Horses are very inquisitive and excitable. This excitability, however, makes them prone to becoming agitated, nervous or stressed.
Horse calmers are a great way to ease your horse’s anxiety and acute stress. These supplements come in various forms and can be either slow- or fast-acting.
No matter which one you choose, these calming aids are a great way to help your horse reduce their anxiety levels and risk of developing stress-related diseases.
In this article, we’ll tell you all you need to know about the different horse-calming supplements and help you choose the best horse calmer to use with your equine companion.
What Are Horse Calmers?
Horse calmers are supplements given to horses to lower their acute stress and anxiety levels.
Some calmers come in paste form and are given to the animal using a large syringe. These are quick-acting and help reduce stress and anxiety in horses.
Other calmers come in liquid or powdered form and are given daily to help build up the animal’s immune system and stress response, ensuring a more calm and relaxed horse.
What Are The Main Ingredients In Horse Calmers
Horse calmers, generally, contain the following ingredients:
- Magnesium: This mineral is known for its calming and anxiety-reducing effects. It also helps horses better respond to insulin, helps prevent laminitis and protects against free radical damage and inflammation.
- Tryptophan: This amino acid is a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Adequate serotonin levels help reduce anxiety, aggression, fear and stress.
- Valerian root: This herbal supplement helps reduce stress and anxiety, and strengthens and supports your horse’s nervous system.
How To Choose A Horse Calmer
Keep the following in mind when choosing a calmer:
- Supplement form: Consider which supplement form your horse takes more easily. Choose the form – whether paste, liquid or powder – that the animal finds easier to ingest. The best instant calmer for horses comes in paste form.
- Cost: Horse calming supplements can be costly, especially if given to the animal daily. Therefore, consider how much money you’ll have to fork out daily and monthly. Buying a horse calmer in bulk can help horse owners save costs.
The 15 Best Horse Calmers
1. Best Daily Powdered Calmer – TopSpec Calmer
TopSpec Calmer improves your horse’s nervous system and stress response. It is perfect for horses that struggle to cope with stressful events like showing, competing, or travelling.
This daily supplement is given in 100 g servings and is only available in powdered form. It is sold in 3 kg, 9 kg and 20 kg containers.
Made of a blend of wheat and a range of mineral salts and vegetable oil, TopSpec Calmer also contains:
- Tryptophan (20,000mg/kg)
- Various vitamins and minerals
2. Best Daily Liquid Calmer – Hilton Herbs Calm & Collected Gold
Calm & Collected Gold contains calming herbs to boost and maintain your horse’s nervous system. It’s great for young horses, anxious horses and horses being moved to a new environment.
This liquid calmer is given daily in 30 ml servings and is sold in 1l, 3l and 5l containers. It’s also available inpowdered form.
Hilton Herbs Calm & Collected Gold contains:
- Valerian plant root
- Vervain herb
- Apple Cider Vinegar
3. Best Bio-Available Magnesium Calmer – NAF Five Star Magic
NAF Five Star Magic contains a range of herbs and high levels of bio-available magnesium. It helps reduce anxiety in nervous horses, does not make animals feel sedated and helps support concentration and learning.
The powdered horse calmer is given in daily doses of 25-50 g servings and is available in 750 g, 1.5 kg, 3 kg, and 15 kg containers. It is also available in paste form and sold as NAF Instant Magic – considered the best instant calmer for horses.
NAF Five Star Magic contains a range of magnesium compounds to boost the mineral’s bio-availability:
- Magnesium chloride
- Magnesium citrate
- Magnesium chloride
- Magnesium oxide
4. Best Chamomile And Magnesium Calmer – Feedmark Steady Up
Feedmark Steady Up is ideal for nervous horses and helps improve concentration. The supplement’s formulation promotes optimum nerve function, reduces spookiness and helps your horse stay calm.
This powdered supplement is given daily in 57 g servings and sold in buckets of 2 kg, 4 kg and 8 kg.
Feedmark Steady Up contains:
- Magnesium carbonate
- Magnesium oxide
- Chamomile flowers
- Lemon balm
5. Best Micronutrient-Packed Calmer – Equine America Super So-Kalm Powder
Packed with three micronutrients, this calmer reduces anxious behaviour and helps your horse stay calm and relaxed.
Offered in powdered form and served in a daily serving of 30 g, the calmer is sold in a 1 kg tub. It’s also available as a paste, sold as Equine America So Kalm Paste, and is one of the best instant calmers for horses.
Equine America Super So-Kalm Powder contains:
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
6. Best Pellet Horse Calmer – Blue Chip Super Concentrated Calming Feed Balancer
Containing probiotics, this calmer is designed to restore your horse’s intestinal flora and boost and maintain gut balance. Made of natural ingredients and containing essential amino acids, this supplement ensures a healthier and more relaxed horse.
Sold in pellet form, this horse calmer is served in daily portions of 100 g.
Blue Chip Super Concentrated Calming Feed Balancer also contains the following calming ingredients:
7. Best Herbal Horse Calmer – Global Herbs SuperCalm
Made using a unique blend of natural herbs and high-quality ingredients, this fast-acting calmer promotes relaxation, ensuring a better-behaving, relaxed horse. SuperCalm helps horses overcome stressful situations, such as competing or separation anxiety.
Available in powder form and served in a daily dose of 22 g, this calming supplement comes in 500 g, 1 kg and 5 kg containers. It’s also available in paste or liquidform.
Global Herbs SuperCalm is known as a completely natural, powerful antioxidant and contains:
- Holy Basil
- Winter Cherry
- Magnesium Glycinate
- Calcium Carbonate
8. Best Non-Magnesium Horse Calmer – EquiNutritive No More Nerves
This 100% natural, magnesium-free, non-sedating supplement uses seven herbs to destress agitated horses. It regulates the animal’s nervous system, supports good gut health and reduces the stress response.
Served in daily doses of 30 g, this calming supplement is available in tubs of 600 g, 1 kg, 3 kg, and 6 kg.
EquiNutritive No More Nerves contains seven natural, calming herbs:
- Lemon Balm
- Raspberry Leaf
- Marshmallow Root
9. Best Pre-Competition Calmer – NutriScience Anxikalm
This anti-sedative supplement works great with competition horses prone to stress and anxiety during events.
Available in powder form, this calmer is given daily in 30 g doses and sold in 1.2 kg, and 3 kg containers.
NutriScience Anxikalm helps calm excitable horses and contains:
10. Best Pre- and Probiotic Calmer – Aviform Equable
Aviform Equable contains natural ingredients that have a calming effect on horses of all ages. Ideal for horses that are prone to becoming stressed and anxious, this supplement is suitable for both long-term and short-term use.
Specially formulated with a mix of prebiotics and probiotics, Aviform Equable also ensures that your horse has a healthy, settled gut.
Available in powder form, this calming aid is served daily in servings of 25 g and sold in containers of 500 g and 1 kg.
Aviform Equable contains the following beneficial ingredients:
- Brewers Yeast
11. Best Water-Soluble Magnesium Calmer – Blue Chip Karma
Containing a water-soluble form of magnesium, this calmer ensures immediate delivery of magnesium to the bloodstream, helping your horses calm down quicker. It’s great for horses that do not like solid calming supplements.
Available in liquid form, it is served in daily doses of 25 ml and sold in a 1l container.
Perfect for horses that struggle with solid calming supplements, Blue Chip Karma contains:
- Vitamin C
12. Best Fast-Acting Horse Calmer – Science Supplements ProKalm
Science Supplements’s ProKalm has a fast-acting formulation that promises to help horses perform optimally and is also one of the best instant calmers for horses. Effective for up to eight hours, it’s a great aid to help competition horses relax.
Available in paste or powder form, the calming aid comes in a 336 g or 1.1 kg pouch or 3.3 kg tub.
ProKalm contains the following ingredients:
- Lemon Balm
- Green tea
13. Best Back-To-Work Calmer – Dodson & Horrell Placid
Using a selection of calming herbs, Placid is the ideal supplement when bringing your horse back to work. Not only does this supplement help reduce stress in horses, but it also aids digestion and reduces muscle tension in inflammation.
Available in 1 kg, 2.5 kg, and 5 kg tubs, this powdered calmer is fed daily in doses of 22-30 g.
Placid contains a selection of beneficial and calming additives to help reduce anxious behaviour:
- Lemon balm
14. Best Calmer For Gut And Nervous System Health – Horse First RelaxMe
RelaxMe has a unique double-action formula that targets the digestive and nervous systems to ensure a healthy and relaxed horse.
Sold in powdered form and served in a daily dose of 50 g, this horse calming supplement is packaged in 750 g, 2 kg and 5 kg tubs. It is also available in paste or syringe form as RelaxMeNow– one of the best instant calmers for horses.
Horse First RelaxMe’s gut and nervous system-promoting formulation contains:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B
15. Best Cortisol And Adrenaline Balancing Calmer – Cavalor SoZen
Cavalor SoZen is perfect for agitated and nervous horses and helps balance the animal’s cortisol and adrenaline levels. It is useful in horses that show a low response to or have a high tolerance for tryptophan–based supplements.
Sold in powdered form and served in daily doses of 20 g, this supplement comes in 400 g and 1.5 kg containers.
Great for use in stressful situations, Cavalor SoZen regulates the endocrine system and contains:
- Humulus Lupulus
Except for using calming supplements, how else can I help my horse calm down?
Horse experts suggest that you use the following methods to help your horse destress during difficult or stressful situations:
- Feed the animal smaller meals to reduce digestive stress
- Give your horse a relaxing massage
- Allow the animal to stretch and relax
- Play soft music to help your horse unwind and destress
Can I also feed calming supplements to a pony?
Yes, many horse calming supplements also work on ponies. Calming supplements are a great aid to help your ponies overcome difficult and stressful situations.
Consult your supplier or veterinarian about the correct doses of calming supplements to feed your pony.
Are calming supplements legal?
Yes, many calming supplements are made from natural, laboratory-tested ingredients and do not contain any illegal substances. However, check with your supplier or veterinarian which products will be the safest to use – and won’t give a positive test result for banned substances – when participating in competitions.
Some horse enthusiasts argue that horses that are given calming supplements before an event or competition have an unfair advantage over other horses. Consult with your association to ensure which calming supplement will be allowed at events.
How long will it take for calming supplements to work on my horse?
This will depend on which type of supplement you’re using. Pastes, normally, take up to 90 minutes to have a calming effect, while powder and pellet supplements take longer to build up in your horse’s system. Even though paste supplements are considered the best instant calmers for horses, their effects are not as long-lasting as those of pellet and powder supplements.
Have your horse use a supplement for at least two weeks to see if it’s working optimally.