Coping with Behaviour

Coping with Behaviour

FULLY FOCUSED OR LOSING THE PLOT?

Horses can suffer from nerves just like humans. Some horses are more susceptible than others due to their genetics and training, among other things. Stress isn’t always a bad thing. Both horses and people need to be a little tense to perform at their best. If they feel under pressure constantly and cannot shake off the tension, however, this is likely to affect their health. Provide sufficient exercise, an enjoyable environment and make deliberate nutritional choices. Your horse’s diet has an enormous impact on its level of anxiety and behaviour.

RECOGNISING THE SIGNS: KNOWING YOUR HORSE’S BEHAVIOUR

These signs occur to different degrees. Obvious, easily recognisable signs include loud snorts, showing the whites of the eyes or nervous pacing. Stereotypical behaviour such as crib-biting, weaving, box-walking and wind-sucking, a faster pulse and breathing rate, tension during training and frequent defecation are more subtle, but also valuable signs. To reduce your horse’s tension, first try adapting its daily environment, diet and management.