Giving Ace before a horse show??

Discussion in 'Equestrian Events, Shows, Competitions' started by TBnut, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. dare2jump

    dare2jump Senior Member

    Oct 1, 2006
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    I would never give a horse ACE before a show....I dont think it helps plus the risks tend to outweigh the benefits. If I was to give a horse something I would give them Equinamity EQ, it relaxes them without actually affecting their cordiantion or attentiveness. I am not positive it is legal at recognized competitions but for a schooling show there should not be anything wrong with it. Here is the website,, it is made by foxden equine. I love all of their supplements!
  2. AMD

    AMD Senior Member+

    Feb 4, 2007
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    ACE is all too common in the show world. People aren't willing to take the time to teach the horse things to do correctly, trailering, clipping, bathing, and some even showing, so they figure that the horse has the talent to win so why not "help" it along a little bit. I have been in several top AQHA barns that consistently use it for everything, like a crutch. It just makes me cringe.

    I strongly advise against doing it. Its not going to fix your problem, only masking it and possibly make it worse. I agree with all previous posters that said haul him more, make his situation at home a little louder and busier, ride in different areas at home. Bring him places with no agena but to just watch and hang out. Don't let showing/winning get in the way of good honest training. Its going to come back and bite you later when you don't have ACE on hand. Good Luck with your decision.
  3. txgray

    txgray Senior Member

    Feb 22, 2008
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    I'm sure all sorts of people will jump down my throat for this, but I'll be honest.

    A lot of HJ trainers use ace on horses that are just starting out and need some help to settle. Walk by a trash can on any given morning and you'll see more than a few little syringes with yellow residue. ;) Sometimes they will show them on it at local shows, sometimes they just let the horse hang out or school.

    I'd rather not use it unless absolutely necessary, but if the horse is a danger to himself or the people around him I would not be opposed to a 1/2 cc to 1 cc of ace to get him to the show a couple times and let him hang out calmly. But, if you find yourself needing it more than that, you've got a bigger problem.

    I've used it here and there when needed to give the horse a positive learning experience, and never had a problem with it becoming a crutch or the horse becoming uncoordinated/doped looking. But then again a 1/2cc doesn't do much besides take some of the panic reaction away. There's a good and bad way to use everything. I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with me, but it has been beneficial to me in certain situations.

    Does lunging help your guy settle at all?
    DunsNPallys likes this.
  4. sirius-dressage

    sirius-dressage Senior Member

    Jul 31, 2005
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    I have to say we Ace'd Lucky a few times when we first took him off the property. He was downright dangerous, he has a bit of track baggage, he's a really large horse, and when he gets upset he explodes in all directions. Took him two times off the property, getting him in the ring to school with the other horses going past...and the third time he went out he didn't need anything. We were able to school in the morning with multiple horses in the ring as well as enter in the crossrails class in the afternoon.

    That said...i won't do it again. I had a lot of people telling me that that was the way to go, I was more than a little afraid of the horse, and that was the help I was offered so I took it. Several years later now, I know more, I am more comfortable dealing with his little "episodes", as I call them, and wouldn't resort to drugging him again. I know we will have to go through the silliness when I next get him to a show...he hasn't been off the property in two years, and knowing him, it'll be like he's NEVER been off the property. opinion is that the issues ARE resolveable without drugs. I can now get my horse re-focused when he goes into his zone of "OMG, the world is ending, I'm so upset, we're all going to die!" without having to resort to Ace. It will just take someone with the knowledge and the patience to work him through it...and a lot of trainers (and I will point fingers at the hunter trainers because Ace runs rampant in that circuit) don't have the knowledge or want a quick fix rather than putting in the extra work.
  5. John

    John Senior Member+

    Mar 5, 2004
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    If you need Ace to show I think that it would be better to stay home.
  6. ICanICan

    ICanICan Registered

    Jan 28, 2009
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    (I was too lazy to read all of the responses) but giving horses anything before a show is generally illegal and dangerous. Do Not Do It!
    Instead you could:
    -Haul to shows really early and work work work. (I have to do this with my mare, who I show in our local shows in contesting mostly, reining, and some pleasure to work her down before reining). I'll do a total sometimes of almost 2 hours of just loping and shes still ready to run with crazy amounts of energy! Silly. haha.
    -Haul when you know a show is going on, but don't show. or if you do end up showing only school. Let him relax and see everything. If you're not worried about how he'll act in a show you'll be able to give him more attention and help him relax.
    -Haul away from your arena/barn sometimes and ride in unfamiliar places to let your horse see that you can go places without ********.
    It'll just take a lot of time and patience. good luck!
  7. Caterina

    Caterina Senior Member

    Jan 19, 2005
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    After having my mare have the opposite reaction at home with ACE, I certainly wouldnt risk it off proprty where not only could she hurt herself or me, but the where she could hurt other people and other horses.

    Patience, time, work and constistancy will get you past these issues.
  8. RumorHasIt

    RumorHasIt Full Member

    Jan 18, 2009
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    I really dont like ACE... but I feel that if very little is used and it is not used often it is okay... for example, i was at a show where my pony had to stay in a stall for 3 days and he is used to be turned out. I walked him around and rode him a lot, but whenever i left him he would freak out kicking the stall, pacing, calling out ect. We just gave him one cc overnight to calm him down while nobody was there to watch him. It worked great and by the time I needed to ride or whatnott it had completely worn off. Like i said before i dont like it and think it should be avoided unless it is necessary. Just my thoughts :)
  9. royalrox

    royalrox Senior Member+

    Jan 5, 2007
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    if your competeing than absolutely not, it is not ethical, nor legal. Although there are a heck of a lot of trainers that do it anyway...

    However if you want to take him to a few shows just to hang out and NOT compete then it could be helpful(in small amounts, no more than 1 cc), as he could calmly hang out at a few shows and have some good experiences.

    IMO though he just needs to get used to it, I can't tell you how many shows I took Royal too before we didn't cause a scene:p
  10. tbtrainer

    tbtrainer Senior Member

    Jan 24, 2007
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    I just want to mention that even though the ace wears off, it is still in their systems, for racing there is a 3-4 day draw time... so just be careful in the future if your somewhere that might test!

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