ACE a horse for the farrier?

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by James Robert, Oct 7, 2004.

  1. James Robert

    James Robert Senior Member

    Feb 24, 2004
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    My friend told me the other day that he was going to ACE his horse for the farrier the next he comes out. What is ACE, how does it work, is doing that a good thing, where do you get it, how much does it cost? Does it help? I assume it is some kind of stuff that calms the horse down. Never needed it myself and am not familiar with ACE.

  2. mtroika

    mtroika Senior Member+

    Jun 23, 2004
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    ACE is a drug that makes a horse seem drunken think how hard it is to reason with a drunken person try a 1200 pound horse. Most farriers wont go near a horse that has been given ACE because the particular drug's propensity to create unexpected violent reactions in the horse. Kicking, generally "wigging out" and even suddenly flipping over backward can happen. ACE should not be used on a horse that is known to be a kicker it is mostly used on horses that are just nervous or young. ACE will not always have the expected "calming" effect on horses. sometimes it "backfires" (the opposite) of what the drug was expected to do. My friend used ACE on her TB before getting his feet done and he went crazy and flipped over.

    ACE is very cheap and is supposed to be safe for horses. And usually only 1ML does the job. But my farrier wont touch a horse that has been given ACE and I have never used it, and I dont think I ever would, I am not really into giving my horses drugs I like to train them to be respectfull and good with the farrier. But I know some horses just hate having there feet done.

    So ya ACE is a drug and I dont know the odds on how well it works or not I have only read and heard bad stories about it. I think you can get it from your vet.

    Thats all I know! :)

    CANDYGIRL Senior Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
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    From what are have learnt of different terms for drugs me being from UK, ACE is a sedative, like ACP's are to us in UK.

    They have their place in the horse world, but if you need to sedate a horse for the farrier, not much effort as been put into getting the horse used to having it's feet dealt with.

    My feeling on ACE and ACP's which are very simular is that are used for medical procedures and treatment. I wouldn't sedate a horse for the farrier, there are other methods if the horse is going to behave badly no matter how much work is put in, like twitching the lip, which vets and farriers will do to keep a horse naturally calm without the need for medication.

    There can be side effects as with any drug, the horses heart should be checked before administering any sedative. Also the liver can be effected if used long term.

    I believe that somewhere in health Sandra did a big article on the use of ACE

    As far as ACp's go, you can only get them from a vet in UK and the vet HAS to check the horse first.

    I do keep some by me with vets approval having 2 laminitic prone ponies as they are very much needed to keep them from moving around and also to dialite the blood vessels to the feet to get blood supply restored.

    If twitching an unrully horse is done correctly it is really affective, it realises the natural calming hormones.
  4. Sandra-A1

    Sandra-A1 Senior Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2003
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    Sorry, but I don't believe in using ACE for that.
    Let the Farrier wait and have the owner get busy training the horse to have it's feet handled and worked on...then call the farrier. We have Farrier's around here who would offer the Ace the horse so they could work on it...they didn't want to get hurt or even have a wasted trip because they lost money from not getting the job done.

    I had an purebed Arab Gelding that my husband bought for me that we learned from the breeder's first hand experience you had better not use ACE on. The horse had already been purchased by my husband as a gift for me. I saw the horse and asked that it be gelded before we picked it up (which almost gave my husband a heart attack! But thats a story that can wait for another time ;) )
    The owner offered to have the horse's feet trimmed for us too since her Farrier was coming out in a couple of days anyway. We liked the way her other horses feet were done so agreed. The Yearling colt, we found out several days later when we came to pick him up....was being fidgity and uncooperative with the farrier and he decided to ACE him to get the job done quickly since he had several other horses he had to trim and shoe...the ACE had the opposite effect on this horse...instead of getting quieter and being sedated...he became a raging demon.
    VERY hard to goes without saying only one foot was done and the rest were left untrimmed...thats how bad the horse got.
    Once we got him home I was grooming him and when I got to doing his feet and slid my hand down his front leg to ask him to pick up his foot I discovered that he had learned he could get away with not giving his feet up to be we had to re-teach this fellow that he had to not only let us handle his feet, he had to be nice about it!
    Now when someone suggests or even offers to ACE a horse for us...I just smile sweetly and say "No thank you I prefer to train the horse instead!" :D
    Below is some of the information I posted before about using ACE:

    Acepromazine is a very useful tranquilizer that depresses the central nervous system, causing sedation, relaxation, and a reduction in involuntary movements. It does not provide any relief from pain, however, and will not prevent a horse from moving or kicking (possibly slower) if it is startled or feels pain.


    It is acepromazine, an injectable tranquilizer. It is a prescription drug The dose depends on the individual animal and upon the reason for administration. It is effective if used properly. Duration of effect depends on dosage and route of administration. One caveat: if the horse gets upset while under the influence, the results can be pyrotechnic. (Sorta like a belligerent drunk.)

    If used in place of training, it is being abused. If used with discretion in a particular set of circumstances, it can be helpful.

    I vaguely recall a study which indicated that sedation impairs learning , something which should be kept in mind if intending to use the drug in a training situation, as opposed to clipping ears, suturing wounds, etc.

    Infrequent, but true. Sometimes causes a persistent penile paralysis, and should therefore be used with caution in stallions and geldings. The mechanism is unknown.


    Horseman's Comments:

    The above article states: “I vaguely recall a study which indicated that sedation impairs learning” I have to add that I have had couple of dozens experiences using this product in training when riding or training for other trainers in my younger days (small doses, only 1 cc). My experiences produced following observations:

    · In racehorses I have noticed "heavier" breathing and excessive perspiration while the product had no effect in reducing the horse’s nervousness for which the product was used . The horses also seemed to tire quicker when on this drug.

    · When riding and training, this drug noticeably dulled the horse’s responses and the animal was in less cooperative mood.

    · It was also obvious that the learning speed was noticeably reduced; as the horses were very often barely aware of what was going on, and their attention/interest to the work was greatly reduced as well.
    There are alternate "calmers" that can be used in training without the abuse to the animal. More on this site.

    If you believe that you can reason with a "drunk" person, then go ahead and try it with a "drunk" horse".

    If you need to use Ace for either riding or training of a horse, you are better off to get either more education or experience. Better yet, just get another horse since many horses are often "forced" into unsuitable (for them) service.


    · If used in place of training, it is being abused.

    · I try to avoid the use of this drug for:

    o Riding

    o Training

    o Shoeing (There is a slim line between courage and foolishness).

    o Loading the horse into the trailer prior proper education.

    · One caveat: if the horse gets upset while under the influence, the results can be pyrotechnic. (Sorta like a belligerent drunk.) (One person is happy when dunk and another angry)

    o If given to already excited horse, I have noticed that the horses can put up a fierce fight, which often resulted in injuries to people and the animal alike, while the drug never achieved the purpose for which it was used to begin with. (Giving to an already angry/upset person enough alcohol to get him drunk will often result in a display of madness, Ace can do the same to a horse)

    As all drugs effect horses in different ways, so does Ace. This drug will not have always the expected "calming" effect on horses. I have sometimes witnessed the "backfire" (the opposite) effect of this drug.

    There is no need for using this drug when washing the horse’s sheath. It can be done quite well without the horse “hanging”.

    Recommended use of Ace, according to my experiences in the following practices:
    · To reduce the “shipping anxiety” in the animal, but not prior proper loading education. If your horse doesn’t want to load, you should know the answer to it. That is if you have some idea what “your” horse is.

    A I have used it sometimes as an emergency treatment after horse "tied up" when there was no other drug at hand and when a Veterinarian was not available immediately. Consult your vet should your horse tie up. There can be serious complication when a horse ties up and it is never as insignificant as it appears to many folks.
    Ace also never worked for me if used as a preventative measure in "tying up".

    · The uses for this drug are OK, as stated above in the article, for clipping ears, suturing wounds, etc. However I believe that education of the animal in many areas where the drug is used, can prevent the unnecessary usage or the abuse of Ace . Veterinarians often mix this drug with other tranquilizers for better effectiveness. No one (other than a vet) should experiment in this field.
  5. thoroughbred_01

    thoroughbred_01 Senior Member+

    Jul 5, 2004
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    from what i just read i wouldnt use it
  6. Dawn

    Dawn Senior Member

    Nov 13, 2002
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    It's a drug and it has its place. Just like any other drug. If you have a horse that is in need of vet or farrier attention that can not wait for training to take place first, it is excellent.
  7. spyro1

    spyro1 Senior Member+

    Aug 26, 2003
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    I would suggest that your friend try a twitch and some Be-Kalm before using Ace for a farrier visit:)
  8. Simon Says

    Simon Says Senior Member+

    Jul 22, 2004
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    it is a mind muscle relaxer, i call it "cocktail hour" LOL........ i keep a bottle on hand for emergencys. people use is to take the edge off the horse, i used it when we were evacuating for hurricane IVAN, it made a big difference in the 5 hour stand still in traffic, i know here you can get it over the counter.
  9. James Robert

    James Robert Senior Member

    Feb 24, 2004
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    Good grief! Thanks for the education. I'm getting my friend over here tonight and let him read this and he can use it at his own risk. I have twitched horses for the farrier (but not my horses) and it works well enough to get the job done. I just had never heard of ACE. But then I'm not into names of drugs for people or horses. I can barely remember what I take (lipator).

  10. Abbie22057

    Abbie22057 Senior Member

    Dec 8, 2003
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    I've heard Quietex works pretty good, it's an herbal paste you give like dewormer. I planned to use it once on my filly after she knocked me out the last time the farrier came....gave her the paste....farrier never showed. Turned out the dates were mixed up and she came paste, and Abbie was fine. (After a 1/2 hour twice a day working with her feet for a month.) So I really don't know how well it works....she was calm but not sleepy or drunk. But then I didn't upset her either.

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