Sedating a horse for

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There is a whole category of horse supplements (and now many feeds) that claim to help to keep your horse calm.So there is clearly a demand from riders to improve the behaviour of their horses but how should we go about that process?Horses should be good at assessing the risks in their environment and far too often that is simply not happening.

Whereas if sedated with Acepromazine (a veterinary sedative also known as ACP or Sedalin) they trotted away; their natural spook response was dulled down by the drug.

The important issue is how quickly a horse recognises that a pheasant isn’t a threat; it should work this out in a second or so and quickly become calm again.

Imagine if every individual in a herd of wildebeest spooked every time a bird flew past or a grass leaf flapped in the wind!

The majority of us are calm most of the time, we are relaxed and functioning competently without the help of drugs to sedate us. They should have worked out by now that we keep them in a really safe environment free of predators (except the odd lorry or tractor maybe). Both animals evolved on open grassland and both face similar threats, so both should have a similar responses.

So horses should be able risk assess without panic.

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