As a training yard working with young horses and a considerable number of horses out of training, lively and sharp behaviour is just part and parcel of our daily job. However, whilst we want the horses to be feeling happy and well, it like horses to be fun as it is to ride horses that are clearly feeling fit and well, we do need them to concentrate and focus on their work as well as be free of tension to promote correct muscular development and so that they are fluid and soft in their work.
Over the years we have tried, and been asked to try, probably just about every product on the market but, being perfectly honest, not really with any marked success so as to be able to say "this is the one". Whilst we are aware it is very much as case of what suits the individual, in a yard it is not feasible to keep experimenting with different products each time a new hroses arrives. However we have made a significant breakthrough; earlier this year we realised the RelaxMe from Horsefirst was actually one product we had not experimented with. So initially 4 horses were put on it – 3 ex-racehorses and a warmblood;
One ex-racehorse was generally a bit sharp, one just could not focus on his work and the third – well if he kept his feet on the floor long enough, we might actually have got some work done! The warmblood has always been an anxious type and under saddle although he works exceptionally well, he is not as relaxed as he should be. We are delighted with the results; the sharp TB settled really well allowing a novice owner/rider to manage him really well, the TB who could not concentrate improved his focus with each passing week he was on RelaxMe and the "wild one" – ok, granted he has not turned into Dobbin as he is still a lively ride (but that is his character) but we can work him properly at long last. And the warmblood – lovely to have the horse clearly more at ease with the world.
The attraction for us with RelaxMe, apart from doing what is says on the tin, is that it isn't just another magnesium product as it also contains vitamin E and also vitamins from the B-complex so that it doesn't just work on the nervous system but also helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract which in turn helps with horses that are prone to EGS.
We now use RelaxMe on a any horse where use of such product is warranted and we have no hesitation in recommending it to our clients and also, where applicable to those contact us for advice on the Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) Helpline which we run for the Charity. So a big "thank you" to Horsefirst, not just from us, but the horses we work with, our clients and a host of others around the UK!
Fred and Rowena Cook