How can you tell if your horse is stressed?

horse bucking a rider
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Introduction to how can you tell if your horse is stressed

Horses are known as a strong and reliable animal that has helped humans for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Whether as a means of transportation or helping out at the farm, horses are an important part of our life.

However, what most people don’t realize is the fact that just like humans, horses can get stressed out as well. And when your horses are stressed, it will not only impact their state of mind, but also their overall health.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to figure out when your horses are actually feeling stressed. That’s where this brief article comes in. Here you’ll find not only the signs of stress on horses, but also what you can do to help them. So be sure to read on till the end.

What is the difference between short-term and chronic stress?

One thing that needs to be mentioned first is the fact that not all stress is bad for your horses. As a matter of fact, most stress on horses can be divided into short-term stress and chronic stress. Short-term stress is generally harmless for your horses. There are even times when it is actually beneficial for them. The chronic stress, however, is the one that you should watch out for.

The most common example of a short-term stress on horses is when you introduce a new horse to the stable. Your old horses might feel uncomfortable at first with the arrival of some new faces. It might even put them on a short-term stress. However, this will also make them more alert and more competitive than before. And this type of stress would usually only last for a short time, so there’s no need to be alarmed.

The other type of stress on horses is called the long-term stress, or the chronic stress. This is the type of stress that you as the owner need to pay close attention to. Because chronic stress can become the source of numerous ailments, both for the mind and the body of your horses. We’ll talk about how to spot this type of stress in the next section.

What are the signs of a stressed horse?

Sudden Changes in the horses’ behaviors

When stressed, your horse might exhibit a sudden change in their behaviors. Horses that are usually meek and obedient may become stubborn and might resist any kind of training.

Diarrhea and other gastric ailments

Similar to humans, your horses may also suffer from stomach problems when they’re stressed. They might experience diarrhea, gastric ulcers, and other kinds of stomach issues.

Hose becoming restless

This one is an extension to the aforementioned changes in behaviors. Stressed horses may begin kicking the wall, cribbing, chewing, weaving, and other kinds of restless behaviors.

Horse showing anxious behavior

Other than being restless, stressed horses can feel incredibly anxious as well. They might start to sweat profusely during a normal training routine. And they may also have an increased heart rate, dilated pupils, and even trembling.

Horse suddenly yawning or clenching teeth more

Another visible sign of stress on horses is yawning and teeth grinding. They will yawn a lot, even during the day. As for the teeth grinding, other than stress, it may also be caused by other ailments. So be sure to carefully look after their health.

What can you do if your horse is stressed?

When you think that your horses are suffering from chronic stress, you should take them to your trusted vets. They often know what sort of treatment or medicines are the most suitable for your horses. But other than that, the key is in your hands.

There are several different things that you can do in order to calm your horses down. Things like providing healthy and regular foods and taking them to a walk or light exercises, etc. These simple things have been proven to improve the overall mood of your horses.

Other than that, you can also go down the route involving a natural remedy. CBD oil has been proven to be able to reduce the level of anxiety and calm a horse down. Just a few drops of CBD oil and your horses will be back to their old self. Needless to say, you should talk to your vets in order to know the best dosage per serving.

Final thoughts on how to see if your horse is stressed

When a horse is stressed, it will affect both the mind and the body. That being said, short-term stress is often not that dangerous for your horses. It is the chronic stress that can bring about all sorts of negative consequences. You should talk to your trusted vets to know which one your horses actually suffered from.

Some of the most common signs of stress on horses are changes in behaviors, becoming restless, anxious, and many more. Being aware of these sudden changes is crucial in order to provide the best and timely help for your horses.

Some light and regular physical activities and a fixed eating schedule, among other things, might reduce their stress level. You can also try natural remedies such as CBD oil to help calm them down. But be sure to take them to your trusted vet first in order to gain the best help.

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