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Q & A on Hilton Herbs Easy Mare

Posted on: January 26, 2011 by Hilary Self

Q: How was Easy Mare formulated, and what types of “mare personalities” tend to benefit the most? Also, is it only for mares or can other horses benefit from the supplement as well?

A: Easy Mare is one of Hilton Herbs most successful formulations and has been responsible for turning around many so-called “moody mares”! I formulated Easy Mare using many of the same herbs I would use for one of my human patients suffering with PMS. The formulation includes herbs intended to help balance the hormones in the system, help reduce ovarian discomfort, discourage muscle cramping, assist in the removal of blood toxins and help promote normal circulation.

The mix contains Vitex agnus castus (Chaste Berry) which is specific for helping to balance the huge hormonal surges these mares experience during their cycle. The herb does not contain hormones, but works by helping to regulate the circulating hormones present in the mare’s system. I then use both Valerian root and its sister herb Cramp Bark. Most people associate Valerian with calming, but in this instance I am using both herbs to help with muscle cramping. These herbs are also helpful for mares that are prone to digestive upset prior to and during their seasons. I use Milk Thistle, which acts as an antioxidant, to help support the liver, the organ responsible for processing the circulating hormones. To help fight inflammation and support healthy circulation, particularly to the pelvic area, I include the herb Yarrow. Lastly, Easy Mare contains Chamomile and Vervain, which are both known for their ability to support the female systems. Chamomile is included to help manage reproductive problems because it helps fight inflammation, supports the digestive tract, helps address muscle cramping, and supports tissue health. Vervain also has an affinity with females and is used to help with the menstrual cycle and female sex hormone fluctuations.

Mares that have hormonal problems will often display some classic physical symptoms. See if you recognize any of the following physical traits in your mare:

  • Displays a tendency to almost “buck” or spring into the canter
  • Becomes disunited in the canter, particularly when worked on a circle
  • Reluctance or inability to lengthen stride
  • Difficulty in performing lateral movements
  • Overly sensitive when being groomed, particularly on the flanks
  • Difficulty in rounding her back over jumps
  • Stallion-like behavior in the field, such as rounding up or being overly protective of other horses
  • Difficulty in negotiating hills – tendency to turn sideways
  • Reluctance to pick up back feet, particularly when the farrier lifts them up high
  • Rearing when asked to go forward

In fact, because a mare’s ovaries are located just behind the saddle area, mares can show reluctance with any movement that requires them to engage their hindquarters, round their back or put the area behind the saddle under pressure. I believe that this is one of the primary reasons mares can be “grumpy” or “moody” when asked to undertake strenuous and demanding physical exercise.

Despite its name, the Easy Mare formula can also benefit geldings that act like stallions. The Vitex agnus castus (Chaste Berry) is also known as ‘Monks Pepper’. The herb got this name because in medieval days it was used in monasteries to help reduce the male libido! Therefore, Vitex agnus castus is ideal for lowering anti-social behavior of “studdy” geldings.

Hilary Self, BSc. MNIMH., is co-founder of Hilton Herbs, Ltd. For the last 20 years Hilton Herbs has been at the forefront of manufacturing and formulating herbal products for horses and dogs. Hilary is a Medical Herbalist and a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (founded in 1864). She is responsible for the company’s formulations and for the clinical research behind the use of herbs for animals.
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