Life is never boring when your horse is spooking at this, snorting at that, and anxious about everything in between. While some horses are nervous by nature, others might have an underlying cause for their anxiousness. Regardless, there are steps you can take to help soothe your horse’s nerves and have a safer environment for everyone involved.
To help, we’ve scoured our archives and found 10 resources available for free on TheHorse.com to help you best manage your anxious horse.
ARTICLE: Managing the Anxious Horse There’s never a dull moment with an anxious horse! But are there steps you can take to calm his nerves? To find out, we talked to veterinarians, researchers, and equine professionals about causes of anxious behavior in horses and solutions to help keep you, your horse, and those around you safe. Here’s what they have to say about the possibilities. Read More
PODCAST: Understanding Horse Behavior You can’t manage an anxious or nervous horse without understanding horse behavior. A behaviorist talks about how horses learn, stereotypies, herd dynamics, and more! Listen Now
COMMENTARY: Will Coaxing a Nervous Horse Reinforce Her Nervous Behavior? A reader wonders if scratching and talking in a soothing voice to her nervous horse when in unfamiliar situations might actually be rewarding the horse’s fear. An equine behaviorist weighs in. Read More
ARTICLE: Separation Anxiety in Horses Most horse owners have dealt with that one horse who cries and runs around when is friend goes out for a ride. So what’s the best way to handle it? An equine behavior specialist shares some thoughts. Read More
ARTICLE: Spotting the Problem Patient Carrying out health-related procedures on horses can be dangerous on even the most well-behaved patient. But it becomes even riskier when the patient is uncomfortable or anxious about what’s going on. Here’s what to watch for to spot a problem patient. Read More
PODCAST: Can Magnesium Supplementation Help a Nervous Horse? An equine nutritionist shares information about this popular ingredient in calming supplements. Listen Now
ARTICLE: All Wound Up Life is stressful. We two-legged mammals owe our nail-biting and tense shoulders to a slew of triggers—piles of bills, crying children, and too few hours in the day, to name a few. Our horses experience stress, as well. They might not balance a checkbook, produce progeny that wail endlessly, or live their lives to the tune of an Outlook calendar, but their hearts pound and bodies suffer all the same. Our job as their keepers is to understand what horses “stress out” over, recognize when they’re stressed, and more importantly, what to do about it. Here’s what to know about stress in horses. Read More
ARTICLE: Encourage Horses to Pass Scary Objects, Scientists Recommend Encouraging a horse to approach an object led to less stress in the same situation the following day, researchers noted. Conversely, horses allowed to approach objects in their own time spent more time investigating their surroundings the next day. Read More
ARTICLE: Effect of Stressful Situations on Horses’ Working Memory Equine behavior scientists learned that stress affects horses’ working memory—the short-term memory used in training and in associating signals and commands with actions—especially if the horse already has a basic fearful or anxious nature. Read More