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Calming supplements compared to ace?

I have an Arabian crossed with an Appaloosa. She is also a mare and her star sign is an Aries so bottom line, she’s clinically insane and chaotic. She’s also a rescue, she was heavily abused and her anxiety is pretty much constant no matter how much you stay calm.

She is currently on ace due to having splint bone removal surgery and it takes the perfect amount of edge off. It’s 50mg tablets twice a day, it doesn’t make her drowsy or sluggish either.

I usually have her on broad-spectrum CBD and it works wonders for keeping her focused during work but it doesn’t exactly calm her, I can’t afford to up the dosage of CBD because holy cow is it expensive.

She obviously can’t stay on ace forever either so my question for you guys is,

Do you have any recommendations for supplements that come close to the 100mg tablets in total of ace?

She needs a calming supplement for every day use in her food. The CBD is given twice a day so that’s how it would need to be administered. (If I find a supplement that works well enough, it will not be used with the CBD)

She’s currently off of the CBD while she’s on the Ace to save money and she simply just doesn’t need it if she’s this quiet with the ace.

Also, all health issue have been ruled out so her behavior isn’t from pain or anything like that. It stems solely from the abuse she’s endured. Obviously her breeding doesn’t help

Tricky topic.

Have you tried anything but the CBD in the past? The most common calming supplements (quiessence, etc) are mainly magnesium. Some people find good results in supplementing mag, but I have never heard anyone say that a feed-through mineral or herbal supplement works as well as tranquilizers.

Has she ever been on Regumate or similar?

I have no personal experience, but have read on this forum about others’ experience with working with their vets to get their unmanageably anxious horses on trazadone. Have you consulted with your vet?

Meant to also say that if you show her, that’s going to limit your options. CBD, ace, trazadone, lots of herbs, etc. are all not allowed by USEF. A

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There is no calming supplement that compares to Ace

What is her diet? Have you ever had any reproductive soundness exam done? is her behavior 100% of the time, or have you tracked it to see that it’s lower most of the time, but every couple weeks it’s worse, or is worse when the weather is a certain way, anything like that?

Things like B1 and magnesium only work if the behavior is due to a deficiency.

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A tranq is a tranq, a calming supplement is not a tranq.

However, some common calming herbs people have traditionally used are Valerian root, chamomile, lavender, hops, and vervain. I personally have found Valerian root to be very beneficial with anxiety in horses. All are illegal for use in USEF competition.

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My horse is a sensitive sort. As far as feed / supplements are concerned I’ve used and liked: Quiessence, Calm n Cool, Alfalfa hay. I actually get better results with Quiessance (mag and chromium) than with the Calm n Cool (Valerian). Our local soils are Mag deficient so ymmv. The Calm n Cool was useful to help smooth a stressful move but I didn’t like how it impacted my horse’s personality nor the up down effects of 2x per day dosing. Presumably, the alfalfa hay has a positive impact on his digestive health.

I tried the Smartpak Calm Ultra or whatever it’s called and it didn’t seem to make a difference for my horse.

Interestingly, to me anyways, B vitamins are often part of a calming supplement formula. B vitamins are also part of many supplements aimed at anhidrosis. My horse suffers from anhidrosis as well (managed with Refresh and stall/fan in the summer).

Other management practices that make a big difference for my horse’s mental health:

  1. Free choice forage at all time
  2. Turn out as much as possible
  3. Group turn out as much as possible
  4. Minimize hours in box stall (run outs on stalls make a big difference for my boy)
  5. Windows and stall fronts that allow him to put his head out

Handling practices that help

  1. Warwick Schiller connection work
  2. Clicker training
  3. General good horsemanship of not putting my training wants over the horse’s comfort level
  4. Hours. The more I interact with my horse the happier he is. YMMV if she’s been abused she might not like extra together time

Best of luck

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lenapesadie has some very good advice.

I’d ask what your goals are for this mare, and what your timeline is.

A horse that you describe as “clinically insane and chaotic” seems like no fun for either you or her. I’m not sure what you mean about her breeding … arab/appaloosa is typically a very useful cross. If either you or she are in danger unless she’s taking ace that’s no good. Is there any time or place or situation where she seems to feel safe and relaxed?

Has she had a chance to just be turned out and be a horse and unwind?

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