trotting horse COWGIRL magazine
A trotting horse. Photo by Diana Orey.……

It’s natural for your horse to experience fear every once in a while. As prey animals, they have to constantly monitor their surroundings for survival. It’s important you learn the signs that your horse is afraid. This will allow you to help them through these feelings and bring them back to a relaxed state.

Is Your Horse Afraid?

Be on the look out for these signs that your horse is experiencing fear.

  1. Flared nostrils
  2. Wide eyes
  3. Pawing or stomping the ground
  4. Shaking
  5. Tucked tail
  6. Tight lips
  7. A raised head
  8. Ears pointed forward on high alert
  9. Bolting
  10. Pacing or weaving
A close up of a horse’s face. Photo by Glen Carrie.

Each horse will react to fear in their own way. Some move around, as if ready to bolt. Others may tremble or shake, especially if they feel trapped like in a horse trailer. As a horse handler, you’ll need to observe your horse carefully. Horses are always talking to us in their own language, we just need to learn how to listen.

In time, your horse will begin to trust you. You’ll be able to build their confidence and help them overcome their fears. Desensitizing them to various objects and situations can be very helpful in training. You should also spend time developing a relationship with them.