There are many things that can cause elevated stress levels in horses. There are also multiple signs that will help you determine how stressed your horse is. Knowing the signs can help you keep your horse happy and healthy.
Signs of Stress
It is important to familiarize yourself with the signs of stress. Horses have different body language than people, so it is necessary to pay attention to your horse’s behavior. Some common signs of stress include:
- Weight loss- weight loss can also be caused by health problems, parasites, or poor nutrition, though it can be a sign of extreme stress.
- Stall walking- this is essentially pacing. Whether the horse walks around the stall, the fence line, or back and forth, its stall walking is a sign of stress.
- Tooth grinding or biting
- Bad behavior- such as pawing, pulling, bucking, rearing, or bolting
- Extra urination or manure
- High pulse and respiration
- Sweating or tail swishing
Causes of Stress
If your horse exhibits multiple signs of stress, you should attempt to determine the cause. Determining the cause will provide you with the best way to alleviate the horse’s stress. Common causes of stress are:
- Changes in environment
- Veterinary exams
- Social Separation
- Pain or illness
Ensuring that your horse has a regular schedule can help relieve its stress, because it will know what to expect. A little bit of stress is usually okay, but extensive stress should be alleviated whenever possible. Remember that you can’t eliminate all the stress in your life, and you won’t be able to eliminate all the stress in your horse’s.
It is important to pay attention to your horse and their behaviors. You must keep an eye out for signs of stress and do everything in your power to eliminate the potential stressors. If you can’t determine the cause of stress, you should contact your veterinarian.