8 Ways To Easily Reduce Your Horse’s Stress

Riding or mounting a horse that is tense can prove to be quite a challenge. For a smooth experience, it's essential to soothe your horse. Achieving harmony with your horse is key to minimizing its tension.

Horses are very responsive animals. You need to consider two vital factors here. First, you need to understand your tense attitude will affect your horse adversely. Second, while handling a tensed horse, you need to follow specific rules to not end up spooking your horse.

With all that said, let’s first talk about the importance of maintaining relaxation for a rider & a horse:

Importance of Relaxation

You & your horse are a team. So, both of you need to be calm & relaxed to get the best out of a ride. Here is why your horse should be relaxed whenever you are riding it-

A consistent rhythm

Steady trot & canter from your horse

Balanced & synchronized tempo

Responsive to the rider’s aid

Smooth & balanced transition

Overall, a stable & decent harmony between the rider & the horse.

Tensed Rider's Symptoms

Remember one thing. A horse can even feel a fly sitting on its back. So, think about what your horse will do when it finds out you are nervous. Hence, you need to understand the symptoms of a tense rider-

Upward movement of the seat & away from the horse

Non-parallel movement of your hips to horse

Unrelaxed buttocks because of anxiousness

Holding the reins too tightly

The jaw is too tight

Tensed Horse's Symptoms

It’s vital to read your horse’s body language. Your tensed horse will show signs of desperation sometimes. You can try making your horse consume high-quality horse calmer to have a long-term positive effect.

Let’s move on to the symptoms that a tense horse shows-

Trembling or shaking

Suddenly bolting off

Frantically walking because of stress or anxiety

How To Tackle Rider's Tensions?

As a rider, your first & foremost duty is to remain calm & confident. To get a hold of your anxiety, follow the below-mentioned tips-

1. Get a Grip on Your Thoughts

Whatever you are feeling will show with your sitting position on the seat & saddle. That’s why it’s crucial to make sure your body position isn’t exhibiting any tension or fear.

Every horse is different, but they are all sensitive & flight responsive. Control your emotion at all costs. Get your body & buttocks aligned with the horse.

A stiff body will exhibit anxiety. So, relax your shoulders & body to not spook your horse.

2. Remain Calm While Breathing

If you get stressed or nervous, your nervous system will be triggered and your hip muscles will become stiff.

Because of the fixed and stiff position of your hips, your breathing will become short & quick.

Once the horse senses its rider’s short & quick behavior, it will feel that there may be some danger ahead.

It may then behave wildly and start snorting, ducking, and bolting away.

You need to focus & lead your horse no matter who made the situation tense. Breathe into your belly, let your shoulders relax, & remain calm in all conditions.

How to Calm Your Horse?

Now comes the tricky part. The following tips will help you significantly in relaxing your horse-


1. Routine Turnout

Keeping your horse locked in the stable may have some adverse consequences. Your horse may show unusual anxiety, tension, and bolt away as a result.

Let your horse come out daily for exercises. Give your horse some space so that it doesn’t feel confined always.

You can try taking your horse for a roundup every day and feed him at the same time once he gets used to a structured life.

2. Understand Physical Limitations

Not every horse is a racehorse or a workhorse. You need to assess their abilities before moving them to a work plan.

A horse won’t automatically deliver something just because he is fond of you. He will do what he’s asked to do. So, be sure before you ask. A stress-free horse is also a healthy horse.

3. Find the Right Riding Gear for Your Horse

It's important to use essential riding gear like saddle pads to make your ride more comfortable and stress-free for your horse. Trail riding saddle pads offer several benefits for both the rider and the horse, including comfort, pressure distribution, protection, temperature regulation, saddle stability, customization, and protection for sensitive backs. Overall, saddle pads play a vital role in promoting the well-being of the horse and enhancing the riding experience.

4. Read Your Horse's Mood

Understanding your horses’ body language & mood is another challenging task. However, you need to be patient with your horse.

If you see him galloping quite often, then maybe he’s too tired or stressed. You should let him rest instead of training.

Again, if something spooks him off, you need to pat him on the back to tell him to relax. Doing these simple things can help you big time in making your horse calm.

5. Make Sure You Are The Leader

No matter what happens, don’t let your guard down. If a horse realizes he is in control, he will push you.

Instead, try assuring him of the subtlety of giving space, but clearly assert the fact that you are in charge.

6. Praise Your Horse

Don’t push your horse too far. Once he has completed a task, reward him. Praise him always. Don’t scold him unless you have to. Never hit your horse. It will make him go wild.

7. Earn Your Horse's Trust

Your horse must place trust in you. Otherwise, you can’t feel safe while riding your horse. To do so, continue your efforts & use the pressure release technique to relax your horse.

Remember, pitying your horse won’t do any good. Rather your horse will get a habit of such & will push you often.

8. Try Working Overtime

Some horses love to run around & train twice a day. That’s another way to calm your horse’s tension. Regular exercises will help in maintaining the healthy joints & bones of all your pets, especially your horse, and will allow them to reduce stress.


9. Give Your Horse Something to Play With

To prevent your horse’s boredom in the stable, give him a toy or ball to play with while he is locked. Applying this theory can solve the anxiety issues with the horses when they are inside the stable.

Final Thoughts

Always remember that your horse counts you as his herd mate when you are riding him. So, the way you behave and how your body reacts will set the tempo for your horse. A nervous or anxious approach from you will put your horse on red alert.

Krystal Morrison

I create this blog to share my daily tips about home improvement, children, pets, food, health, and ways to be frugal while maintaining a natural lifestyle. Interested to be a Guest Blogger on my website? Please email me at: [email protected]

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