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You are in... Forums > Horse Care > Feeding > HELP!!! Feeding a nervous/flighty horse

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Mar 11

Posts: 81

Funkyphilly says:

HELP!!! Feeding a nervous/flighty horse

 I got my new horse mid December 2011. He is a  7 year old 16.2 ID x TB. He came to me very unsettled, nervous and dropped weight quickly.  I was recommended to put him on alfa A, speedi beet (which he had previously been on) and oats & barley free mix. This was mid January and seemed to work quite well. I dropped the amount , when I saw his weight increasing, but have kept him on it (on advise from the supplier) to maintain a healthy weight. 

This was not an issue until I have had to give him 6 weeks off, due to a tooth infection, antibiotics etc. He is just coming back into work and has become super flighty when ridden, he is nervous standing on the yard and is has lots of nervous energy. 

I am looking for a new feed that I can wean him on to, high in fat, but low in energy. Someone has suggested dropping to pony nuts, but add in linseed oil.... Someone else suggested baileys topline cubes???

Please help xx

Home is where the horse is....

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Jan 12

Posts: 34

stormingtoby says:

Re: HELP!!! Feeding a nervous/flighty horse

my connemara pony dropped weight over the winter so i was told to put him on sugarbeet, pony nuts and alpha a

he was also very spooked and nervous when i was riding so now i lunge him before riding

hope i helped !!

He knows when you're happy, He knows when you're comfortable, He knows when you're confident, And he always knows when you have carrots!!

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Mar 10

Posts: 3273

greyandbay says:

Re: HELP!!! Feeding a nervous/flighty horse

Pony nuts can have a fizzy effect on a fair amount of horses, and oats would be the same.

Speedibeet is fine, and some sort of Dengie hifi, as you'd be getting plenty of fibre in him, but without anything heating, and it sounds as if that's what you need at present, until he's back to his usual routine.

And as a short term thing, perhaps a calmer, or just straightforward magnesium oxide until he's settled down again.

Hope he gets back to his usual self soon, poor lad, and that his infection has gone.

The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man - Winston Churchill

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Feb 10

Posts: 451

SarahR123 says:

Re: HELP!!! Feeding a nervous/flighty horse

I've heard lots of people raving about Calm & Condition.  Sounds like it could be an option.  I don't think veg oil causes fizziness so if he needs the weight maybe add half a cup to his feeds to up the calories?

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Jun 11

Posts: 11

merlinsmagic says:

Re: HELP!!! Feeding a nervous/flighty horse

I feed my 5yo tb belding calm and condition, and it has been brilliant! He drops weight easliy and can get fizzy and this has stopped both of those things. You also dont have to feed much of it so its quite economical because it soaks to twice its weight of dry! I also agree with the oil idea- I feed that aswell!

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Sep 08

Posts: 1350

highlander says:

Re: HELP!!! Feeding a nervous/flighty horse

calm and conditioning is good, but I have seen it cause a few cases of choke now.  Ruby is a typical tb and loses weight quickly and she got 3 cases of choke so now I drown it over night and thats stopped it. pony nuts has high levels of strach so does in some case still make horses spooky.

It has been calculated thay any two thoroughbreds picked at random will on average have more than 13% of their genes in common.

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Dec 09

Posts: 134

wundahoss says:

Re: HELP!!! Feeding a nervous/flighty horse



Of course the supplier would recommend you keep feeding it - they want more sales don't they?


Alfa-A & speedi are both good but high energy feeds, so if your horse is a good weight, yes, it's good to watch the quantity. I gather he's getting grass/hay? What exactly is the oat & barley free mix? That is probably what I'd cut first, tho don't know what's in it. Why do you want a high fat feed if he's a good weight? Fat is also an energy source.


His nervous behaviour could be due to a nutritional imbalance rather than purely too much energy. Eg. lack of magnesium can make horses more edgy. Is he getting a good nutritional supp? If not I'd advise that, which could include linseed/flax, which is a good source of essential fatties. I'd also put him on a probiotic, after the antibiotics, as his 'nervousness' could be due to gut upsets or such, from the drugs, being cooped up, starchy diet &/or inappropriate feeding, that may have also happened.



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