How do I deal with my horse’s anxiety?
Note: The following excerpt is the transcript from a question I answered from my Facebook Live made in the Steady Horse Facebook Group on 5/29/19. Watch the video or read the text below to learn the answer to the question.
This is a common thing. You have a horse with anxiety issues. That horse might start pacing or whinnying. This is going to be an instance of working on that gradually. Like with a lot of things, when we break the process down step by step to increase our horses’ competence, but we’re not only working our horse to fix that issue, but we’re building their trust in you as a leader because they know that you can get them through things.
So, start this process when your horse is panicky and running back and forth in order to see what their threshold is.
Say you can take that horse a hundred feet away from the barn, but when you get to 110 feet, that mare starts freaking out. work at that 110 feet range, staying there until that horse relaxes. Then walk back over to the barn. Walk back out to that 110-foot mark until she gets comfortable with that. Then, gradually increase the distance bit by bit in order to help your horse understand that you’re with them, and you’re not taking their buddy away from them.
Do this. She’ll understand that there’s an incentive for relaxing quickly since she’ll see her buddy sooner.
Just be patient. Work with them step-by-step.