really need them. If your horse exhibits the odd spook now and again or occasionally gets a bit full of themselves this is not a situation where we would recommend your horse needing a calmer. This is just life and individual personalities.
When we talk about horses having a real need for calming supplements we are referring to those that are often anxious, nervous and stressed in daily life. This can be challenging for any owner and often a calming supplement can help relieve this behaviour by keeping your horse cool, calm and collected.
Another valid reason horse calming supplements are used is when a horse gets stressed in particular situations such as at a competition where nerves are high, travelling the horsebox (which can often be scary for horses) or even a vet visit (yes your equine friend is well aware an injection is looming!). In these types of situations, calming supplements can be an absolute godsend.
Let’s take a look at some of the key situations when you may choose to use horse calming supplements:
- Nervousness takes over and your horse finds dealing with day to day life worrying
- Your horse suffers from stress and anxiety on a day to day basis
- You have a hot or excitable horse that needs to chill out
- Your horse finds competing at competitions stressful and worrisome
- Travelling in the horsebox or trailer makes your horses nervous or anxious
- Your horse has been moved to new surroundings and is struggling to cope with the change
These are just a few of the most common reasons why you may choose to use calming supplements to help your horse through difficult times.
Best Ingredients in Horse Calming Supplements
So what can be found in your horse’s calming supplements?
There are so many types of ingredients that can be found in horse calming supplements and with so many different combinations and formulas available, it can be difficult to decide what would be best to buy. You will find that one type works much better for your horse than another will. Trial and error are usually key. Combinations of ingredients in the formula usually work best and provide the most all-round relief. Always ensure you read the label of ingredients on the packaging carefully so you are in the know about what you are administering to your horse.
With that being said, here are 5 of the very best ingredients you will most commonly find in horse joint supplements:
Magnesium sulphate is quite possibly the most popular ingredient that can be found in horse calming supplements. It is true to say that many horses suffer from a magnesium deficiency which can often leave them feeling nervous and with excess excitement. Magnesium provides a clear all-round calming effect for horses. Many studies have shown Magnesium to have significant soothing and calming effects. Daily feeding has also proven to have a noticeable effect on anxiety.
Tryptophan is referred to as an amino acid that is said to have a significant calming effect on horses. It is used regularly in horse calmer supplements and is often high up the list of ingredients, but there is little to no research to suggest it has a valuable effect on calming horses. It is very possible however that by combining this ingredient with others, such as Magnesium sulphate, it may have an enhanced effect on calming your horse. Many believe Tryptophan is a must-have ingredient in supplements of this nature.
Thiamine and Niacin
Thiamine and Niacin (otherwise referred to as B vitamins) are considered to be a very important addition to your horse’s diet. B vitamins are regularly found in calming supplements. Feeding at much higher levels has historically been known to calm nervous or anxious horses and help them stay relaxed and comfortable, even in particularly anxious times.
You will often find Thiamine and Niacin together in formulas for calming supplements as they work together hand in hand for a maximum effect. These won’t necessarily work for all horses, but the success rate in using these vitamins as calmers is exceptionally high.
Vitamin E is a very valuable ingredient in any horse supplement and fresh pasture is usually your horse’s main source of intake. Fresh pasture isn’t always readily available to your horses and despite providing hay as the next best option, Vitamin E levels decrease as soon as the pasture is cut, meaning your horse may be lacking some nutrients.
Vitamin E is a very potent antioxidant that works to help your horse’s body deal with stress, illness and certain medical conditions and is a key ingredient in any good horse calming supplement.
A Variety of Herbs
Herbs can be a great natural alternative for calming horses. They are becoming more and more popular to use amongst owners and you will find that many commercial horse calmers now include at least one herb into the mix.
It is not uncommon to see Chamomile in many horse calming supplements and is a great addition to any formula. It has been used as a natural remedy in human medication for years and is generally safe for most people and animals to take. Other herbs you may notice included in horse calmers are Vervain, Valerian and HOPS. Be careful if you are giving Valerian to horses at competition. It is actually a banned substance under FEI and Jockey Club rules.
Best Horse Calming Supplements UK
Let’s take a look at some of the best horse calming supplements on the market today and how these might be able to help you manage your horse’s temperament.
1. Aviform Equable
Aviform is quite possibly one of the best calming supplements on the market right now. This well-known brand is very popular with horse owners and this particular supplement is a fast-acting formula that has no side effects and is easily administered to your horse. It has been designed with all-natural ingredients with zero harsh chemicals or unnecessary extras.
Ingredients in Aviform Equable
- Wild Lettuce Extract
- Passiflora Extract
- German Chamomile Extract
- Hawthorn Extract
Pros of Aviform Equable
- Fast-acting for a quick calming effect
- No side effects for complete peace of mind
- Liquid formula that can easily be mixed into feeds
- All-natural ingredients with no harsh chemicals
Cons of Aviform Equable
- Natural ingredients may not be strong enough for some horses
Why is Aviform Equable a Best Horse Calmer UK
We love the use of all-natural ingredients with no harsh chemicals added which should work well for most horses. The Aviform Equable is not the cheapest available on the market, but certainly not the most expensive and falls into a mid-range price bracket.
2. Top Spec Calmer
Top Spec is a brand that has been around for many years and one that is trusted by the equestrian community. The Top Spec Calmer is ideal for horse’s that are particularly anxious or suffer in stressful situations. It covers a great mixture of ingredients that are known for their calming properties and takes effect pretty quickly (usually within a few hours).
Ingredients in Top Spec Calmer
Pros of Top Spec Calmer
- Fast Acting
- Palatable (made with a tasty caramel flavouring)
- Conforms to BETA UFAS NOPS code for HRA/competition use
- A reputable brand you can trust
Cons of Top Spec Calmer
- Does not contain many natural ingredients such as herbs
Why is Top Spec Calmer a Best Horse Calmer UK
The Top Spec Calmer is ideal for those looking for a noticeable effect in the least amount of time. It can be a great option for fussy eaters thanks to its additional caramel flavouring that can entice even the fussiest of eaters. This can be a great solution for horse’s that are nervous at shows and provides ingredients that are not included in the banned substances list for competitions.
3. Horse First Relax Me Calmer
The Horse First Relax Me Calmer has a huge following and many owners love using this product to help calm their horse and relieve stress and anxiety. Many choose to use this product when their horse is in particularly stressful situations such as going out to a show or new surroundings. It is a fast-acting formula which can also be bought in syringe form. This is particularly helpful for horses that tend to chuck their feed around the stable and will ensure they get the full dose orally.
Ingredients in Horse First Relax Me Calmer
- Vitamin E
- Magnesium Sulphate
- Thiamine Hydrochloride
- Folic Acid
Pros of Horse First Relax Me Calmer
- Ideal for both Horses and Ponies
- Double Action Formula that works on both the gut and nervous system
- Lots of different size containers to purchase
- Concentrated dose that is strong and effective
Cons of Horse First Relax Me Calmer
- Some horses and ponies are not keen on the taste of this supplement
Why is Horse First Relax Me Calmer a Best Horse Calmer UK
The Horse First Relax Me Calmer is a strong and effective formula that is ideal for horses that suffer from their nerves and anxiety. It has a great formula mix and we love the addition of Vitamin E as the main ingredient. Research suggests that the lower the levels of Vitamin E in your horse’s system there is the higher the levels of anxiety will be present.
4. NAF Five Star Magic Horse Calmer
The NAF Five Star Magic Horse Calmer is a great addition to our top 10 list and is a brand that most equestrians are familiar with. This magnesium-based calmer is infused with some great ingredients both manmade and natural such as herbs and comes in both a powder and syringe form. It also contains Pre and Pro-Biotics which can really help to settle your horse’s gut leaving them feeling relaxed and calm.
Ingredients in NAF Five Star
- Magnesium Oxide
- Grass Meal
- Passion Flower
- Calcium Carbonate
Pros of NAF Five Star
- Contains mostly natural herbal ingredients in addition to Magnesium
- Highly Palatable
- A choice of administration methods
Cons of NAF Five Star
- We can’t find any cons with this product and the reviews attest to this.
Why is NAF Five Star a Best Horse Calmer UK
The NAF Five Star Horse Calmer is a fantastic product that we couldn’t generally find fault with. It contains some great ingredients choices and we love that there are so many natural herbs in this formula. Herbs that have been specifically picked to have a calming influence on horses.
5. Equine America Super So-Kalm
Equine America is one of the biggest equestrian brands worldwide and offers a range of products specifically targeted at horses that suffer from anxiety and stress. Their Super So-Kalm supplement is one of the bestselling in the range and has been designed to fully support your horse’s health. It contains many natural ingredients which are a plus and is a complimentary feed ready to use as part of a balanced diet.
Ingredients in Equine America Super So-Kalm
- Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal
- Vitamin B1
- Rapeseed Oil
Pros of Equine America Super So-Kalm
- A great mix of ingredients that are proven to really work
- Good value for money since it produced by such a big brand
- Helps to also sustain energy levels
- A well trusted reputable brand that customers go back to
Cons of Equine America Super So-Kalm
- This product seems to be sold in just one size and therefore buying in bulk is not really an option unless you are looking for multiple tubs to store.
Why is Equine America Super So-Kalm a Best Horse Calmer UK
Equine America Super So-Kalm is a product that is highly praised by lots of equestrians worldwide. It provides a great mix of ingredients, that is easy to feed to your horse and comes from a reputable brand that it’s loyal following of customers love. We also thought for such a well-known brand the price was very good value for money.
6. Dodson & Horrell Placid
Dodson & Horrell is definitely a brand you may have heard of before and are quite possibly considered specialists when it comes to supplements for horses. Their Placid supplement is highly praised for its eclectic mix of herbs in the formula and the value for money vs quality it provides. This supplement is a winner for many horses and really does help to keep your horse calm and stress-free.
Ingredients in Dodson & Horrell Placid
- Lemon Balm
- Lime Flowers
Pros of Dodson & Horrell Placid
- Lots of herbs in the mixture for a more natural type supplement
- A trusted brand that are feed and nutrition specialists in their field
- Great value for money with a refill option
- A variety of different sized tubs available for convenience
Cons of Dodson & Horrell Placid
- We couldn’t find any significant cons however some horses are not keen on the taste of this product.
Why is Dodson & Horrell Placid a Best Horse Calmer UK
Dodson & Horrell are one of the main leaders in the field of equine feed and nutrition. We love that this product contains so many calming herbs without the use of harsh ingredients. We were also rather surprised at the cost of this supplement. It is very good value for money and they even provide a refill pack at a very reduced cost.
7. Blue Chip Calming Balancer
Blue Chip is a popular brand that is known for producing valuable supplements at reasonable prices. This supplement contains some natural ingredients that we have not seen very often in other supplements such as Wheat Feed and Sunflower which we think is an interesting concept. We also love that this product comes in recyclable packaging which helps protect our environment.
Ingredients in Blue Chip Calming Balancer
- Wheat feed
- Extracted Sunflower
- Rapeseed Oil
Pros of Blue Chip Calming Balancer
- Pro-Biotics to restore the natural balance of gut flora
- Full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients
- Echo Friendly packaging and rodent proof
- Great value for money
Cons of Blue Chip Calming Balancer
- Only one size tub available which doesn’t give you much buying choices, but the refill option is a massive plus!
Why is Blue Chip Calming Balancer a Best Horse Calmer UK
The Blue Chip Calming Balancer is a great option for horses that are highly strung or suffer from stress and anxiety. Although some of the ingredients are not as common as with other supplements we love the addition of sunflower extract which is known to contain tryptophan (see ingredients list) and Rapeseed Oil which is a highly powerful antioxidant which can help with relaxation.
8. Hilton Herbs Calm and Collected Gold
The Hilton Herb brand is not as popular or as well-known as some of the others in our top 10, but this fab supplement was just too good for us to miss. It can be conveniently purchased in either powder or liquid form depending on your preference and contains some top ingredients for the use of calming horses. Herbs are at the centre of this formula and it comes at a great price in several different quantities.
Ingredients in Hilton Herbs Calm and Collected Gold
- Valerian root
- Chamomile flowers
- Vervain herb
- Marshmallow root
- Hawthorn flowering tops
- Meadowsweet herb
Pros of Hilton Herbs Calm and Collected Gold
- Lots of great natural ingredients that are proven to have significant calming effects on horses
- Quick absorption into your horse’s system
- Can be used safely for young stock
- Can be bought as powder or liquid depending on your preference (liquid mixes better)
Cons of Hilton Herbs Calm and Collected Gold
- No addition of manmade ingredients so, therefore, may not be strong enough for some horses.
Why is Hilton Herbs Calm and Collected Gold a Best Horse Calmer UK
This is a great product that is sold at a very reasonable price. It may not be as well-known as some of the other brands we have mentioned, but we are never ones to rule out a good product when we see one. We love that this supplement has so many calming herbs included and that it can also be bought in liquid as well as powder form to cater to individual preferences.
9. Science Supplements ProKalm
The Science Supplements ProKalm is a premium product that comes at a premium price. It is considered a fast-acting, effective supplement that can start working in as little as 30 mins. Perfect if you are on a strict timeline. This product contains a nice mix of manmade and natural ingredients and a unique combination of herbs and amino acids for the ultimate calming experience.
Ingredients in Science Supplements ProKalm
- Withania somnifera
- Passiflora incarnata
- Melissa officianalis
- Rice Flour
Pros of Science Supplements ProKalm
- Results in as little as 30 mins
- Not a sedative formula and does not affect gait or performance
- Does not contain Valerian (which is a banned substance in FEI and Jockey Club rules)
- Large tub sizes available when wanting to buy in bulk
Cons of Science Supplements ProKalm
- This is a premium brand that is quite expensive and therefore will not fit into everyone’s budgets.
Why is Science Supplements ProKalm a Best Horse Calmer UK
The Science Supplements ProKalm is most definitely a product that is at the higher end of the scale in terms of ingredients and effectiveness. This is a pricey supplement, but we believe the quality and premium ingredients included are worth the cost. We love that this product does not contain Valerian making this ideal for use at competitions and the non-sedative formula ensures your horse is still alert, performing at their very best.
10. Equine America Magnitude Powder
Lastly, but certainly not least we have another addition from Equine America. Their Magnitude calming supplement powder is definitely a very worthy top 10 spot. This fast-acting supplement is particularly used for horses that are excitable to overzealous. It is also commonly used for lively young stock as a good calming influence. This particular brand has a great range of supplements designed to suit all types of horses.
Ingredients in Equine America Magnitude Powder
- Magnesium Oxide
- Trace elements of Calcium Carbonate
Pros of Equine America Magnitude Powder
- Great for horses that are hot and excitable including young stock
- Fast-acting supplement
- FEI and Jockey Club legal
Cons of Equine America Magnitude Powder
- This product only contains Magnesium Oxide and a trace of Calcium Carbonate. We believe that a mix of ingredients is always best.
Why is Equine America Magnitude Powder a Best Horse Calmer UK
Equine America is a well-trusted brand and the reviews for this product show that this particular supplement has a huge following of loyal customers. We love that this is a safe product to use under FEI and Jockey Club rules and makes for a wonderful supplement for horses that are on the hotter side and can get very excitable. This supplement has really proven to keep horses calm and chilled at the most crucial times.
As you can see there are many different types of calming supplements on the market and these generally vary a lot in terms of ingredients. Some contain mostly manmade ingredients whilst others stick to all-natural ingredients such as herbs. Then there are the ones in between that like to combine the two for a maximum effect.
It is important to know what ingredients are included in your horse’s calming supplements as this will give you a very good indication of what may work well for your horse and what may not. Like with all medications there is always an element of trial and error to be prepared for.
Overall these are some of the best calming supplements for horse’s on the market today. Whether you need an everyday calmer or one for more specific events like showing or travelling in the horsebox there is something here for everyone.