The horse tenses its muscles, flares its nostrils, twitches its ears nervously and lets its tail flapvigorously. This is a situation that you, as a rider, have certainly experienced before and thatcan very quickly become very dangerous for you and your horse. Stressed horses willexplode and gallop away at the slightest thing, even if the supposed danger is just a fallenleaf from a tree. Stressed and tense horses are a big problem in equestrian sport. Theyquickly get the better of their riders and put them in great danger with their unpredictablebehavior. Working with a stressed horse is a challenge. They are unfocused, lose their nervesvery quickly or refuse to train altogether. At competitions, a stressed horse becomes adifficult problem for you dueto the transport and the large crowd of people. After all, youdon't want your hard training to be in vain and fail because of your horse's tension.
Some people do not believe that horses with their huge and muscular bodies can be such bundles of nerve s. But horses are animals that flee. For wild horses, flight is a natural protective mechanism that originally protected them from enemies and dangerous situations. The first impulse when stressed is to flee, as simply performing this activity significantl y lowers the horse's stress level. Domesticated horses in equestrian sports, however, are no longer exposed to such life - threatening dangers and should be more balanced. On the other hand, they react to other stressors such as noises, movements, psychologi cal pressure or unknown situations with stress and tension. Especially at competitions your horse is exposed to many such stressors. Often, this stress on horses manifests itself in physical ailments. Stressed horses suffer from muscle tension, stomach ulc ers and inflammation, they sweat faster, and their hormone levels are elevated. Thus, a stressed horse is only capable of limited performance. In addition to the physical ailments, however, there can also be psychological consequences. This in turn manifes ts itself in a lack of concentration, extreme jumpiness and poor eating behavior. If you discover such symptoms in your horse, there is a need for action. Because the stress causes physical suffering in your horse, which in turn causes pain in your hors e - a vicious circle. This pain then causes further stress, and the downward spiral continues. So, you should take care of your horse's well - being. A species - appropriate attitude and training can already bring a lot of positive effects for your loved one. Often, however, the cause lies in inappropriate feeding. Especially if your horse tends to overreact in obviously harmless and familiar situations, you should change his feed if necessary. A nutrient deficiency can be a major trigger for stress, as already postulated by Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling in 1950. You should therefore check whether your horse is getting all the essential nutrients from its feed and urgently avoid poor quality roughage, too much grain and protein, and silage feed. With high qua lity feed you can naturally reduce and prevent stress and tension in your horse. Special herbs in supplementary feeds also have a calming effect on your horse.