As many of you know, I belong to a Warmblood mare named Aleva. She is my pride and joy. As an alpha mare, she has a big, dominant personality, and I love it. Every day is a new adventure.
I do not love receiving text messages like this.
At times, Aleva can be more than a bit spooky, reactive, and hot. She is incredibly keen when it comes to her favourite activity, jumping. But she requires a confident ride, because life is scary. I knew this when I bought her, and often I love her for it, because it has helped me grow as a rider.
Sometimes, she is a bit too hot to handle, as it were. While I cherish the idiosyncrasies that make Aleva herself, I wondered if there was a reason beyond behaviour for her antics. We have tried to take a relaxing trail ride on several occasions, only to be rendered absolutely terrified of blowing grass, trees, birds, the sun, you name it. We have never successfully relaxed on a trail ride.
In an attempt to be an educated horse owner, I started looking into what can cause this type of behaviour. I learned that Vitamin B1 is responsible for transmission among nerves, and a deficiency can leave a horse distracted, anxious, and unable to relax. While a balanced diet often supplies a horse with as much vitamin B1 as they need, some can become deficient.
Enter… Pharm Vet’s Vita-B1!
I decided to put Aleva on it for a month, setting goals for each week to see how the supplement performed. She started receiving one scoop per day last Thursday. My goal for the past week was to observe any changes in our flat rides. My life got a little hectic, as life often does, so she wasn’t ridden from Saturday to Wednesday. Usually, this is enough to have me preparing for battle, or at least sticking her on the lunge line for twenty minutes to take the edge off. But my barn owner said she had been a perfect lady walking to and from her paddock, so, in the name of science, I decided to ride her unprepped.
Vita- B1, you probably saved my life. Aleva was a cool customer, calm and focused.
Week 1= success!
We have a jumping lesson scheduled this upcoming week. We haven’t jumped in the past month due to her hock injections and scheduling conflicts. Since jumping is her favourite thing in the entire world, I’m expecting her to catapult me into the rafters of our arena. My goal is to have our jumping lesson be just as relaxed and stress free as our last few flat rides.
Stay tuned! What supplements do your ponies need?