Chia a natural calming agent!!
Most natural ingredient based calmers will not give instant results as you would normally have to feed at the recommended dose for at least a couple of weeks if not a little longer until levels in the tissue build up enough to show results. A rapid calming supplement is by its very definition a quick fix which may treat the symptom but not the root cause of the problem. Adding chia seed to a horse’s diet is part of a medium to long term dietary management programme and not a quick fix.
What ingredients should customers look for and what effect do they have?
First and foremost a simple change to a low starch, low sugar, grain free diet can help but the principle ingredients that help with calming are tryptophan, glutamic acid and magnesium. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, required for the formation of proteins and some hormones, including serotonin. As with humans it cannot be produced by the horse and must therefore come from its diet. Serotonin is a neuro-transmitter often referred to as the “feel-good” “anti-stress “hormone. It regulates mood, plays a role in fighting anxiety and aids in memory and learning which will allow your horse to concentrate better. The non-essential amino acid, glutamic acid (GA) is known for several vital processes but more recent discoveries relate to its involvement with cognitive function. The mineral magnesium has long been known for its calming properties and is essential for the nervous system. When a horse becomes excited or is working hard it metabolises magnesium very quickly. Once it has metabolised all of the available magnesium in the tissues, calcium then overloads the muscles and nerves. The effect of this is a rapid rise in the levels of adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol which in turn can cause tension, aggression, muscle tension and erratic behaviour. Some horses, such as highly strung, excitable types, do not have a magnesium deficiency but simply uses up magnesium more rapidly than normal and quickly burn through the available stores. Such horses almost always benefit from additional magnesium in their diet to compensate. Not only does chia seed contain these important calming elements but also all the other essential amino acids, omega-3 and omega-6 in the right ratio, fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that will benefit the overall health of your horse.
Causes of bad behaviour: nervousness, excitability etc.
No matter how you manage your horse they are first and foremost “flight” animals some of which in certain situations become anxious and stressed. Common causes of behavioural issues can be associated with the lack of exercise and boredom, travel, competition, dietary deficiencies, less space, being stabled and many more.
FEI regulations and prohibited substances.
EquestChia Chia seed has been NOPS tested and was found to be free of any prohibitive substances.
Can such supplements be used long-term without complications?
Chia seed is a natural whole food which is gluten free, wheat free, lactose free, soya free, starch free and NON-GMO and can be used long term without the fear of any complications.
Do such supplements have a shelf life?
The shelf life of chia seed from the date of harvest is three years if kept in a moist free environment.
Is there an average costs per month for using such supplements?
The average 4 week cost of incorporating chia seed into your horse’s diet at 60g per day for a 500kg horse can be as little as £8.40 if a 25kg sack is purchased.
If one supplements doesn’t work for an individual horse will an alternative? If so, should retailers stock many brands?
The great thing about chia seed is that not only can help with calming and behavioural issues but the other natural ingredients will help with; hoof, hair and coat, insulin resistant and metabolic horses, boosting the immune system, maintaining supple joints and improving energy levels. All of these benefits in one tiny seed.
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