​Navigating Stress in Horses!

Posted by Russell Gibbons on 16th Apr 2024

​Navigating Stress in Horses!

    Your horse isn't just a four-legged friend; they're family........ But sometimes our beloved ponies can get a tad stressed out. 

    Australian Made Horse Treats

    Fear not! In this article, we're diving into the world of horse stress – from the causes to the cures – so you can keep your trusty companion trotting along with a smile.

    Saddle up and let's calmly trot through the stressors your horse might be facing!

    Causes of Stress in Horses:

    1. Confinement:
      • Horses are natural wanderers yearning for freedom! Sticking them in a tiny paddock without room to roam can have them feeling more boxed in than a cowboy in a corral.
      • Understanding that we can’t all have our horses in large paddock, it’s important to understand this need and ensure that your pony is getting the necessary exercise and stimulation in order to minimise this type of stress.
    2. Stabling Shenanigans:
      • Who's your horse's stall neighbour? If it's an incompatible buddy, you might as well be living next door to the town gossip. Close quarters can lead to drama, and nobody wants their horse caught up in the latest stable scandal!
      • This can occur to horses in stables or in small paddocks. Be aware if they get on with their neighbour or not. If they don’t, removing your horse or the neighbour is the key to managing this type of stress.

    3. Herd Hurdles:
      • Horses are social creatures, craving the company of their four-legged friends. If they don’t have horse friends, or exposed to them regularly, they are going to get stressed.
    4. Feed Fiascos:
      • Horses love their grub, and messing with their mealtime routine is like serving spaghetti at a sushi party.
      • Keep their feeding patterns, and their main feed source consistent, you won’t have stress issues from this stress source!

    5. Transport Troubles:
      • Ever tried to convince a horse that a trailer ride is just a fun road trip? It's like trying to teach a cat to fetch – an uphill battle!
      • Long journeys in cramped quarters can leave your equine amigo feeling very stressed.
        1. Try to break a long journey up and familiarise your pony with the horse float.
        2. Make sure the trailer is well-ventilated, padded, and spacious enough for your horse to move around comfortably.
        3. Provide plenty of fresh water and hay, and Horse Treats, to keep them hydrated and occupied during the journey.
    6. Training Turmoil:
      • We all want our horses to be champions, but pushing them too hard can turn their dreams of gold into a nightmare.
        1. Keep the training sessions fun and fair, and reward them with Horse Treats when they are being well behaved!

    7. Boredom Blues:

      • Horses aren't just muscle; they've got brains too! Keep their minds engaged, or you'll have a bored steed on your hands faster than you can say "hoof-tapping."
        1. Consider some boredom busting toys in their paddock or stable.
        2. Consider hiding their Favourite horse cookies and Horse Training Treats around their abode for them to find just to make things interesting.
      • Pony Doughnuts Horse Treat Cookies

    8. Heat Havoc:
      • Horses might love a sunny day, but too much heat can turn them into sweaty, stressed, messes. Keep them cool and hydrated, or you'll have a hot-headed bronco on your hands!
    9. Nutritional Stress:
      • Ever tried to reason with a hangry horse? It's like trying to negotiate with a toddler in a candy store – futile!
      • Keep their bellies full and their diets balanced, or you’ll have a hangry, stressed pony on your hands.

    10. Overcrowding:
      • Just like a crowded dance floor, too many horses in one space can lead to chaos.
      • Make sure they have their own space otherwise the stress of too many horses will lead to injuries and bad behaviours.

    11. Weaning Woes:
      • Having a sweet little foal with their mummy is beautiful. But at some point the foal will need to be separated….. And this will cause inevitable stress.
      • Be sure to minimise this type of stress.
        1. Separating foals from their mamas is like ripping off a Band-Aid – painful for everyone involved!
        2. Take it slow and steady, or risk two super stressed ponies.
    12. Parasitic Party Crashers:
      • Nobody likes uninvited guests, especially when they're creepy crawlies in your horse's belly!
      • Keep those pesky parasites at bay, by keeping up to date with the necessary preventative medications and supplements.
      • Can’t get your pony to swallow them??? Don’t give up…. It’s super important. Try using some Pony Puddings Horse Treats to disguise the tase and get that treatment into them!
    13. Pony Puddings Horse Treats

    14. Don’t be Mean:
      • Horses are gentle giants, but they're not immune to fear and trauma.
        1. Treat them with kindness and respect, or you’ll have one stressed out pony who doesn’t like you on your hands….. and no one wants this type of stress!

    15. Injury Incidents:
      • We all know how grumpy we get when we have an injury! Horse are the same.
      • Keep them safe and sound, and look after them if they do have an injury.
        1. Be tender and gentle when they are lame.

    Wrangling stress in your trusty steed isn’t easy, but with a little know-how and a whole lot of love, you'll be riding into the sunset with a happy and healthy horse by your side. 

    So, grab your reins, tip your hat, and ride off into the stress-free sunset!

    Thank-you for your support.  It is truly appreciated.

    Hope this helps and have a great day with your pony!

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