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Stay Focused this Season


Posted on 10 October 2023
by jess

Stay Focused this Season

Kate Hore RNutr(Animal) R.Anim.Technol (Cert). Head Nutritionist at NAF

As we head into autumn, those chilled-out, hazy days of summer can seem a distant
memory. Circumstances conspire which can result a sharper, more reactive horse.
Horses who have spent the summer living out 24/7 may now find themselves with increased
time stabled, and a change of diet away from ad lib pasture towards more preserved
forages and the need for bucket feeds. An unnatural diet can challenge gut health, leading
to a dysbiosis (imbalance) of the hindgut microbiota, which in turn can negatively impact
mood and behaviour along the gut-brain axis which allows the hindgut microbes to directly
influence the brain, and vice versa.
Alongside a change of regime, and knock-on dietary changes we often see changes to
exercise patterns at this time of year. Poorer weather and shorter daylight days, can mean
less exercise, particularly during the week, again potentially influencing your horse’s focus
when you do want to ride.

Autumn Season
Of course, when you do get saddle time, there is much to get excited about at this time of
year. Autumn fun rides can be hugely fun – for both horse and rider – or the move to indoor
competing. All plenty for your horse to get excited about. While enthusiasm is key to a
successful season, we do want to ensure that focus stays forward and doesn’t bubble over
into reactiveness or lack of concentration.
Award winning NAF Five Star Magic is the ideal choice for those horses who benefit from
natural targeted support for focus, learning and concentration. Proven to not sedate your
horse or pony in any way, Magic instead supports your horses’ learning and confidence, as
we firmly believe once they understand what is expected of them they can focus and go
Magic has been independently trialled and verified, with a peer reviewed and published
paper, by the respected academics at The Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester. The
results showed improved learning and reduced reactivity, and as lead researcher, Dr
Andrew Hemmings concluded:

‘Still your horse – just more trainable.’

The Unexpected
This time of year can also be full of the unexpected, particularly for your horse or pony, who
thrive on routine; but the only ‘spooks’ we want to see are the ghosts and ghouls of

If you know your horse is likely to be meeting the unexpected this season, whether
Hallowe’en, Bonfire Night or Diwali, be prepared. Minimize changes as much as possible,
maybe talking to neighbours who are holding a party to help them understand the risk to
horses, and see what can be done to reduce those surprises. Keep your horse in their
normal routine as much as possible, feeding ad-lib hay to keep them occupied. If stabled,
consider leaving a light on and some music on the yard for distraction. For reactive types it
may be advised to feed a short term natural calmer, just to give your horse that extra bit of
thinking space, allowing them to work out that while it’s a loud noise, it’s not actually
hurting them. If you feel your horse is particularly likely to panic and become upset, then
discuss with your vet what your best options are. They may advise use of a sedative, or even
moving your horse for the night.

If the display is close to your land, don’t forget to carry out a check of your fields the
following morning and clear any debris which could be potentially dangerous for your horse.

NAF Five Star Magic
 Magic Powder combines herbal support with bioavailable magnesium and gut
friendly nutrients for a stable microbiome, and settled gut-brain axis.
 Magic Liquid provides a powerful, fast acting herbal formula in an easy to feed
 Instant Magic for when speed counts


Calmers & Behaviour

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