Like humans, horses also experience stress caused due to many social and environmental factors that should be addressed timely. Different horses experience different anxiety and stress levels expressed through their gestures, pastures, and interaction with other horses.
The horse has the most loyal and friendly nature and has had a strong relationship with humans since ancient times. If you also owe a horse, you must be aware of the horse’s nature.
If we talk about the common types of stress in horses, they are performance and separation stress. You can realize the actual condition of your horses by spending time with them. Understanding horse stress is essential because it will enable you to overcome this situation speedily and keep a strong relationship with your equine partner.
List of Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety in Horses:
Horses are capable of expressing their depression and anxiety with the help of a few signs and symptoms. You should be aware of these symptoms for quick solutions and treatment. Following are frequent signs that will help you find stress in your horse.
The first and most obvious sign of stress and anxiety in a horse is increased heart rate. When you experience excessive heart rate in your equine, you should be careful about your horse’s anxiety level.
Due to enhanced heart rate, your horse will get tired frequently and will not take an interest in all normal activities. You should pay attention to this situation because, with time, it will be more difficult for you to get your horse back to normal condition.
A horse never shows strange behavior in human interaction. But if you experience unresponsive behavior, it may be a sign of stress. The increased stress level in horses leads to poor reactions, so you should tackle this situation quickly.
The most significant change that will help you diagnose the anxiety and stress level in the horse is behavioral change. Your horse will start reacting strangely and show reluctance to follow all instructions. The main reason behind these changes is not other than the stress that can be due to many reasons, so you just have to sort out the condition and then go for the best remedies.
Weak Immune System:
A horse’s immune system is vital in helping it to go through any adverse condition, but a higher stress level will weaken the immunity level in the horse. If your horse is catching more diseases fast, it may be a sign of a weak immunity level that can cause due to anxiety and stress.
Visual Signs of Stress in Horses:
Besides the stress mentioned above and anxiety in horses, a few other visual signs will help you assess horses’ stress levels. If you experience any of the signs below, it may be due to stress.
Weight loss is the primary and easily judged sign of stress in a horse. If your horse is not interested in eating enough due to decreased appetite, it will lead to weight loss. With proper care, a horse losing weight is the most significant sign of a high-stress level.
Sweating is not an uncommon thing in horses after any activity. But if your horse is experiencing excessive sweating without any challenging activity, then it may be a reason for a higher stress level. The immunity level of a horse is strong, and in normal conditions sweating is not noticed in horses.
Stressed Horse Body Language:
Though horses can’t speak, they can easily express their stress level with body language. It is not a big task to assess the actual level of anxiety and stress in horses with their body language so that you will experience the following things in your horse’s body language.
A horse can express its stress with the help of excessive chewing because the stressed mind of the horse will make it feel uncomfortable and adopt behavioral changes. If you notice excessive chewing in your horse, it can be due to anxiety.
Similarly, grinding teeth is another symptom of stressed horse body language. It is common among humans and horses that they both start grinding their teeth while going through stress.
Relaxed Horse Body Language:
It is easy to judge a relaxed horse because it will feel calm and happy. So following are a few signs of relaxed horse body language.
If your horse is breathing evenly from both sides, it shows simple body language. Your horse will feel relaxed, which will be expressed by its breath.
Soft nostrils of a horse are another symptom of a relaxed horse. If your horse is angry or feeling discomfort, its nostrils will stretch immediately.
A dropped head is another sign of happiness and relaxation in any horse. In this posture, your horse rests or sleeps with relaxed body language.
Stressed Horse Behavior:
If you are experiencing these changes in your horse, then it may be due to anxiety and stress in your horse.
Loss of consistency:
If your horse is experiencing any kind of stress, then it will start losing its consistency and be unable to perform routine tasks due to increased excretion.
Rapid and tense movement of the tail:
A stressed horse cannot express normal behavior. If you spot any rapid or tense tail swishing in your horse, it can be due to a higher anxiety level.
Treatment and Solutions to Calm a Stressed Horse?
Once you have judged the horse’s actual situation and stress level, it will be easier for you to go for the proper treatment and solution. The following are a few best remedies to help your horse eliminate stress.
Maintaining a good diet will help your horse get rid of stress quickly. If you provide a balanced diet to your horse with plenty of clean water daily, it will be pretty easy for the horse to stay calm and reduce its anxiety level.
Follow Desired Schedule:
You must maintain a consistent daily schedule for your horse and follow it strictly because any change in feeding and exercise routine can add more stress to the horse. Following the desired schedule will get the best results for your stressed horse.
Feeding your horse with all the necessary supplements for better physical and mental health is essential. From teamequinety, you can get the best calming supplements for your horse that will boost the body language of your horse, and it will remain relaxed and calm.
Equinety Horse XL is the perfect supplement for the proper strength of horse muscles. It will also help get better focus with low-stress levels.