How to help de-stress my horse
   

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How to help de-stress my horse

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  • De stress equine
  • How to destress a horse

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  • 3 Post By tinyliny

 
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    06-02-2013, 11:36 PM
  #1
Foal
How to help de-stress my horse

I didn't know exactly where to put this since it is a behavioral thing so I figured here was good!
So my horse (well he isn't mine yet but at the end of the summer he will be) Charley works with me at a small camp. We teach riding each week to groups of usually pretty young kids. They tend to be 13 and under. The camps only stay for the week and they have a lot of other activities, horses isn't the main focus of the camp so we don't really have much time with the kids, most of the time we have 45 minute classes with five horses and the amount of kids range. So it can be pretty unpredictable and the classes are short.
Anyway, last year was my first year and it is obvious enough that Charley gets grumpy after so long of camp. He is one of our best guys so we tend to use him a lot and the kids love him because he has half of one year. (We have no clue what happened, the person who sold him to the camp didn't know either) I can't blame him for being grumpy, camp can be tiring and he does get annoyed by the kids but he is a very good boy and doesn't react hardly but towards the end of camp he did bite me once and the other riding teacher too, nothing bad more like just warnings.
Just know Charley is really a very sweet and loving horse but I understand he is a one person guy. Which is why I will be buying him at the end of the year and Charley will be retiring from camp life. I do listen to my horse and I understand he isn't happy of course I would have retired him this year if I could have but I didn't have the money. I just need some help helping him de-stress. Already this year he is starting to show attitude, snapping at me during our second class and looking irritable. We have noticed he loves to lick things but the camp has a tight budget so we can't really afford to get him lickits, I would love too but I really don't have any money to spare either. So if anyone knows any cheap lickit type things that would be awesome! Also we have a great group of horses this year so hopefully he will get more downtime than he did last year, maybe that will help too.
I was just hoping someone might know exercises or anything I could do to de-stress him and help have less anxieties.
Thanks guys :)
     
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    06-02-2013, 11:41 PM
  #2
Started
Horses like to travel, as in walk around, eat, explore, find more things to eat. If you want mellow time with your horse hand walk him out in a field or woods.
     
    06-04-2013, 04:32 PM
  #3
Foal
I agree, take him for a nice, leisurely walk! You could give him a good massage and let him have some relaxing "me" time with a non-stressful, quiet grooming session.
     
    06-04-2013, 04:46 PM
  #4
Super Moderator
Well, grumpy or not, biting is never acceptable. I appreciate that you are sensitive to his needs and understanding of what he might be saying by this bad behavior, but it is not good to allow it. If you leave him in the frame of mind of wanting to bite, then that emotional state only has more opportunity to become rooted.

If he bites or attempts to, I think you should move him out and get him thinking more about how to survive your driving him around. You want to make him be more aware of and respectful of you than he is sitting around grumping. Give him a sharp reprimand and make him DO something else, so his mind leaves the "funk".

Horses live in the present, so if you make him think of something else, like "MOVE! NOW!" , he will completely forget that only a moment ago he wanted to bite you. It's discipline, and it's a kind of freshening of his mind, believe it or not.

A member said here recently, "if you allow your horse to stand by you and be nervous, you are teaching it to BE nervous". I take that to mean also that if you allow your horse to stand by you and BE in a grumpy state, you are teaching it to be grumpy.

Along with disciplining the biting (dont' be swayed by pity for him and his hard job), if you can take him out for a good gallop, this will really freshen him. Something that makes him breathe hard and breaka good sweat.
     
    06-04-2013, 11:46 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
Well, grumpy or not, biting is never acceptable. I appreciate that you are sensitive to his needs and understanding of what he might be saying by this bad behavior, but it is not good to allow it. If you leave him in the frame of mind of wanting to bite, then that emotional state only has more opportunity to become rooted.

If he bites or attempts to, I think you should move him out and get him thinking more about how to survive your driving him around. You want to make him be more aware of and respectful of you than he is sitting around grumping. Give him a sharp reprimand and make him DO something else, so his mind leaves the "funk".

Horses live in the present, so if you make him think of something else, like "MOVE! NOW!" , he will completely forget that only a moment ago he wanted to bite you. It's discipline, and it's a kind of freshening of his mind, believe it or not.

A member said here recently, "if you allow your horse to stand by you and be nervous, you are teaching it to BE nervous". I take that to mean also that if you allow your horse to stand by you and BE in a grumpy state, you are teaching it to be grumpy.

Along with disciplining the biting (dont' be swayed by pity for him and his hard job), if you can take him out for a good gallop, this will really freshen him. Something that makes him breathe hard and breaka good sweat.
Thank you for that great advice! I just want to add though, the only times he has ever threatened to bite of course is during classes, while the kids are around or on him. So that makes correcting it really difficult, he has never attempted to bite any other time. Which makes is difficult but thank you none the less! I will be doing my best to take him galloping more, it is something he really enjoys, anything to help I will gladly do!
     

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camp, camp horse, de stress, stress, stressed

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