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Horses - Diet and Nutrition/buckwheat groats as a destressor


My horse has a tendency to stress a lot.  He has had ulsers. He will stress about not being with his herd. He paces the fences and paces circles around his stall.  I was told to give him buckwheat groats, one ounce in am and one once in PM.  This would calm him.  Is this true? Or what can you suggest as the best best option for stress in horses?  What supplement can I give?  What about Ugard? Does this unstress horses? What about smartpak calm?  Please help me?
How will you get back to me? Through my e-mail?
Thank-you for your attention!

Hi Monique,

Thank you for your question.  I've never heard of buckwheat groats being used to calm a stressed horse and would consider the advice more anecdotal than evidence-based.  I'm not a fan of feeding groats from any cereal grain, concerned that they can have high concentrations of mycotoxins in certain growing seasons.  Interestingly enough, high mycotoxin levels in feed are thought to increase the risk of ulcer development over time so the practice could in fact aggravate your horse's susceptibility to ulcers.

If you want some suggestions for dealing with stomach ulcers in your horse, your vet would be the best source of help.  You would want to scope your horse to confirm if he does in fact have ulcers and your vet can prescribe meds effective in treating the condition.  If you are looking for a supplement to help calm your horse, there are a lot of herbal remedies available over the counter that will help.  I have used, and quite like, Calminex from Basic Equine Nutrition (  Although I haven't used them personally, I like the formulation of SmartPak's SmartCalm Ultra.  Keep in mind that his behavior in response to being separated from his herd mates will be hard to overcome with a supplement.  Horses are herd animals and need socialization to keep from developing habits like pacing and stall walking.  I hope this helps.

Thanks, Corlena

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Corlena Patterson


I can help with any of your horse nutrition questions and concerns. I have been involved with horses for closing on 40 years, with a B.Sc in Animal Science and currently working on an M.Sc in Equine Science with the University of Edinburgh. I have owned my own feed store, consulted professionally as an equine nutritionist, and lectured in the fields of equine and dairy nutrition at the University level for 5 years. I have developed and currently market 'Ration-X', a ration formulation program for horses...designed for the everyday horse owner. I am happy to help in any way I can.


Experienced in developing and implementing feed programs for horses of all disciplines, creating custom horse supplements and managing inter-disciplinary equine facilities. Specialize in equine nutrition consulting.

The American Society of Equine Appraisers

'Stable Management' Handbook, Equine Canada.

M.Sc (Equine Science-current), B.Sc(Agr) Animal Science, Equine Sports Massage Therapy Certification, Farrier Certification, Equine Consultant Certification, Certified Equine Appraiser, Certified in Emergency Equine Rescue.

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