Herbs to Calm Down Jumpy Horse
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Cali
Posted on: June 23, 2003

I need more information and herbs for horses. I heard that lavender helps to really calm down horses and people when they are jumpy or extremely nervous. I have two horses of my own – one of them is quite dangerous. He won’t let me near the other ones at all. I tried other herbs; they work for a little bit but not for long. And when I take one of the horses out of the corral he freaks out. I almost even got stepped on by him. I would like more information on herbs for horses.

I recommend that you get Juliette de Bairacli Levy’s book, "The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable" (available from Richters). She devotes 146 pages to horses and the herbal medicines you can use on them. Unfortunately, although de Bairacli Levy deals with many common ailments of horses, she does not specifically deal with nervous or jumpy horses. Even so, any horse lover ought to possess her book because it has a wealth of useful information for the care of horses. Horses were a special interest of the author.

Lavender may be helpful because it is known to be relaxing. Lavender oil can be volatilized using an essential oil infuser in the barn. You can get an infuser from HerbWild (www.herbwild.com).

You may also want to try skullcap and valerian given orally, both of which have been used on various animals (as well as humans, of course). Typically, when there is no specific dosage information available for animals, the human dose is adjusted according to weight.

For example, the adult human dose for valerian is 800 mg in capsule form, twice daily. This dose is adjusted upward according to the weight of the horse. If the horse weighs 1000 pounds (450 kg) and the average weight of an adult human is 150 pounds (70 kg), then the valerian dose is 5 grams, twice daily. It is important to remember that this is a calculated dose and it may not be optimal for horses. It is wise to introduce herbs at a lower dose, say, at half dose, and work your way up over a several days, if there are no negative effects.

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