The Science Behind Calming
A quick introduction
For the professional or serious amateur rider we need products that do actually work.
It's safe to presume that they are at a level where they "will" notice a difference and that they have enough experience of their horse to recognise this.
One of the most popular is Take it Easy - we sell hundred of tubes each month. Repeat customers are our biggest source of business. Once you use this you will keep on buying it.
Perfect for event horses need to keep focus in the dressage - and there are many examples on this site of top event riders citing this product as a reason for their lowering dressage scores.
Pure dressage is also a big user of Take it Easy.
As a general calming supplement we have the Magnesium based Cavalor Calm
For the spooky horse we have the unique Cavalor SoZen product.
So what is the basis for the operation of these products.
Some key players
For ever this has been know as the home remedy that fixes ailments – anxiety, depression, irritability etc etc.
For the most part the horses diet should be adequate in this mineral. So, do products that contain just this work?
Probably not – however. It is known that as the body becomes more stressed it is less efficient in its handling of magnesium so there might be a tentative basis for the use of this as a calmer.
More basis for its use. It is a key precursor to the production of seretonin. You’ll probably have heard of that one.
It is a neurotransmitter that has actions in things such as bowl function, appetite and mood.
Working Together is best
The interesting thing is that Magnesium is involved in the conversion of Tryptophan to serotonin.
Hence why good supplements contain both – such as Cavalor Calm – and certainly have shown to work.
So where does Cavalor SoZen come in?
A product specifically designed to maintain the sparkle but reduce the sharpness.
Using a well-balanced mix of natural herbs – all in an FEI and sport legal combination – SoZen aims to “centre” the horse.
It is the first supplement to be developed to act on the Adrenaline / Cortisol balance. A very different system to that influenced by Magnesium / Tryptophan.
In their research, Cavalor found that stress is caused by long periods of tension – nothing revolutionary there as any human could have told them that. However, nothing else on the market really adequately addressed this.
Stress disturbs the balance of Adrenaline and Cortisol – resulting in over production of Adrenaline and under production of Cortisol. The greater the imbalance, the higher the level of stress and the more unmanageable the horse can become.
And stress is something that is nearly impossible to remove completely from a competition horses life.
We can mitigate this at home – varying routine to include hacking, field turnout, different working environments etc.
But at a show – especially some of the longer ones where the horse may not be able to be in a field for 2 weeks – we have to be able to ensure their stress levels are managed.
Now the problem with all horse supplements is that their use often creates a placebo effect in their human partners.
We feed them – they are normally expensive – so we almost will them to work.
In our competition environment we try to keep the supplements and the riders separated. They tell us their problem and we set about trying to find a solution. The rider will not know what supplement, if any, the horse is on.
On this basis Cavalor SoZen has shown it works.
It takes the edge off without killing their performance. They keep their sparkle but loose the silly.
It stands to reason, if the product does what it should on a biochemical level, that this is the result.
If the horse is stressed and adrenaline levels are high, then the natural instinct to flight is enhanced.
That plastic bag 4 fields away is now a predator and the response to it within the horse is almost overwhelming.
If we can naturally lower these adrenaline levels then the horse is more able to assess the “danger” and react appropriately.
In terms of using the product, the great thing about SoZen is that there is no need to constantly have the horse on it.
Just a 10 day loading dose to redress the imbalance and you should be good to go.
If required you can use it 2 days before and during any important competitions for the reasons discussed earlier.