Best Ingredients for Horse Calmers

It is true to say that many horse owners rely on calmers. Mostly to ensure their trusty steed stays calm, relaxed and unphased. Some horses find themselves getting so worked up that feeding them a calming supplement can be a good option. Many horses become nervous or anxious in certain scenarios such as at a show or travelling in the horsebox. A change in surroundings can also be challenging for some equines that value a recognisable location and routine. Let's look at the Best Ingredients for Horse Calmers.

Some owners have very nervous and uneasy horses on their hands on a day to day basis. As you are aware this can become very challenging. For horses in this frame of mind, calming supplements can be vital in their day to day care. They can help your horse relax and reduce anxiety considerably.

For those with very hot horses, calming supplements can be the difference between safe handling and a potentially dangerous situation. Horse calmers can really take the edge off. The idea is to reduce the skittish or anxious behaviour, therefore you only want to use a reasonable dose that will be clearly displayed on the packaging.

Not all horses require calming supplements however there is a big market for these types of products. This suggests that a big proportion of owners do use these for their horses. Calming supplements should never be used in replace of proper care and handling and some advice from your vet can go a long way.

How do I choose a calming supplement that will work?

There are lots of different types of calming supplements on the market. This can make it very tricky to decide which one to buy. That being said, the ingredients included in the supplement and the dosage of that particular ingredient can make a huge difference. Like with most supplements trial and error is usually the way. However, choosing calmers with some of the most popular and proven ingredients can be a very good start.

Let’s take a look at some of the very best ingredients in joint supplements and how they can aid in keeping your cool, calm and collected.


Magnesium for Horse Calmers

Magnesium Sulphate, in short, is effectively Epsom salts. This is an ingredient you are likely to be very familiar with. It is used regularly used as a human muscle relaxer. It is highly praised for its soothing and calming effects and is often used for those that have muscle issues or injuries. 

Magnesium is a very important part of nerve and muscle functions. It increases oxygen delivery to muscle tissue and muscle strength whilst encouraging relaxation. Often you will find this used as a laxative so you may want to be careful how much you feed to your horse and follow the feeding guidelines carefully.

It is true to say that lots of horses suffer from magnesium deficiency. It can be difficult for horses sometimes to get enough magnesium from their diet alone. Therefore you will find deficiencies do rear their ugly heads from time to time. Horses that are young and those that are also still growing, mares that are pregnant and horses in fast, heavy work often need higher levels of magnesium through their diet to keep them healthy and fit. 

Magnesium deficiencies are usually pretty to determine and the biggest signs to look out for are nervousness, wariness, excitability and muscle tremors.  

Calcium for Horse Calmers

Calcium is an ingredient that you will often see high up on the formula in horse calming supplements. Your horse’s body is already made up of a huge amount of calcium already in their bones and teeth. Calcium overall plays a huge role in the structural integrity of your horse's skeleton. 

Deficiencies in horses is very possible, particularly if they are not receiving all the right amount of nutrients from their feed. Calcium plays a crucial role in muscle contractions and if your horse does not consume enough calcium in their diet spasm muscles can most certainly put your horse on edge.

Many owners use Calcium supplementation as a way to calm their horses and therefore if you find this ingredient works in the way it should that it is likely your horse may have had a deficiency. 

Fenugreek for Horse Calmers

Fenugreek may not be an ingredient name that you are particularly familiar with. However, it can often be seen in many brands of horse calming supplements. Fenugreek contains steroidal saponins and is high in L-tryptophan making this a wonderful tonic for horses that are stressed, highly strung or anxious. It is also great for those horses that are recovering from an injury as it is said to help speed up recovery time rapidly.

Fenugreek has a calming and soothing effect on the stomach that can really help chill out your horse whether that be day to day or in particular situations such as leaving the yard for a competition. It assists to aid muscle function and is often used by owners to increase their horse’s appetite and gain some weight.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae

This ingredient can be commonly seen in horse calming formulas. It is a digestibility enhancer and gut flora stabilizer that assists to support a healthy immune system for your horse. It can aid your horse in digesting fibres much more efficiently and often results in you needing to not feed as many concentrates

If you own a horse that is highly strung or on edge one of the first things others will suggest is reducing the amount of concentrate feed. They also tend to pick apart the content too. This is because concentrates such as grains and peas are often a heating element to horses (depending on what feed you choose). Feeding fewer concentrates is absolutely ideal for horses that can get a bit too hot or excitable. Hot horses can become dangerous and the aim is to reduce this type of behaviour.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae the theory does not necessarily relax and calm your horse itself, but it will mean that you are likely to be able to feed less concentrated feeds which may help.


Tryptophan is an amino acid that is thought by many to have a significant calming effect on horses. It can be seen used frequently in horse calming supplement formulas. There is however little to no research to suggest it has a noticeable change in the behaviour of horses. What we do know is that it is safe for horses to consume in the correct doses. It is highly possible that combining this ingredient with others, such as Magnesium, may have an enhanced effect.

Even though there is little research carried out on the effectiveness lots of owners can see the physical and mental results of using Tryptophan for their horses. There are lots of positives for this ingredient and it is becoming increasingly more popular for use in horse calming supplements.


Thiamine can usually be found in relatively high does in horse calming supplements. Is the most effective when fed in much higher amounts than other ingredients. It is known to have an amazing calming effect on horses. You will often see Thiamine in a formula with both Vitamin E and Magnesium Sulphate. This combination is said to be a real winner!

Thiamine is a B1 vitamin and is one of 8 essential vitamins your horse needs to stay happy and healthy. This ingredient is ideal for horses that get easily stressed and suffer from anxiety problems. A stressed horse is most definitely not a happy horse and the Thiamine can really help to relieve these symptoms and allow for much easier handling. 


Niacin is most commonly referred to as Vitamin B3. It is yet another ingredient that can be found widely in the formulas of horse calmer supplements. This is an ingredient that works exceptionally well with tryptophan. It is said to help by producing more of this ingredient effectively building on what is already present in your horse's system.

Many owners use this ingredient to keep their horses cool, calm and collected. It is a powerful ingredient that many owners find very successful for their horses. You will not often find this ingredient being fed to horses on its own. It can, however, be found frequently in formulas with some other great calming ingredients.

B Vitamins, in general, are very important for yours and your horse’s health and well-being. Deficiencies are pretty common in both horse and human health so ensuring you get enough from daily meals is vital unless you choose to supplement.


Chamomile is a wonderful herb to use with horses that suffer from anxiety symptoms and need a bit of extra support. It can be seen frequently used in natural medications for humans and you may associate this with being used frequently in herbal teas. Chamomile is a great natural sleep remedy and can really help to reduce stress levels. It is also used to effectively calm an upset stomach naturally.

Chamomile is a daisy-like plant that comes from the family Asteraceae. It has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. It has been proven to be very safe for use with horses as a calming aid and its sedative properties are proven to be very effective.

Providing a calming influence to your horse the natural way is always preferred. This is why you will often notice it higher up in the ingredients list. It is a completely natural way to help your horse deal with nerves, stress and anxiety. Lots of horse owners swear by this herb and agree it really does take the edge off a hot horse.

 Vervain in Equine Calmers

Vervain is not a herb that most people are particularly familiar with. It can, however, be found more often than not in many horse calming supplements combined with other ingredients. Believe it or not, there are 250 species of this flowing herb with the majority being native to the Americas and Asia.

This type of herb is used in many horse calming supplements but can also be used as a stand-alone medication. It is particularly helpful in calming fizzy or spooky horses. We all can sympathise with anyone having to deal with a particularly difficult or dangerous equine on the ground. It isn’t much fun. Many owners believe natural calmers are the most effective way to ease this type of behaviour.

Vervain is said by many to work very well with Chamomile. This is why you will often see the two ingredients mixed together in traditional calming supplement formulas. Many competition riders opt for this natural tension reliever as the herb is fully legal in competition rules.

Valerian in Horse Calmers

Valerian is a flowering herb native to Europe and Asia. This plant will display beautifully scented flowers that often display in white or pink. It is common to be seen in human medication as it can massively help those suffering from sleep disorders, anxiety and psychological stress. Valerian can also be found in many day to day products we consume. The oil extracts from this herb are commonly used for flavouring in food and beverages.

Valerian is a great solution for dealing with anxious or stressed horses. It is already found frequently in many horse calming supplements, but alternatively can be used neat in your horses feed too. Lots of owners choose to use this herb during, particularly stressful times. For instance, travelling in the horsebox or to calm their horses down before a show or competition.

It must be noted that according to FEI and Jockey Club rules Valerian is a banned substance. If you are competing under these conditions you must avoid using any products which contain Valerian. 


You may have heard the phrase before ‘the beer is hoppy’ and this refers specifically to the herb HOPS and how it is used widely in the manufacturing of beer products. HOPS is an aromatic herb that adds the unique flavour we experience in some of the best well know beer brands on the market. The cone-shaped flowers are the primary bittering agent that most brewers use that help balance the sweetness levels in the beer.

HOPS is also widely for horses to help them relax and settle. It is known for its anxiety and tension-reducing properties. It can be fed to horses in many different forms such as powder and tincture. However, feeding directly in its natural state should be avoided.

 Best Ingredients for Horse Calmers

We've covered some of the top ingredients that you'll find in horse calming supplements. And at Pilot, we have used only the best in our Calmer for your horse without any junk, bulk or fillers.

See our Best UK Calming Supplement - Focus, Here.