Calming supplements for horses

Chill Out! Does your horse need a calming supplement?

Information provided by Farnam


In our modern world, where we provide for our horses’ every need, it’s easy to forget they are still prey animals wired to “run first, think later.”


This flight instinct is beneficial for mustangs living in the wild where danger from predators still means life and death. However, when you saddle up for a relaxing trail ride with friends, the last thing you want is a horse that looks for the “boogey man” around every corner.

Some horses are just naturally more high-strung than others. They tend to fret and act nervous in situations that might not phase a more laid-back horse. If you have a nervous horse, you’ve probably wondered if there was a way to “take the edge off” without resorting to drugs.

That’s where calming supplements appeal to many horse owners. You’ll find a variety of such supplements on the market containing a number of ingredients reported to help the horse be quieter, less reactive, and more able to focus. The supplements come in powder, pellets, granular, paste, liquid, and sometimes as wafers. Depending on the form, they can be given to horse directly or during mealtime.

All calming supplements are not created equal. What worked for your friend’s nervous gelding may not make a noticeable difference on your spooky mare. This is when you need to talk to your veterinarian and do some homework. Check out ingredients and research their effect on the horse’s body. Online reviews posted about various products can be helpful, but calming products don’t work the same in every horse and they don’t work for all horses.

You should also consider the training background of a horse that is routinely nervous. Some horses get upset because they lack a solid foundation and don’t fully understand what the rider is asking them to do. If necessary, work with a professional trainer to make sure your horse has the training he needs.

If your horse has a “vice,” such as weaving, stall walking, or cribbing, a calming product may help but it’s not a cure. Stress and boredom can create stable vices, so, for your horse’s sake, you’ll want to search out the root cause of the stress and find ways to make changes for the better to his environment and/or routine.

Also with 4th of July quickly approaching, it may be a temporary solution for a temporary problem. Burns Feed Store has several options for you to help your horse focus or fear less. We suggest administering it at least a couple hours before the fireworks start to help ensure a calmer horse.

Fly Season is Upon Us

Spring is coming and with it comes warmer weather, sunshine and….flies! Most of us are pretty experienced when it comes to fighting these winged pests. Changing your fly control strategies every year is a good idea. Here’s a brief overview of the species that might appear and what you can do to protect your horses from them.

Stable Flies look like house flies but they inflict painful bites, most often on a horses legs, but also on the belly, face and neck. They can be found around livestock practically anywhere in the country, but they will reach their peak in warmer climates, especially in hotter, wetter weather. Stable flies prefer bright sunny areas and tend not to enter dark enclosures.

Horseflies and Deerflies inflict painful bites that bleed. Deerflies tend to attack the head and neck, smaller horseflies bite on legs, and the larger ones feed on the horse’s back. These types of flies lay their eggs in moist soil or vegetation near ponds, marshes and other bodies of water. Some may travel as far as 30 miles in search of blood meals. Horsefly and deerfly species prefer bright sunlight on hot, still days.

Horn flies tend to congregate on the horse’s belly, where a single fly may bite multiple times before flying off.  On cooler days, they may also feed on the neck, shoulders and back. Horn flies are normally found near cattle, and they lay their eggs in fresh cow manure, but they will affect horses in shared or adjoining pastures.

Blackflies inflict painful bites, usually on sparsely haired areas, such as the ears and genitals. Although they can be found as far south as Florida, blackflies are notorious pests up north. They are most abundant in forested areas and slow moving waterways, such as streams, lakes or canals, in which they lay their eggs. They feed primarily on bright, sunny days and prefer not to fly into dark enclosures.

Face flies do not bite, but they congregate on the face to feed on saliva, tears and mucus. Face flies prefer cattle, and breed only in cow manure, but they will also land on horses pastured within a quarter mile. They are most active in the spring and summer but not in hot, dry weather.

Culicoides (biting midges, biting gnats, no-see-ums) attack different parts of the horse, depending on the species, but the more common ones tend to bite at the tail head, ears, mane, withers and rump; others go for the belly. Although the individual flies are tiny, they form dense swarms that inflict many bites at once. These flies breed in wet places such as slow, still streams, marshes and rotting vegetation, and are most active just after sunset.

Burns Feed Store has you covered, or your horse covered as far as fly control goes. We stock the following options:

  • Insecticidal/repellent sprays ● repellent lotions/roll-ons ● spot-applied permethrin products ● fly sheets ● fly masks ● feed-through fly control ● dusts ● fly traps ● feed-through blocks

E-Z Haul Carts

Are you tired of tipping over the single tire wheelbarrow? It’s time to make your job a little easier with an E-Z Haul Cart! The perfect balance of an E-Z Haul Cart will get the job done with less effort. These carts are built to last! They are made with the most durable components to handle big loads, regardless of cart size. The E-Z Haul Cart is available in three sizes with load ratings from 250 to 600 pounds. Sizes available at Burns Feed Store are:
5 1/2Cu.Ft. Garden Cart
8Cu.Ft. Utility Cart
11 1/2Cu.Ft. Jumbo Cart
Since 1986, the E-Z Haul cart has been manufactured in the United States, to provide cost effective service for new products and replacement parts. We carry a full line of replacement parts if you need to spruce up your old cart!
E-Z Haul Carts are Affordable, Durable and Versatile!