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04.11.2021

Just as humans experience stress in situations that are physically or mentally challenging, horses also experience stress as a natural response to changes or challenges in their environment. 


Stress can be defined as a general term which describes the combination of psychological and biological responses of an animal to novel or threatening circumstances. While the physiological response to stress is a highly complex subject, and certainly is not completely understood, scientists agree that there are two types of stressors. 


Physical stressors are things such as injury, change in the environment and exertion. 


Psychological stressors typically include situations that make the animal anxious or fearful. Uncertainty and fear of the unknown can be categorized as two of the major psychological stressors.


The way the animal responds in different circumstances varies between individuals. 


Stress in horses can cause: 

  • weakened immune system 
  • weightloss 
  • gastric ulcers 
  • diarrhea & frequent urination
  • stereotypical behavior
  • yawning
  • behavioral changes
  • tooth grinding
  • trembling, sweating & elevated pulse 

Magnesium one of the most important nutrients in stressful situations


Magnesium is an essential nutrient found in every cell in the body. It is fundamentally involved in the regulation of nervous and neuro-muscular transmission and provides vital support against stress.


It has been reported to have a calming effect as well as being beneficial for obese horses, those prone to grass induced laminitis, insulin resistance and equine metabolic syndrome.


Approximately 60% of magnesium is found in bone and 30% in skeletal muscle tissue. It plays an especially important role in muscle contraction, by increasing oxygen delivery to the muscle tissue promoting muscle strength, endurance, and relaxation. Magnesium also activates many enzymes throughout the body including those involved in the production of cellular energy.


Calcium is responsible for muscle contraction and magnesium for relaxation of the muscles. When magnesium levels are low, muscles could contract too much and cause symptoms such as cramps or muscle spasms because the muscle cannot completely relax. 


This puts the horses’ body into a continually stressed state. A shortage of magnesium makes nerve endings hypersensitive, exacerbating pain and creating a negative reaction in the body triggering the release of adrenaline and adding to the behaviour we see in some deficient horses.


Adaptogens are popular in functional medicine and in sports 

Adaptogens are adaptogenic herbs that help the body adapt to stressful conditions.

They are well known for their ability to balance hormonal function, help to cope both physical and psychological stress and have antioxidant properties. 

Slowly they are also getting attention in equine and pet health from the most educated in the nutrition field. 

KSM-66 Ashwagandha benefits in horses:


  • Stress & Anxiety Relief
  • Calmness & Sleep
  • Energy & Strength
  • Joint Health
  • Immunity
  • Recovery
  • Hormonal Balance 
  • Overall Well-being

Ashwagandha (Withaniasomnifera Dunal) is the flagship herb of Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine from India. The herb has been known for centuries but is only now experiencing major growth worldwide because of a burst of recent studies in pharmacology and medicine. Ashwagandha promotes balance in the body. It is an adaptogenic herb that helps the body successfully adapt to stressful conditions. Ashwagandha is one of the few herbs with significant effects on both psychological and physiological aspects in humans and pets.


Ashwagandha has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-stress and anti-aging properties.


Based on multiple scientific studies done in humans and animals using KSM-66 and other ashwagandha, it can be said that ashwagandha is a very safe botanical. 


KSM-66 Ashwagandha is the branded, full-spectrum root extract with the highest concentration available on the market today. It’s produced using a first-of-it’s-kind extraction process, based on “Green-chemistry” principles, without using alcohol or any other chemical solvent. In human beings, KSM-66 has been clinically proven to reduce stress and anxiety, enhance memory and cognition, increase endurance and strength, improve sexual function and testosterone levels. 


In companion animals, KSM-66 may have the following benefits

  • More calmness, lower anxiety and cortisol, better sleep and well-being
  • Greater energy, strength, muscle function
  • Better hormone balance in the adrenals, thyroid and reproductive system 
  • Higher immunity, normal recovery, joint health

Why KSM-66?


  • It has the most extensive set of research and studies and clinical trials both in humans and pets. 
  • 10 published studies, 6 additional studies completed and in peer review and 8 ongoing studies. It collaborates with the major academic and research institutes. All of Ixoreal partnered studies follow the Gold standard of substantiation: randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled designs. 


  • KSM-66 is the highest-concentration branded full-spectrum root extract available on the market 
  • The ashwagandha herb’s efficiency is believed to be derived from the complex blend of active constituents, many alkaloids like withanine, somniferine, tropine and steroidal lactones called withanolides. All these constituents need to be present approximately in their natural proportions, and hence it is important for an extract to be full-spectrum. 


  • KSM-66 has exemplary standard in safety and quality
  • The manufacturing unit of KSM-66 is pharma-grade, with safe-of-the-art clean room facilities using world-class production and quality assurance processes. KSM-66 is the botanical with the highest number of certifications. KSM-66 and it’s manufacturing have gone through the most extensive inspections and safety assessments in the industry.  


    Bacognize Bacopa Monnieri


    Backed by thousands of years of traditional

    use, Bacopa monnieri, has been used in Ayurveda for

    a multitude of purposes, such as its Nootropic effects promoting cognitive health. 


    Clinical research indicates that Bacognize® may offer a broad array of benefits for cognitive health linked to major neuroprotective mechanisms; including neurotransmitter receptor (serotonin) binding activity. 


    Bacopa is commonly used as an adaptogen supporting cognitive enhancement, memory, focus, attention, mood and stress.


    Studies for horses 


    Bacopa monnieri extract has been studied extensively in in-vitro, in animal models and in clinical studies for itsefficacy on cognition, learning, mood, calmness and memory (Aguiar and Borowski 2013). Cognitive effects of Bacopa are linked to three major neuroprotective mechanisms: neurotransmitter receptor (serotonin) binding activity, antioxidant capacity and the effects on the cholinergic system (Dethe, Deepak, and Agarwal 2016; Calabrese et al. 2008). 


    A bacopa monnieri extract BaCognize®, standardized to bacopa-glycoside, has been proven by a pharmacological study to improve the regulation of serotonin levels in the body. 


    In this early in-vitro study (presented at a conference) performed by the Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the COBRE Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience at the University of BaCognize® affected the binding sites of serotonin. 


    It concluded that BaCognize®competes for the binding sites of 5HT1a and 5HT2a resulting in 33% binding of 5HT1a agonist 8-OH DPAT and 34% binding of 5HT2a antagonist ketanserin, compared to controls of 100%. Thus, Bacognize® would help to regulate the serotonin system (Hall et al. 2005).


    Bacognize® may support calming, focus & learning and aid mental wellbeing.


    Why Bacognize?


    Standardized to the natural fingerprint of serotonin- active bacopa glycosides (SABG), Bacognize Extract is shown to be active at the 5HT (serotonin) receptors that are a key component to optimal cognitive function. Bacognize® is made in Verdure Sciences’ cGMP certified, botanicals-only facility.


    • Full traceability & sustainability 
    • Standardised to a proprietary, natural spectrum
    • 6+ Publications supporting cognitive health and adaptogenic properties
    • Standardized for Serotonin-Active Glycosides (SABG)
    • Activity at Serotonin (5HT-1a) Receptor
    • Natural and stimulant free
    • Excellent safety profile & traditional use 


    In Focuzed we have used the combination of these three high quality human grade ingredients to help horses to cope better in stressful environments and situations. It also has a hormone balancing effect so it has been very effective to support any hormone related health problems in mares.

    To read more about Focuzed, check this link. 


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