Some horses are nervous by nature, while others have triggers that set them off. Whatever the case, you can develop a good strategy to help you handle anxious energy. Your horse can see you as a person of comfort and security. You can ease their tension and get them focused back on you. Try some of these different tips to see which one works best for your horse!
1. Talk to them soothingly
Take some deep breathes and talk to your horse in a low, soothing tone. If you drop your energy to calm and relaxed, then you horse may follow your example. You can gently stroke their neck, as well. Unfortunately, a nervous rider and handler can transfer that energy to their horse without even realizing it. Make sure you know what kind of energy you’re putting off.
2. Introduce them to their fear
Is your horse afraid of an object in the arena? It could be as simple as you moved the mounting block. A helpful way to tackle your horse’s nervous energy is to simply introduce them to the object of their fear. You can walk them up to it, let them sniff it, walk away, and then circle again toward it. If it’s small enough, bring the object to them and when they relax take it away. This can be done over and over again.
3. Keep them busy
This helps them start using the thinking side of their brain. Move their feet forward, sideways, and backwards. You can regain their focus by doing some circles or other shapes, yielding their hindquarters and doing various transitions. If you can hold your horse’s attention, then they can’t worry about the scary object or situation.
4. Ignore it
This doesn’t work for every horse, but for many ignoring the scary object is all that you need to do. If you act like it’s no big deal, then you horse will assume it’s safe. Try to continue going about your business and see if your horse relaxes on their own.
5. Try a supplement
A calming supplement can help those naturally reactive, spooky horses. Most of them include minerals and vitamins that support focus. A good example is SmartCalm Pellets, which contains tryptophan, magnesium and B-vitamins.
The most important step is to figure out what is causing your horse to become nervous. Once you identify the root problem, then you can create a strategy to fix it.
Don’t forget to check out ‘10 Essential Oils For An Anxious Horse‘.