Are soothing / stress-reducing feed additives effective?


Sedative or stress-reducing feed supplements may be suitable for combating unstable stimuli, aggression among horses during participation, helping the horse cope with phobias (eg, for trimming or loading). There are many vitamins and minerals necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous system: B vitamins, calcium and magnesium can cause behavioral problems in case of their deficiency.


Thus, many commercial sedative supplements normally contain these elements in combination. Another popular ingredient of horse calming supplements is tryptophan (Gimmet and Sillence, 2005). Tryptophan is the precursor to the chemical serotonin; Serotonin deficiencies have been linked to anxiety and anxiety. Although positive behavioral outcomes have been reported in other species, horses have yet to be studied with a clear conclusion.



Grimmett, A. And silence, MN (2005). Calmatives for the excitable horse: A review of L-tryptophan. The Veterinary Journal. 170: 1; 24-32