As we have started to become more aware of mental health in humans, it seems like we have also started to start talking more about anxiety in horses. Is it a real thing? Abso-freaking-lutely.
There is no question that anxiety is real. It doesn't matter whether we are talking humans, horses, or dogs- anxiety is REAL and we can do something about it.
There are several options to help your horse through anxiety.
The question I see the most in relation to this is, "What supplement should I give my anxious horse?"
Let me be very clear- there is a time and a place for supplements and medications- one of those times and places is when a horse is dangerous for their caregivers, themselves, or their barn-mates.
So, what can we do for our anxious horses? The first, simplest answer is to slow down. You maybe thinking- duh! But I know from experience that slowing down isn't always easy since we have plans and goals. Sometimes we slow down a little, but we also need to step back from training- either with way more fun activities for your horse and less work or by backing up a couple steps in the training process to something that your horse is 100% confident.
The other thing that I have found very effective is the use of essential oils. Oils work especially well when anxiety is triggered by them memory of a bad experience because of the way smells affect the brain. The super cool thing about working with essential oils is that they allow you to work on the bond you have with your horse at the same time as the other issue you are trying to address.
This brings me to arguably the most important thing we need to do when working with a horse with anxiety or anxious tendencies: put yourself in their shoes. You need to understand where they have been to know where they are going. If it isn't possible to know their whole past (which is rare) then you just have to do your best to understand what your horse is FEELING- besides anxious... that's a given and its deeper than that.
I hope this helps a little, but I know it can sound ambiguous to some extent. If you can feel the truth in my words, but need more guidance, grab a FREE 15 minute consult with me Here.