Product Review: Omega Alpha Chill Ultra & Equisel-BCAA Paste

A whole host of Omega Alpha products, made to make your horse feel like a million bucks. Photo by Kate Samuels.

A whole host of Omega Alpha products, made to make your horse feel like a million bucks. Photo by Kate Samuels.

With competition margins so crucial in this day and age of eventing, many if not most riders have realized the efficacy of herbal supplements in improving performances during the weekend of an event. Not only do we want our horses to feel at the tip top of their game while they are competing, but we want them to recover from the strenuous exercise and feel just as good on Monday when they get home. Omega Alpha Equine offers many paste forms of their supplements, which makes travel and administration on the road really easy.

To begin, all Omega Alpha products are herbal formulations, which means that they are all-natural but also have been thoroughly tested and evaluated by master herbalists, pharmacists, veterinarians, medical doctors and naturopathic doctors. All of the OA products are also safe for horses to consume while under the scrutiny of the ever increasing FEI drug regulations, which makes it a handy product to have in a high-level competition barn.

It’s no secret that one of the most difficult challenges of eventing is getting an incredibly fit horse to focus in the dressage, or even be calm and careful in the show jumping. With the Thoroughbred blood that is so essential to success on the cross country course comes a touch (or more) of hot behavior that isn’t always helpful. The market has responded with a plethora of calming agents that are both legal and varying degrees of effective.

Almost everything from Omega Alpha that is time sensitive can be bought in a paste form, for use at competitions or otherwise. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Almost everything from Omega Alpha that is time sensitive can be bought in a paste form, for use at competitions or otherwise. Photo by Kate Samuels.

My three-star horse, Nyls, is a Selle Francais, but if you analyze his bloodlines, he’s about 70% Thoroughbred blood, and notoriously spooky and intense and silly in all three phases. I have had him 11 years, so I can tell you that I’ve tried every possible tube of calming juice out there. I don’t just need it for dressage, I need it for all three phases, because he’s also unmanageable in the warm-up for show jumping and cross country because he’s so excited.

Prior to this review, I had converted to Chill Ultra as the most effective paste for my uses. It is suggested that you use 30-60cc one hour prior to competing to calm excitable horses with pre-performance jitters. Chill Ultra combines the formula of the daily supplement Chill with the added benefits of Vitamin B1 and Magnesium for maximum effect. You can also combine them both with a daily supplement in the feed and then a booster from the paste an hour before competing.

In particular, I found that combining Chill Ultra with Gastra-FX Ultra had the best effect upon my horse, making him both reasonable and trainable in all the warm-ups, as well as attentive in the ring. While he does not have ulcers or gastric issues, I believe that his emotional state of excitement and anticipation gives him excess stomach acid, and the combination of the two pastes was my formula towards increased success. (You can read my review on the Gastra-FX here).

Equisel-BCAA is a recovery formula with branched chain amino acids. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Equisel-BCAA is a recovery formula with branched chain amino acids. Photo by Kate Samuels.

In addition to expecting the best performance we can get, as riders we always want our horse to be able to recover from the strenuous exercise as well as they can. Eventing is no joke, and a cross country course at any level requires proper care afterwards to ease any aching muscles and recuperate vitamins lost during the effort.

Equisel-BCAA (branched chain amino acid) paste promotes the repair of muscles after exercise while also replacing the minerals lost in sweat. It contains all the usual minerals you look for, such as Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium and Chloride, but also has essential amino acids like Leucine, Valine and Isoleucine, which are responsible for regeneration of muscle tissue that is broken down in exercise.

BCAA’s have been highly researched in human athletic recovery, and found to be very effective post exercise for both resistance training and endurance. I have personally been using this product for well over a year, and find that my horse feels very well rested rather quickly after cross country. You administer the entire 80cc tube within two hours of the completion of exercise, and can be useful for not only competition, but recovery from gallops or strenuous jump schools as well. This is a great product to keep in mind for your CCI competitions, with an eye on the jogs on Sunday morning.

All Omega Alpha products reviewed on Eventing Nation have been Nyls certified "tasty". Photo by Kate Samuels.

All Omega Alpha products reviewed on Eventing Nation have been Nyls certified “tasty.” Photo by Kate Samuels.

All Omega Alpha products can be perused online at their website, and purchased online through four different dealers listed therein. You can also search for a store near you on their search engine, with many options available through the United States and Canada. Tune in to Eventing Nation product reviews for a continued exploration into the Omega Alpha product line, as I go through everything that I sampled.

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