HINT: If you’ve tried every calmer and none of them work, your horse doesn’t need a calmer - stress is not the problem, something else is!
Recently, we have had a number of people come to us explaining that they have fed ‘every calmer on the market and none of them work’, declaring that ‘calmers are a complete waste of time!’.
They’re right - calmers are a complete waste of time...if your horse isn’t actually experiencing stress or anxiety!
When someone comes to us to say that our No More Neves hasn't helped their spooky, reactive horse, we help by doing a deep dive into what is going on with the horse and the details of their circumstances, including what else they are being fed.
Very often, it emerges that the horse is being fed a diet of numerous feeds containing molasses, they’re being fed products high in GM soy byproducts (which horses can be quite reactive to) and they’re being fed FAR too much for the work they’re doing.
The problem isn’t one of stress and anxiety - it’s hyperactivity! No calmer will overcome this. Calmers are developed either to regulate the stress response (such as no more nerves) or to have a sedating effect. A calmer that works on the basis of having a sedating effect may go some way to address hyperactivity but it won’t go all the way. And a product formulated to get to the heart of the problem by regulating the stress response and supporting the nervous system will NOT have any impact on hyperactivity. Because the problem isn’t stress.
We don’t want to sell you a product that you conclude doesn’t work and we will never encourage you to buy a product you don’t need. We want our customers to have great experiences with our range and we’ve developed products that will make a real difference for horses. But just like if you take a pain killer when you need an antibiotic; if you’re feeding a product that doesn’t meet the need, it won’t work.
If the problem you’re experiencing with your horse can be resolved by a simple adjustment to the feed and that means you have no need for a calmer at all, we’ll tell you. As far as we’re concerned that’s a win for everyone.
Before you buy a calmer (or declare a calmer useless), it’s important to fully scrutinise the feed your horse is getting. Things to keep in mind:
- Molasses is the most common source of hyperactivity. Check your feeds for molasses. They should be completely molasses free. Feeds formulated for ulcer prone horses often contain molasses so if you’re feeding an ulcer specific product, make this the first thing you check.
- Horses can be very sensitive to soya and its byproducts and much of the soya based ingredients that go into horse feeds are GM
- Unless your horse is racing, it’s not in hard work - make sure you’re feeding for the actual amount of work that your horse is in (check out our article relating to this here)
- The vast majority of your horse’s diet should be provided as hay
- If you’re going to make a change to the feed, don’t add a calmer at the same time. You won’t know what is having the effect of changing behaviour. Make one change at a time so you can have a full understanding and avoid using unnecessary products.
No More Nerves will work if your horse is actually experiencing stress. We’re here to help and advise. If you’re not sure if your horse is on appropriate feed or you’d like suggestions for how you can improve their behaviour with dietary adjustments, send us an email and a member of our team will be happy to assist. firstname.lastname@example.org
There are a few other reasons that you might find a calmer doesn’t work - check out our article on that here (Why Calmers Don’t Work / Does My Horse Need a Calmer?).