Boehringer Ingelheim is focused on helping keep horses safe and “sound” when it comes to the stress potentially associated with fireworks on New Year’s Eve with a music track, called Equine Relax Trax, specially designed to help reduce stress in horses. Research shows stress can quickly turn into equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS), with one study showing horses can develop stomach ulcers in as few as five days.1
Boehringer Ingelheim offers a music track and advice to help horse owners manage their horse's stress level through a potentially stressful celebration.
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The musical arrangement features soothing music designed with the horse in mind. The track was created by Janet Marlow, sound behaviorist, composer, researcher and founder of Pet Acoustics Inc. Marlow focused on creating rhythms and melodies composed for the listening comfort of the horse, including specific pitch, tone and frequencies. Studies show that playing music can help balance equine behavior because it helps mask outside sounds and vibrations, as well as provide a positive and relaxing effect.2
“When Boehringer Ingelheim expressed an interest in doing something to help manage stress in horses, I was extremely interested based on my research in this area,” said Janet Marlow, founder of Pet Acoustics. “It’s all about composing music and modifying the decibel and frequency levels of each note for the comfortable hearing range of the animal. Using this process, we have tested music through clinical studies at veterinary hospitals, barns, etc. to see the music elicit a release of physical tensions and stress behaviors.”2
“Any unexpected, loud and continuous noise as so often happens on holidays, can be stressful to horses,” says Sarah Reuss, VMD, Equine Technical Manager, Boehringer Ingelheim. “By playing this music in the barn throughout the evening, horse owners can potentially help reduce anxiety and stress in their horses.”
To access the music track, veterinarians and horse owners can visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66Z1cGh3qi0&t=2s. Visitors will be able to play the music track and video, as well as gain access to additional resources on stress, EGUS, and ways to help prevent it. The audio only version can be accessed at: https://equinerelaxtrax.buzzsprout.com/1835303/9061146-equine-relax-trax
For horses, stress is no one thing. It can include a variety of triggers, including fireworks, thunderstorms/weather, rigorous training, competitions, travel/trailering, competitions, dehydration, limited forage, changes in daily routine, isolation, new tall neighbor, illness, etc.
“These may seem like small changes or events, but they can create big issues for horses, potentially leading to gastric ulcers,” says Reuss. “Often times horse owners either don’t know how or are just unable to take the proper proactive steps to limit the impact of stress on the gastric health of the animal. Creating a more positive environment through the use of music and adding Ulcergard® (omeprazole) when stress can’t be avoided can help minimize the impact.”
To learn more about EGUS prevention, visit
1McClure SR, Carithers DS, Gross SJ, Murray MJ. Gastric ulcer development in horses in a simulated show or training environment. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227(5):775-777.
2Kedzierski, W., Janczarek, I., Stachurska, A., Wilk, I. (2017). Massage or music meant to be relaxing, result in lowering salivary cortisol concentration in race horses. Pferdeheilkunde Equine Medicine, 33(2), 146-151. https://doi.org/10.21836/pem20170206
ULCERGARD IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: ULCERGARD can be used in horses that weigh at least 600 lbs. Safety in pregnant mares has not been determined. Not for use in humans. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children. In case of ingestion, contact a physician
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Press release by Ginny Dunn - Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health – U.S. Communications