Mare Magic is an herbal formula that is advertised as a solution for hard-to-handle, moody mares and geldings. I have used this product for almost a year now and the following guide reflects my own personal experience with it: why I tried it in the first place and what the results were.
My Missouri Foxtrotter mare came to live with me in June of 2003. She had just turned 6 years old and had been pastured for several years before I got her. She was ridden perhaps a few times a year, had never (to my knowlege) been on trail before I got her. She had a nervous, flighty and somewhat explosive disposition that emerged pretty much the second we got her home!
Avalon had a "bolt now, ask questions later" attitude when I first got her. It took me almost 2 years to quiet her down and for she and I to finally trust each other. Her estrus cycles ranged from moody and grumpy to coy and kittenish and could change on a dime. Although she had (and never has) shown a single ill intent towards me, she could be terribly grumpy towards others during these times.
I have always handled Avalon in the same calm, consistent manner (no matter how much she used to scare me!) respecting her yet demanding respect and total cooperation, and not putting up with any nonsense. Now, three years later, she has come to know me like the inside of a book. We two are constantly together and like two souls doing the same dance. I have some physical limitations, and have trained her to adapt to me so she can be a partner in all that we do, and she has willingly become that partner. She can tell just from the slight incline of my body that I would like her to pick up her foot, a simple click on one side tells her to pivot, and she backs politely to her spot off the mat at feeding time while I sweep it, and only approaches when I give her the signal to eat.
However, despite being the perfect horse for me, I harbor no illusions as to the mischief she is capable of with others. And yes, I do realize that no matter how much she loves me she is still, after all, a horse, and can still hurt me, even if accidentally, so I try to stay sharp as complancance and horses simply do not ever mix, no matter how sweet or nice a horse many seem.
Avalon (registered name Fugitive's Bad Rumor...go figure!) resents change and anyone who handles her or cues her in a manner that she is unaccustomed is especially at risk. She can seem good as gold one second, and wicked and plotting the next.
It is for these reasons that I only allowed (and still do only allow) my husband and trainer to handle her. My trainer seldom rides her anymore unless I am sick or busy, and my husband has only ridden her a few times, but handles her almost every day out of necessity.
My husband also did (and still does) most of the lunging and Avalon had been with him in the round pen plenty of times and was learning to respect him, but it was during one of her worst PMS moments about a year and a half ago that she bit him in the neck. The bite was a vicious, pre-meditated event that left him out of work for a week, and being in the jugular area, could have been very serious. Luckily, he escaped with only teeth scrapes and a huge lump in the muscle, but he was very sore and I was very frustrated and worried. Something had to be done. She simply could not be allowed to react this way with him or any other person.
I tried several products, including a B-Vitamin supplement; I think it was called: "B Calm." It was a liquid, and a mess to feed as she could be as picky as she could irritable. It did not seem to help in any way. I tried some other products, but nothing seemed to make a difference.
I finally chanced upon Mare Magic and decided to give it a try. Some of the reviews stated that within a few days, one could see miraculous results. Hmmm...I did need a miracle after all, so why not?
I purchased a bag, opened it and smelled it. It smelled very nice...like an herbal tea. The ingredient was simply pure raspberry leaf. Nothing else. I top-dressed her lunch supplements with a scoop, and waited with bated breath to see if she would eat it. She did! I could not believe it. Wow. That was easy.
A week later I was waiting for those miraculous results. Of course they did not appear. But I was not so easily beaten, and continued to give her the Mare Magic. Finally, after about 2 1/2 to 3 months, I was finally seeing some results! She definately appeared to be calmer, and her estrus cycles were no longer such a nightmare. She still squirted and winked and all, but she no longer tried to pick fights with other horses or people or whinnied like a mare-gone-mad. She was more complient with my husband and very, very loving towards me.
I honestly do belive this product can help a mare with her estrus cylces. Raspberry leaf tea has long been used by humans for uterine and female releated conditions, and it certainly seems to be of use in the equine ladies as well. It is said to tone the uterus, and help ease pain, and after giving it a proper chance, it has seemed to help do that to a degree. I never even thought about the fact that mares can be uncomfortable and in pain when they ovulate (duh...some of my worst pain came from ovulation!) and of course it could affect their performance, mood, and concentration during those times, just like many other females, including the two-legged kind!
All of the barn members get mare magic now...our three mares and even our cranky, funny, cantankerous Appie gelding Archie. The minute we get a new horse, it goes into the feed. Even Archie's crankiness seemed to improve.
However, having said that, I do not belive Mare Magic is a miracle cure for horses that do not have consistent handling and training. Every horse that comes into our barn is worked with by our trainer and us for at least 6-12 months, and on a continuing basis thereafter. They are expected to have exceptional manners, both under saddle and on the ground, and while few horses always live up to that standard (including ours), the ongoing training we provide keeps our equines performing very consistently. It is also to our great benefit that we are able to keep them on our own property, as our trainer can come to us.
I would definately recommend that you give this product a try. There really is not much expense involved; a single bag will last one horse around 2 months.
Desite all of the above, there are still mares that are downright dangerous during estrus. If you find that humane, consistant training and handling along with Mare Magic and a good diet that consists of plenty of quality hay (horses need to chew for many reasons, mental satisfaction being one of them) still does not resolve your mare's issues, then it's time to call out your vet. He might recommned a product called "Regumate" which is a hormone used to help suppress estrus in mares. However, this product can have some side effects and must be used under veterinary supervision. If all else fails, you can have your mare "spayed." This may be costly, but if you really love the horse and find that most of the issues are centered around difficult estrus times, it may be well worth it.
I hope this guide has been helpful and I wish you much Peace and many Happy Trials.
*NOTE* These days, you would not recognize the change in all of our horses, but especially Avalon. I actually get compliments about how calm she is, and while she is still somewhat stuck up to others and only has use for them if they have a cookie, at least she is now civil! Yippee! She is only mean to my chickens once a week or so, and has never bitten again to date.