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Is your horse experiencing stage fright?

Horse supplement

Handling a nervous horse can often be stressful and unpredictable. Just like humans, they experience nervousness and anxiety for various different reasons. Some experience first-time jitters when competing for the first time – which is normal, others show signs of chronic anxiety. Horses are just as complex as humans, and sometimes need a little bit help getting over a slight case of stage fright.

 

Handling a nervous horse can often be stressful and unpredictable. Just like humans, they experience nervousness and anxiety for various different reasons. Some experience first-time jitters when competing for the first time – which is normal, others show signs of chronic anxiety. Horses are just as complex as humans, and sometimes need a little bit help getting over a slight case of stage fright.
 
 
 
Tips on handling a nervous horse:
 
1.     Become a good leader:
Well trained horse look for leadership from their trainer. It’s only natural that if you don’t know what you’re doing that your horse won’t be sure of what he/she is supposed to be doing, resulting in a little bit of anxiety. Be clear about what you want, and keep your motions slow. Be calm as the trainer, and show confidence – not being afraid of their size. They can easily pick up on your nervous vibes.
2.     Pin point the triggers:
Identifying exactly what your horse is afraid of is a crucial step in attempting to solve the problem. Horses can be triggered by the strangest things, from a hose pipe to someone wearing a certain piece of clothing. Desensitizing a horse to its triggers in a way that’s controlled is the best way to go. For example, a horse that’s afraid of a hose pipe most likely associates it with a snake. However, you can’t teach the horse not to be afraid of a hose pipe completely in case a snake comes along and poses a threat. The horse will think it’s safe to approach.
3.     The show must go on:
First-time competing horses will most likely show anxiety, just like humans. Some get used to it by having them compete numerous times, and others never get over the fact that it’s show time. Horses also have a tendency of picking up on others’ moods – equine or human. So if you’re nervous, your horse might be nervous as well. Or if there’s an anxious equine competitor around, it could turn an otherwise calm horse into a nervous Nelly.
4.     Build trust:
The most important thing is to build trust with your horse. Let them know you’re a team. Spend quality time with your horse, form a strong bond. Give treats after positive actions, or after a competition. Soon your horse will associate whatever they’re afraid of with delicious snacks.
5.     Introduce a natural calmative:
In some cases, horses may suffer from chronic anxiety or a type of nervousness that doesn’t go away with a simple treat. The best alternative is to introduce a natural horse supplement such as Tranquil. When used on a regular basis, it can have an amazingly positive effect calming down a horse with a nervous temperament.
 
Related articles:
Do Performance Horses Need A Protein Boost?
 
Source: http://dakotahillsveterinary.com/2015/03/01/black-hills-vet-handling-nervous-horse/
               http://hubpages.com/animals/dealinganxioushorse

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