How much do I give?
The amount of herbs you need to give is generally dependent on the height of your horse, with some allowance for type. Full instructions will be found on the packaging, but if you have any queries at all please do contact our Helpline 01460 270700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The quantity of herbs added to your horse or pony's feed can be slightly increased or decreased, depending on the circumstances. Very often a lower maintenance amount can be sufficient for a horse or pony that is going to be kept on the herbs long-term. Remember, like humans, all horses and ponies are individuals.
How long will the herbs take to work?
The time it takes for the herbs to be absorbed into your horse or pony's system will vary slightly according to each individual. However, in general terms, you need to allow 2-3 weeks for the dried herbs and 7-14 days for the herbal tinctures (liquids). Straight tinctures are generally absorbed more rapidly, typically 5-7 days. Some of our customers have reported a beneficial effect after only a few days (as previously mentioned all horses and ponies are individuals). For long standing conditions, it would be best to set aside a good month to 6 weeks to see improvement.
Are the herbs addictive?
No, your horse or pony will not become dependent on the herbs.
Will the effects wear off if I give my horse herbs long-term?
No, your horse or pony will not become ‘used' to the herbs. However, bear in mind that your horse or pony's situation may change with time. In this case we recommend you contact our Helpline to check you are using the most appropriate product for the situation.
For example, you may have been using the Hilton Senior Horse mix for some time, but because your horse is getting older maybe he is having other age-related problems such as digestive issues or more mobility problems, in which case it may be worth changing to the Hilton MultiFlex range offering additional support.
It may also be that a current condition such as arthritis, is getting progressively worse and so the horse's discomfort levels are increasing. Please don't hesitate to contact our Helpline for advice, but remember your vet should always be your first port of call.
Will my horse eat the herbs?
Most horses and ponies will readily eat herbs mixed into their normal feeds. The golden rule, as with all changes of feed, is to introduce the new supplement very gradually. If your horse or pony is very fussy then it is worth introducing the herbs in very small quantities to start with (such as a large pinch), ideally mixing it with something he or she really likes, like sugar beet or carrots, apples etc. If you feel your horse or pony might have a real problem, then do get in touch with the Helpline and we will try to assist.
What is the difference between the dry and liquid products?
The main difference between the dry herbs and the herbal tinctures is the speed of initial absorption by your horse or pony's system. Just occasionally you will get a horse or pony who responds better to the dry herbs than the tinctures, or vice-versa. There is no logic behind this, just a reminder that horses and ponies are individuals - like us!
Can I mix several herbal supplements?
In principle there is no problem with giving two or three of our herbal products, if even if they contain some identical herbs.
If you have concerns over duplication of our herbs or are also feeding a herbal product not manufactured by Hilton Herbs, then please contact our Helpline 01460 270700 for advice.
If my horse feed already contains herbs can I give herbal products?
In principle there is no reason why you cannot use a herbal mix in addition to a feed which already contains herbs. Some feed manufacturers add herbs such as mint to improve palatability and these herbs are unlikely to be present in sufficient quantity to have a medicinal effect !!!. If you have any worries about this please telephone our Helpline for advice.
Which is better - dry or liquid herbal products?
Neither one is better than the other, the simple difference is speed of initial absorption, with the liquid product being absorbed more quickly than the dry. Occasionally a horse or pony will respond better to a dry mix than a liquid, or vice versa, which just reminds us that horses and ponies are individuals. Some people prefer liquids as in the case of fussy feeders they can easily be syringed down the animal's throat with a small plastic syringe.
How long will my herbs last?
The dry herbal mixes vary in their volume and density . A 50ml scoop of Freeway, for example, will weigh more than a 50ml scoop of Herb Power. In general terms a 1kg tub of dried herbs will last a 15hh horse approximately 1 month. A 1 litre bottle of Gold liquid herbs will last a 15hh horse 33 days, based on 30mls per day : please note this does not apply to straight tinctures.
Can I administer herbal products in conjunction with conventional medicine?
In principle herbal products can be safely given in conjunction with the vast majority of conventional medicines. If your horse or pony is already receiving medication from your vet, or if you have any doubts at all about drug/herb interactions, please contact your vet and/or our Helpline for advice. Do not stop giving any conventional medication without your vet's full agreement.
Can I compete my horse whilst using herbal products?
If you are competing your horse or pony in unaffiliated competition you can give whatever feed or supplement you wish. If you are competing in affiliated competition then you need to get up-to-date advice from the society governing your discipline, as the list of prohibited substances changes regularly.
At the present time both Valerian and Devils Claw are currently listed as prohibited substances by the FEI and the Jockey Club, however, neither of these herbs are banned because they are bad for your horse or pony. Valerian is banned because it is a very effective calmative and so would give a rider of an excitable horse an unfair advantage over a similarly excitable horse not being supplemented with a calmative herb.
We are currently working on a mix for competitors that does not contain Devils Claw.
It is important that all affiliated competitors are aware that we make no statutory declaration, so cannot guarantee our products will be safe for competition. For further information please contact our Helpline.
Can herbs cause allergic reactions?
Reactions to herbs are relatively rare, however, it is possible from time to time a horse or pony may have an adverse reaction to a particular herb in a mix. In the unlikely event of a horse or pony having an allergic reaction (which will most likely be a skin reaction), we advise you to stop giving the herbs immediately and contact our Helpline for advice. An adverse reactions to herbs usually occurs within a few hours, so if your horse or pony has some sort of reaction weeks after being started on a herbal mix it is unlikely to be the cause of the reaction.
Can I give a herbal supplement to my pregnant mare?
In general we would recommend that you give nothing other than what is absolutely necessary to your pregnant mare during the first three months of her 11-month gestation. This is because it is during these 3 months that the skeleton and major organs are formed. Please contact our Helpline 01460 270700 for advice if you wish to use a herbal supplement once this initial period is over.