Does your horse have anxiety? If you’re not sure, some of the tell-tale signs your horse could be anxious include weight loss, excessive chewing, pacing, sweating and easily getting spooked.
If you’re noticing that your horse is exhibiting these signs, here are 5 relaxation techniques you can use to calm them down.
1) Stay grounded
Horses are sensitive creatures by nature, which means they are sensitive to you and your emotions. That’s why the first step is to make sure your emotions are in check.
Have you been stressed or anxious recently? If yes, try and ground yourself before being around your horse. Meditate, take deep breaths, journal or do some activity that helps you to get into a calm space.
2) Move to a quiet area
Another way to calm your horse down is to take them to a quieter, familiar area like their stall. A horse can feel easily overwhelmed by a lot of hustle and bustle around them. So, bringing them to an area that their comfortable in will help them relax.
3) Essential oils
Something that you can easily start adding to your horse’s routine to decrease their anxiety is essential oils.
Lavender is a great essential oil that can help calm your horse. Just put a few drops of Lavender oil on your hands and let your horse smell them. This will often take the edge off and can be relaxing for you as well.
4) Establish dominance
Sometimes horses that present as dominant and aggressive actually have anxiety, and they need a leader to help them feel calm.
This can be tricky because you do not want to be bit or kicked. If a horse tries to bite you, you can poke them quickly with your fingers on the side of their mouth. This mimics the reaction another horse would have to counteract a nip. Many times the horse will lick and chew and settle down after this.
Your safety should always come first. Don’t try these techniques if they could put you in a dangerous situation.
5) Massage and Craniosacral Therapy
Lastly, an excellent way to provide your horse relief from anxiety is through massage. Focus on massaging the TMJ and neck first on both sides. Horses that are anxious will usually have tight necks and reducing the tension there will help them relax. Once they realize you are helping, they will normally relax and learn to trust your hands.
If you want to help your horse even further, you could try Craniosacral Therapy. This is a gentle alternative therapy that is excellent at relaxing the nervous system and is great for relieving tension and providing a sense of overall well-being.
Are you an equine health professional and want to learn Craniosacral Therapy? Holistic Animal Studies offers a fully online, comprehensive and entertaining Equine Craniosacral Certification Course for professionals!
Discover how you can take your bodywork knowledge to the next level and take Holistic Animal Studies’ Equine Craniosacral Certification Course today!