Horses are very sensitive to their environment and their owner’s emotions. If you are nervous, excited, or stressed out, the horse can pick up on this. Nervousness can be a common characteristic within some breeds, but there are ways to calm any horse if the correct methods are used.
–If it is at all possible bring your horse to a few shows, just hang out and let them get used to the environment.
–If it is not possible to prepare them for the environment then arrive as early as you can so the horse can settle in and adapt to the surroundings.
–Many people lunge their horses and feel that it helps with relaxing their horse in the ring. Others do not recommend it if there is too much excitement in the area. If you can find a fenced and quiet area then you may want to try it.
–If this is your horses first time in the ring make sure it is a positive experience or it can cause anxiety in the future making it much more difficult to correct.
–Rub your horse’s withers and neck moving down its back to mimic grooming. This will let your horse know you are present and that you will not let anything harm him or her. Let your horse investigate and observe his surroundings. If grass is available, letting the horse graze on a short lead may help, give them a treat or some grass.
–Calm yourself by smiling, breathing deep, sing a comforting song. Keep your posture non-threatening, your head downward somewhat, your arms relaxed and do not perform sudden movements, and always speak softly and calmly to your horse.
–Discover the cause of his or her anxiety and find a way to eliminate it from the location or his routine.
–Some people use aromatherapy and natural products which take the edge off of the horse’s anxiety. Horse Calm is one product which is an FDA registered homeopathic remedy using ingredients that calm your horse and soothe an anxious disposition, especially if your horse is not relaxed in the ring. This product can help heightened symptoms like rapid breathing, increased heart rate and it does not cause drowsiness or sluggishness.
Patience and understanding, keeping a positive, loving and calm demeanor will go a long way in helping a horse that goes from being skittish and not relaxed in the ring to a champion performer.
Rebecca Shelly is a regular contributor to Natural Pet Health a site concerning the health of our pets. To find something to calm your horse that is natural, gentle and effective, visit Equine Horse Calm.