Horses can get anxious due to darkness, unfamiliar places, sudden noise, and strict routines. Make sure they feel comfortable and safe around you
Just as humans, animals also have emotions. They can feel happy, sad, angry, anxious just like we do. If you have a pet, then it is your job and responsibility to see to their mental health.
Since your animal friends cannot express their emotions in human language, you must be careful and notice the signs of various emotional states it may go through.
Horses can become anxious by different objects or phenomena. When they feel anxious, they will show different signs.
Signs Of An Anxious Horse
Horses show various visible signs or body languages when they are stressed like-
1. Sudden Shaking
If your horse is making sudden movements when you approach it, that means it is probably scared of something and is shaking frequently to express its fear.
2. Going To A Corner
When you enter the stable of your horses and find the horse backed into a corner, that means that the horse is anxious and frightened of something.
3. Side Stepping
Normally, a happy horse will run around in circles in an open field. However, if the horse is anxious, then it will walk side to side, in a weaving manner. This shows that the horse is not in a stable mental state.
Causes Of Mental Instability & Anxiety
The most common reasons your horse is scared or anxious are-
1. Various Stuff Nearby
Various objects can cause the horse to feel frightened. If there are large rocks or farming equipment near the place where the horse rests or sleeps, then it will feel uncomfortable and become anxious.
If you can’t identify the object that is making your horse anxious, you can try feeding it the best horse calmer to get instant results.
Horses do not like complete darkness, even when they sleep. So if their usual resting place is dark, this will put a lot of strain on them.
They are also herding animals, so if they are alone for a long time in the dark it can affect their mental health.
3. Sudden and Loud Noises
You have often seen in movies that a horse suddenly runs amuck after a gunshot. This is because the sudden loud noise frightens them, their nervous system kicks in and they become anxious.
4. Different Animals
Although horses are social animals, they can only get along with their species. If there are other animals like cows or goats nearby, they can get anxious if they are not used to it.
Now that you have identified the reasons that might make your horse anxious, you can work on how to treat their anxiety and make them feel comforted.
Ways To Treat Your Horses Anxiety
1. Take Away The Cause Of The Fear
By removing the object that makes him anxious, will assure the horse that it is a safe environment.
If it is some minor farming equipment or some rocks, you can take it away and put it somewhere else where your horse cannot see them.
If there are other animals, then try moving those animals to another place. Moving the horse away would be difficult, as they dislike treading on newer places.
If there are sources of loud noise like cars, horns, or other items, try eliminating that source, or moving it somewhere else will help keep your horse calm.
2. Create A Routine
Horses are active animals and they like to follow a routine in their daily life. So, if there are any irregularities in the daily routine of your horse, fix the timing, and maintain the schedule.
This way, the horse will know what they need to do at what time of the day and will remain healthy.
3. Take Them Out Often
A good reason horses feel anxious outside is that they fear newer things around them. To make them feel safe outside and to help build their level of confidence, you need to take them out often.
Ride your horse and take them out of the stable or barn and slowly increase the distance between your travel place and the barn.
This way, the horse will gradually be confident of its surroundings and believe that everything is normal and there is nothing to be anxious about.
4. Let Them Do What They Prefer
Suppose there is a horse in your stable that does not want to jump, but when you take it out for a cattle herding, it does so with utmost excitement.
If you see this, try to let the horse do what it prefers. Forcefully trying to make the horse do something will make it feel tense.
5. Try Calming Supplements
A great way to reduce the stress level and anxiety of your horse is to use supplements. There are many supplements out there that can aid and will help calm your horse.
Kauffman’s® Calming Pellets is a great example of such supplements that will put your horse at ease. You can also try using CBD oils for horses.
6. Better Riding Equipment
There are different types of riding equipment that you may try on your horse before riding. You need to ensure that those equipment are not causing any pain to your horse.
Pain can often lead to anxiety and fear, and your horse will be afraid of letting anyone ride on him. So, ensure that you have a saddle that does not have rough edges, or pinches your horse.
7. Build A Form Of Trust
This is by far the most important thing you need to do. A horse just does not let anyone ride on it, and when someone forcefully wants to, they either get angry or anxious.
Therefore, you need to build a bond with your horse so that whenever you are near, your horse feels calm and comforted.
Your horse will sometimes have bad days and feel anxious, depressed, or even frightened. As the owner and the rider, you must befriend him, find out the reason for the worries and work on how you can improve your bond with your horse.