7 Best Calming Supplement for Horses For a Happy Horse!
Trying to find the best calming supplements for horses can be challenging. There are so many different varieties on the market, different brands, formulas and price points that the selection process can be an absolute minefield. It isn’t uncommon to feel at a loss about which brands are the best purchase for your horse. Never fear! We are here to give you the complete low down on why you may need calming supplements for your horse, the different types available and a selection of the some the very best brands on the market right now.
Why do you need a calming supplement for horses?
Many horses can benefit from the addition of calming supplements in their diet. If your horse suffers from anxiety and stress, this can be a great solution to ensure they stay relaxed. A nervous or anxious horse is not a particularly happy one. Unfortunately, lots of horses suffer from anxiety on a day to day basis. Calming supplements can really help to reduce stress levels and are useful to regularly feed your horse.
Some horses can become particularly anxious when there is a change in circumstances. An environment change can often be a key instigator and many horses become nervous travelling in a horsebox or attending competitions. Calming supplements can be lifesavers in these instances and can be built up over the course of a few days before the event to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Horses that are hot and excitable can particularly benefit from calming supplements. This type of behavior can often be dangerous for you to deal with, so the addition of a calming supplement can really help to take the edge off your horse. This can be ideal for competition horses as the idea is to calm rather than reduce energy levels.
Comparing Our Favorite Calming Supplements
Types of calming supplements
There are many types of calming supplements available on the market. Calmers are most commonly bought in powder form and mixed in with your horse's feed. However, liquid, syringe, and tablets are also alternative delivery methods that can be widely purchased.
The types of ingredients used in calming supplements will give you a good indication of how well they are likely to work. There is always an element of trial and error; however, choosing proven ingredients that have been well researched and proven is a good starting point. Some ingredients you may want to look out for are:
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae
- Natural herbs such as Chamomile, Vervain, Valerian and Hops
Top 7 Calming Supplements for Horses
#1) Pilot Calmer Supplement for Horses
Pilot Calmer is one of the best on the market right now, and works to keep your horse relaxed while still allowing them to keep focused on the tasks at hand.
No Bulk, No Junk
Many supplements these days contain high levels of fillers which are predominantly designed to bulk out the formula. These fillers are unnecessary and do not contribute to the effectiveness of the supplement. This usually means that fewer proven ingredients are present in the formula, reducing its calming benefits. The Pilot Calmer has a "No Bulk, No Junk" promise and ensures only the very best nutritionally balanced and proven ingredients go into its formula. This provides your horse with more of the ingredients that really matter, leaving you with a supplement that really does work.
When using any new supplement. you may be concerned about adverse side effects. After all, you are providing a supplement to solve a problem rather than create new ones. You will pleased to hear that all the ingredients used in the Pilot Calmer have been scientifically backed with research so they are confident this product will not cause any side effects to your horse. You can be sure to breathe a sigh of relief.
- Nutritionally balanced with no unnecessary ingredients
- Side effect-free for peace of mind
- Safe to use on a day to day basis
- Great value for money
- This comes in a smaller quantity than many other calming supplements and will not last you very long. However, we still feel this is great value for the money.
#2) AniMed Via Calm Calm for Horses
AniMed Via Calm is a highly effective calming supplement which works to maintain a normal emotional balance for your horse.
Digestion and gut stability
A relaxed and calm horse is happy from within, and it has been proven that a healthy digestive system and balanced gut can have a huge effect on a horse's temperament. The AniMed Via Calm works to ensure your horse’s digestive system runs smoothly. This can a great solution for horses that suffer from anxiety on a day to day basis and can heavily assist equines that struggle in stressful situations.
Pleasing smell and taste
There are many fussy horses out there, and it is common for horses to reject their feed if they catch a hint that something is a bit different. This can be highly frustrating for owners, especially if their horse usually eats quite well. The AniMed Via Calm supplement has been designed with this in mind and has been formulated to entice even the fussiest taste buds. It has a pleasing smell for horses, and most find this supplement quite palatable.
- Helps to stabilize the gut and digestive system
- Palatable formula, great for fussy horses
- Various sizes available for purchase
- Manufactured in the United States
- L-tryptophan can be great for lots of horses. However, the levels in this product are quite high and may not suit all equines. This ingredient can often have too much of a sedative effect even at the recommended dosage.
#3) Oralx Calm & Cool Pellets for Horses
Oralx Calm & Cool is a popular brand of calming supplement that has a very loyal following. This daily supplement mixes into your horses feed with ease and is made of high-quality ingredients at an affordable price.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get your horse to buy into new types of feed. Powder and liquids can coat the feed so much that it puts your horse off eating completely. But fear not! The Oralx Calm & Cool has been designed in a pellet form that blends into feed well without adjusting the taste of your horse's regular feed. Horses seem to really like pellets. Since this is a supplement that should be fed on a day to day basis, it can be a very viable method of providing your horse with a calming supplement.
We couldn’t believe how excited we were to discover this supplement comes in a resealable tub (it’s the small things in life, right?). This supplement is supplied in a large 12lb tub that can be resealed after each use. It’s amazing how quickly horse supplements and feed can go off, which often horses will turn their noses up at. You can be assured this supplement stays fresh and airtight at all times.
- Comes in pellet form, which some horses prefer
- Resealable tub to ensure freshness of the product
- A daily supplement that can be mixed in well to your horse's regular feed
- Infused with herbs for a natural calming effect
- This supplement contains Valerian root which may not be ideal for horses that are competing. It is a banned substance when competing under FEI rules and you may want to double-check with other industry bodies before feeding this to your horse.
#4) Ramard Total Calm and Focus
Ramard Total Calm and Focus is an ideal calming supplement for horses and comes in a handy 30 day supply. It is packed full of scientifically-backed ingredients and has proven to really take the edge off hot and anxious horses.
Ramisol is not an ingredient that is found regularly in horse calling supplements. However, the theory behind using this calming supplement makes absolute sense. Ramisol helps to prevent an increase in the stress hormone Cortisol, which can be responsible for a horse’s nervousness and anxiety. Cortisol is released into your horse’s body after high levels of exercise and can be responsible for stress, mood changes, and fatigue.
There’s no doubt about it — some calming supplements have a significant sedentary effect that can often leave horses in a fatigued and lethargic state. You want a supplement that will efficiently calm your horse while still providing them with enough energy to go about their day with enthusiasm. Ramard Total Calm and Focus provides a non-groggy formula that will keep your horse cool and calm without reducing any of their get up and go.
- Contains Ramisol, which decreases the stress hormone Cortisol
- Calms your horse without reducing energy levels
- A great balance of proven calming ingredients such as Magnesium and Vitamin B
- Some owners may be put off by the key ingredient Ramisol, since it is less well known than some of the other brands on our list.
#5) Perfect Prep EQ Supreme Horse Calming Paste
The Perfect Prep EQ Supreme Horse Calming Paste is a great option for horses that suffer from temporary stress. With its fast-acting formula and easy-to-use syringe, your horse will be feeling calm and relaxed in no time.
Many owners prefer using a syringe as a calming supplement since it is quick, relatively easy to use, and ensures your horse receives the full dose. Horses love nothing more to throw their food around the stable while eating, which means powder supplements and liquids are not always consumed at the recommended dose. An oral syringe ensures zero waste and a maximum effect.
The Perfect Prep EQ Supreme Horse Calming Paste is a fast-acting formula that is a convenient solution for when your horse needs it the most. Life can be unpredictable, and we do not always know when a potentially stressful situation may arise. This supplement takes full effect within 90 minutes. However, you should start to notice some changes in your horse’s behavior after about an hour.
- An oral syringe that some owners may find easier to use
- Fast-acting formula
- Long-lasting – up to 6 hours (great for dealing with temporary stress)
- No prohibited substances (great for those out competing)
- This may not be ideal for horses that suffer from chronic stress and anxiety. The effects last up to 6 hours, which is great if your horse struggles when attending shows, travelling in the horsebox, or other significant occasions. This is not a great solution if your horse needs a consistent supply to get through daily life.
#6) Science Supplements ProKalm Horse
ProKalm is a popular supplement that is manufactured by the well-known company Science Supplements. This is considered one of the best supplements in the UK and has a powerful formula which will take the edge off even the most high-strung horse.
Helps aid concentration
Calming supplements in general are a great way to combat stress and anxiety in horses. However, many contain strong sedatives that can leave your horse feeling lethargic and unmotivated. ProKalm Science Supplements are formulated to avoid any of these unwanted side effects and eliminate any heavy sedatives. In addition, this formula promotes healthy concentration levels that work to keep your horse alert, focused, and on point.
Choosing a calming supplement based on branding is not always the way forward. However, a brand that is well known and trusted in the industry does have some significant pros. ProKalm is owned by one of the biggest equine supplement companies, and has a huge customer following in the equestrian world. There are many positive reviews for this product and you can have peace of mind knowing that this is produced by a reputable company.
- Helps aid concentration (no harsh sedatives)
- Trusted brand that customers seem to love
- Formulated with a great mix of ingredients that are proven to work
- Good combination of quality ingredients and value for money
- We couldn’t find any significant cons to this supplement. However, it would be nice to see a variety of different size tubs or pouches available to buy as alternatives to suit all types of budgets.
#7) Equine Perfect Prep EQ Training Day
Last but certainly not least, we have Equine Perfect Prep EQ Training Day supplements in our top 7 spot. This is an everyday calming supplement that is ideal for performance horses.
No prohibited substances
If you are competing at high levels, there are many types of supplements you will likely want to avoid. This is due to the ingredients in the formulas that could be on the list of banned substances. Both the FEI and Jockey Club both have very strict guidelines on the type of substances that cannot be used in competition such as Valerian which can regularly be seen. You won’t have any of these worries with this supplement as it contains no banned substances.
Taurine is not an ingredient you will find regularly used in horse calming supplements. However, it is said to have a calming effect on horses thanks to its ability to balance out excitatory neurotransmitters in the brain. It is used to support proper nerve transmission and nerve function, which we think is a highly beneficial addition to this supplement.
- No prohibited substances (ideal for the performance horse)
- Taurine included in the formula (which is known to help calm nervous horses)
- A variety of tub sizes is available to suit most budgets
- Safe to use alongside most calming feeds
- A bit more expensive than some of our other big brand names on our list.
Things to Consider Before You Buy a Calming Supplement for Horses
Is this a trusted brand?
Finding a trusted brand is an important part of the decision making process. Going with a trusted, well-known brand can give you peace of mind. You will also be able to find large amounts of feedback from existing customers. This can be beneficial in helping you decide how likely the supplement is to work for your horse.
Are the ingredients tried, tested, and safe?
This is an important question. Ingredients that have been well researched will not only likely work much better for your horse, but you can ensure they are also safe for equine consumption. Try to ensure you are fully prepped beforehand about the types of ingredients used. Understanding their effects and potential side effects (if any) is very important.
Is the product good value for money?
There’s no doubt about it — horses are an expensive business, and no -one likes the idea of wasting money. It’s not necessarily about choosing the cheapest option, but more about looking at the quality and levels of ingredients as well as the desired effect. Neither cheap nor expensive necessarily equal good.
How do I know if my horse needs a calming supplement?
If your horse suffers from stress and anxiety on a regular basis then it is likely they may need a daily calming supplement. This will help them feel more comfortable and relaxed. Horses are often quite anxious when put into unfamiliar situations. This could include situations such as new surroundings (competitions), travelling in a horsebox or even a visit from the vet. Providing your horse with a fast-acting calming supplement can help your horse relax and become more focused in these situations.
How quickly do calming supplements take effect?
This will vary from brand to brand. However, there are many on the market these days that work as quickly as 30-60 mins. This can be ideal for a one-off scenario such as right before a show, thus eliminating the need to put your horse on daily supplements just for one event.
How long do calming supplements last?
This is a very broad question since the length of time a calming supplement will work for will largely depend on the brand you buy and how regularly you are feeding this to hour horse. At a minimum, you should expect around 6 hours of usage with the best lasting results being up to 24hrs.
Seeking out the best calming supplement for horses is not always an easy task. You'll need to understand what you are actually purchasing. Quality of product and cost are big factors. However, if you find yourself getting a great deal and it doesn’t work for your horse in terms of ingredients and dosages — then it isn’t such a great deal after all.
Try to ensure that you are fully in the know about the types of ingredients used in each supplement. Every horse is different, and may need different ingredients. Choose brands that have a good customer following with great reviews and ensure you are purchasing from brands that you trust.