Are Horses Scared

Christina Perez
• Thursday, 15 October, 2020
• 23 min read

Article Summary To tell if a horse is frightened, watch its ears to see if they're flicking back and forth, perched forward, or turned outwards, which are all signs that a horse is alert and anxious. You should also listen and watch for forceful exhales, like your horse is snorting, which could indicate that it's afraid.

horse scared gets should
(Source: radeklibal.com)


A spook is usually a startled jump sideways, or a quick change of direction with the intention to flee. These smells include lion, tiger or wolf dung, fresh blood and bone and satyric acid.

Horses have better hearing than dogs, and seem to learn and remember specific words quite easily. Lynn Bird, a behaviorist based in Cheshire, adds several more reasons why horses whinny.

Usually people get sick from infected pigs, but other animals such as cats, dogs, horses, cows, rodents and rabbits can also carry this disease. Domesticated pigs and horses generally are not considered to be a good choice of pasture mates.

Horses and pigs have little in common and are unlikely to form an emotional bond even if you turn them out in the same pasture. Horses can interpret the body language of other creatures, including humans, whom they view as predators.

Horses can read human facial expressions and remember a person’s mood, a study has shown. The animals respond more positively to people they have previously seen smiling and are wary of those they recall frowning, scientists found.

scared horse training longer ride why acceptable technique think bag
(Source: ourhorses.org)

But, unless they get to run around in pastures all day long, horses, like humans, want to have a job. It is a patch of sensory cells within the main nasal chamber that detects heavy moisture-borne odor particles.

On the bright side, you can desensitize a scared horse from the things that cause fear. Horses are prey in the wild, so the instinct to protect themselves is engraved in their DNA.

Equine fear reactions often occur when the horse feels they are in danger. The horses that survived in the wild were the ones that could identify danger and escape quickly.

For example, when your horse gets scared at the sight of a car, they are trying to protect themselves from the perceived threat. On the other hand, heavy draft horses that perform labor are typically more manageable.

Breeds with a history as a warhorse, like Shires or Andalusian's, are also less likely to shy from uncertainty. In many Disney movies, the horse gets frightened by a small furry mouse running by.

horse pony scared similar lunge
(Source: www.istockphoto.com)

Since horses are herd animals, they may panic when they are separated from their pen mates. Anxiety around training and performance are also common in young horses.

Sometimes their fearful behavior can resemble aggression, which puts the rider at risk of being bucked off or even kicked. It is essential to notice behavioral changes before your horse starts acting wild.

Observing your horse’s ears or head position can prevent harm from occurring. Curled muzzle : Your horse may be noticing a strange scent in the environment.

Shaking or trembling : A scared horse will visibly quiver during rides. This behavior can occur during rides, leaving the rider holding on for dear life.

Speak to your horse in a soothing low tone to ease their fear. When your horse is panicked, quick movements can cause them to overreact.

horse scared horses themselves hurt down calm rider prone accident riders something similar jung michael trauma fear response based
(Source: www.istockphoto.com)

Once you have a special bond with your horse, you can allow it to inspect the object that is causing fear. This practice helps prevent panic attacks in the future by letting the horse become familiar with the feared object.

Patience and time can not only relax your horse, but also create a stronger bond between you and your regal friend. If you notice your gentleness is not causing much of an impact, and your horse is still showing signs of fear, it is time to try a more creative approach.

The praise surrounding full-spectrum cannabidiol (CBD) oil has been circling in the equestrian community, and for a good reason. Due to the compound’s beneficial properties, CBD may help calm a horse down and ease fears or phobias.

It is known to promote a calming and tranquil disposition, which can be useful if your horse is uneasy or tense. Remember, it takes some time to create a trusting bond between you and your horse.

Instead, owners must gradually earn their trust as a method to quell fear over time It will cause the horse to struggle to escape, leading to the risk of kicking you with its hind legs.

horses hounds thegraphicsfairy members horse scared hunt
(Source: members.thegraphicsfairy.com)

To catch your horse successfully, you should walk up to it throughout the day to give them treats and hugs. Waiting until the end of the day when your four-legged friend is tired and hungry is one of the easiest methods for catching your horse.

Bribery should not be a long-term solution, as your horse may start to get suspicious after learning that snacks equate capture. Your horse will eventually tire and give in, but do not reject their need for water.

Training is a challenging task because you must continuously comfort your horse. It may take a long time, but once you gain your horse’s trust, they are more likely to remain calm.

This cannabinoid can help compose your horse and make them more receptive to you. We hope that these tips and tricks help calm your scared horses, opening up the door to a fantastic riding experience.

However, horses are less able to adjust to sudden changes of light than are humans, such as when moving from a bright day into a dark barn. Often a horse’s natural reaction to something that it doesn’t understand is to spook or shy.

scared horse deviantart camera
(Source: mindyroxs.deviantart.com)

A spook is usually a startled jump sideways, or a quick change of direction with the intention to flee. These smells include lion, tiger or wolf dung, fresh blood and bone and satyric acid.

A lot of horses are not afraid of the smell of a campfire, either, despite some old wives’ tales. As with tension around the muzzle, tightening of the muscles around the eyes is a subtle, early?sign of stress, fear or discomfort.

It’s comforting to know horses can’t really smell our fear, but they’re masters at using their other senses to pick it up. Horses can interpret the body language of other creatures, including humans, whom they view as predators.

Horses can read human facial expressions and remember a person’s mood, a study has shown. The animals respond more positively to people they have previously seen smiling and are wary of those they recall frowning, scientists found.

But, unless they get to run around in pastures all day long, horses, like humans, want to have a job. It is a patch of sensory cells within the main nasal chamber that detects heavy moisture-borne odor particles.

scared horses help
(Source: www.saddlebox.net)

Typically, the amount of REM sleep they require is very small, so they don’t need to lie down often. Usually people get sick from infected pigs, but other animals such as cats, dogs, horses, cows, rodents and rabbits can also carry this disease.

Click to see our all-time favorite mental riding book at Amazon Books and movies have pervaded the idea that horses can sense fear and anxiety.

There’s usually some wise cowboy type who offers advice to the hero along the lines of: “Don’t let old Flame know you’re scared, and you’ll be okay!” That’s all fine and well if you’re watching a fun flick, but it can also lead anxious riders in real life to the question: “But I AM nervous? He doesn’t have a crystal ball hidden under the shavings in the corner of his stall.

They’ve evolved to believe that there’s danger out there in the world 24/7/365, and that it’s safest to avoid predators by staying in herds, where the other horses will help keep them safe. And, by the time they’re trained to ride, horses become experts at “reading” people.

They notice if someone working around them is not following the usual routine, becomes tight and tense in the saddle, or acts stiff on the ground. They observe, process information, and ask “Am I safe?” every moment of every day.

horse horses fear frightened riding
(Source: www.writingofriding.com)

That means following the routines they’re used to, moving around them calmly, and assuring them that they are safe. Listen to your coach or trainer, and do your best to follow your horse’s normal routine.

This will convey to your horse that you’re not a threat, that you don’t want to shake up their life by doing anything scary, and that you are familiar with their preferences. That could mean adjusting how you approach your horse in the field, where you tack up, and how you use your leg and rein aids in the saddle.

Set the right tone by working with your horse on the ground in safe and consistent ways (e.g. speak softly, so they know where you are moving around them). You’ll likely feel a bit uneasy, unsure what people are doing and saying, and out of place.

Once you learn the language, though, all the puzzle pieces fall into place. You can move through the country with a higher level of confidence and calm.

Be kind to yourself Everyone has nervous moments around horses, and as long as you’re keeping the routine and pattern familiar for the horse you’re riding, they’ll be okay with your inexperience. The more knowledge you accumulate and time you spend around horses, the more comfortable you’ll become.

horse scared horses oklahoma call slaughter stop governor need help please
(Source: thisnthatn.wordpress.com)

As prey animals, horses are experts at spooking. Some can be trained out of it, but now and then, we meet a horse that is literally afraid of its own shadow.

They cling to tree branches and make spooky sounds all on their own. Horses are deeply afraid of plastic bags and it's best to avoid these at ALL times.

We'd much rather get wet than find out what happens when a spooky horse meets an open umbrella. The chilling sound of two Velcro pieces being pulled apart is more than enough to send shivers down a horse's spine.

The smell is obviously a sign of certain death, and what's up with that obnoxiously bright color? It's completely harmless unless you somehow manage to fall in face first.

But to your horse, that little puddle of water is more like a fathomless lake of death. You might be able to get away with quickly scooting past one when it's standing up, but a traffic cone that's on its side is a whole different story.

horse scared falling
(Source: www.inspiredtochange.biz)

Anything new It's a good feeling when you have some extra cash to buy new barn equipment, right? That new hay net or water trough might make you smile, but your spooky horse probably disagrees.

Change is hard for some horses, and something new to their environment could lead to a serious spook. They float through the air and literally wouldn't hurt a fly.

Let's hope your spooky horse doesn't spot one of these floating creatures of doom while you're in the saddle. The average chicken is probably somewhere around five pounds, and yet they completely freak out horses.

It might be easier to just turn around rather than force your horse to walk past a scary balloon. It might be okay if you hold them in your hand well away from your horse's face, but watch out if you get too close.

Positioning that ribbon for a celebratory photo could end up backfiring big time. And if they try to walk through, they run the risk of getting stuck or entering some kind of terrifying vortex.

horse farrier terrified shoeing due past scared trauma horses abuse extreme william impossible below
(Source: www.wideopenpets.com)

In the wild, they must be on alert for wolves, mountain lions, and even man. Horses must learn to trust things in our world that we ask them to face.

Ears and Eyes Locked Forward on the Object Heavy Breathing or Snorting Arched Neck Showing Eye White Zigzag Movement Stomping or Pawing Bolting or Running Off One of the first signs a horse gives to indicate fear is to turn their whole focus to the object or area where their concern is.

It has heard something, or thought it saw something, and is focused intently on the area or item. You will notice this stage easily by observing a horses ears and focus.

The horses eyes and head will be locked in the direction of the fear stimulus. His ears will also be locked forward, listening for clues as to how to proceed next.

During this stage, a horse has to make a decision whether the item is terrifying. If the horse is afraid, it may continue to display some additional fear behaviors listed below.

horse scared frightened sauerbraten gravy teutonic tangy tantalizingly yeah treat taste sunday right eyes today ain seabiscuit although sweat dish
(Source: doorfliesopen.com)

Heaving breathing and snorting is a very common sign of fear in horses. Typically, when a horse is scared, they look and focus on the object, arch their neck and snort.

The rapid exhalation of air is an audible clue to others in the herd to pay attention to the scary object. For most horses, their eyes are typically fully colored and not showing any white when in a relaxed state.

In the case of a scared horse, they will often lift their eyebrow usually exposing white at the top of their eye. Keep in mind that some horses naturally show white around their eye even when not afraid.

When asked to approach a scary object, a horse will seldom walk up to it in a straight line. There are two options in the wild when dealing with a predator, fight or flight.

Stomping and Pawing are fight responses a horse can elicit when afraid. In a scary situation a horse is much more likely to bolt or run away from the thing it fears rather than confront it.

horse frightened supernatural beachcombing english bizarre history
(Source: www.strangehistory.net)

While we can’t know for sure what is going on inside a horse’s brain causing the fear, we do have some pretty good guesses. Think of how a camel looks to a horse, they are big, weirdly shaped animals.

They smell bad, have long necks and make strange sounds. The good news is that horses can be acclimated to camels fairly easily.

Using standard approach and retreat or simply stabling your horse near camels will help them get used to them. A horse’s fear can be triggered by hearing them in the brush or by seeing them emerge (or both).

Think about it from the horse’s perspective, you are a big prey animal. You hear rustling in the bushes, you are SURE it is a big cat or something else that wants to eat you.

All of a sudden, a windy “thing” emerges and slides across in front of or towards you. Pigs are another animal that can scare horses for reasons similar to those mentioned for camels and snakes above.

horse nervous system autonomic scared frightened vs treadmill
(Source: www.nwhorsesource.com)

Don’t worry though, just like with camels, horses can get used to pigs pretty easily. Typically though, a horse only has a fear reaction to a fart sound when it is already in a heightened state or alert to something else.

All of a sudden your horse stops, ears alert and eyes focused on the bush to your right. You both hear rustling and your horse is trying to figure out where the sound is coming from.

Lightning is scary to a horse because the hear loud booms and see rapidly moving white flashes. Horse can be afraid to walk in water or cross rivers because they have poor depth perception.

If the horse can’t see to the bottom he / she may be worried it is too deep or unsteady to cross. If a horse isn’t used to being bathed, the water coming at them from the home could seem like an attack.

To get a horse used to being bathed, it’s best to start with a slow stream of water coming from the hose. Start by spraying the horses legs and slowly working your way up.

horses horse learning stress nervous calm fearful longe impairs abilities study negative worst line ways reinforcement
(Source: seriouslyequestrian.com)

That way, the horse has time to get used to the feel and sound of the water hose. There are a variety of stimuli a horse must overcome during the fly spray process.

All three of these things can bother a horse at first and cause them to be scared of the fly spray bottle. If you want to help your horse get used to fly spray, the best thing to do is to break down the task into its three steps.

Normally once a horse is good in step 2 the smell isn’t as big of an issue anymore but, if your horse is still bothered by the smell, try diluting a little of your fly spray in water. Then slowly add less and less water until the horse is OK with the full smell.

Here is a trainer working a horse through fears with plastic bags and fly spray. When I was a child one of my friends believed horses were afraid of the color red.

I’ve never seen a scientific study showing horses to fear a color. Red, Purple, Green…whatever color you like to wear or put on your horse is fine.

riding horse scared horses points trigger afraid fearful anxious break overcoming stress fall breaking bad fear journals english jumper clay
(Source: www.horsejournals.com)

There are many theories when it comes to training a scared horse but the consensus seems to be approach and retreat. Some items above specifically list desensitization steps but for each type of fear, there are at least a few ways you can help your horse overcome it.

Gradually ask your horse to get closer to the object, then let him back away. We mentioned camels, spiders and pigs above but here are some ways you can help your horse get over the fear of pretty much any animal.

Start far away but eventually, as your horse gets used to it, get closer until you can be right next to the scary animal. When training horses afraid of objects like tarps, fly spray, water, trailers etc.

The idea is to introduce that object at a pace that is comfortable for the horse. Start farther away and gradually work your way closer.

Will he cross a raised wooden platform or bridge that sounds hollow? When we break the scary thing down into pieces the horse can understand, it is easier for him to get over his fears.

horses 21st century still horse scared need fight itsnotthecamera
(Source: itsnotthecamera.wordpress.com)

Here is a clip of a trainer training a horse that is spooking at rocks. Fear can be identified by watching a horses behavior and looking for tell-tale signs.

We have to remember that horses are prey animals and it is there nature to be cautious and fearful. Obstacles are a great way for your horse to overcome fear.

Check out these articles for some obstacle ideas that may help your horse to be less afraid! His previously floppy ears snap forward, and his head rises up.

As you wonder when your horse turned into a giraffe, his steps become slower and shorter, his backdrops, and he emits the emphatic horse-in-jeopardy snort. And just as you think, well, it can’t be that, your horse wheels, leaving you hanging in space for a moment as he hightails it back to the barn, not noticing whether you’re still attached to him.

Maybe he’s convinced that whitetail deer are masquerading as peaceful, grass-eating creatures but are really waiting for the chance to pounce on a delicious meal. The first step-and this often harder than you would think it should be-is to determine what’s causing your horse to be anxious and thus unruly or disobedient.

rodeo horse scared cfd dead cheyenne redemption animal tortured bullfighting frontier 2005 days screenshots sharkonline cruelty
(Source: www.sharkonline.org)

The objects that horses most commonly find terrifying include: rocks, farm equipment, cars, buildings, jumps, garbage cans and pretty much anything they consider out of the ordinary. Many horses are uncertain about dark or enclosed places (like an indoor arena), and even more are genuinely scared of being alone (they are herd animals).

Highly strung horses are easily unglued by loud, unexpected noises (a car back-firing, a garbage can falling over). Anxiety could even be caused by more subtle changes around the barn (the jumps were moved in the ring, for instance).

And often horses with a strong desire to please become anxious because they don’t understand what’s being asked of them, either because the exercise isn’t clear to them or the rider’s aids are confusing. Horses are often afraid of birds, cows, goats, sheep, donkeys, deer or other wildlife.

We know a horse who’ll walk past about anything on the buckle, but when you pick up the reins to work, the same objects immediately become terrifying. If that’s the case, focus on your work and more or less ignore the horse’s behavior and the object of his concern.

But if your horse is truly afraid, then it’s time to analyze the cause and to best determine how to combat it. Dealing with objects that cause your horse to shy can be extremely vexing.

horse fireworks scared cruel fear racing drunk charge being noise arrested yorkmix pet
(Source: learnhowtotalktoanimals.com)

Most horses, if given a chance to look hard at an unfamiliar object-and especially to sniff and to touch it-will lose their anxiety. Usually, if you remain calm and just let them take a deep breath and assess something they haven’t seen before, they’ll accept it.

If your horse is really unglued by an object, to the point where he becomes dangerous to you or others, discretion is always the better part of valor. Horses that are worried about dark or enclosed places will likely always be that way, probably because they’re genuinely claustrophobic, or they have poor eyesight.

Don’t hesitate to use your spurs or your whip to make them really walk (or trot or canter) away from the barn, because you want to develop their own belief that they’ll be fine and to confirm their respect for your aids. This prevents you from acknowledging the object as something fearful and keeps your eyes, head and balance up and forward.

If you have a horse who’s perpetually spooky, try riding with a breastplate, racing yolk or grab strap. Catching nervous horses in the mouth can often send them over the edge.

Ride a leg-yield or half-pass (or even a simple outside bend) that puts the horse’s eye on the object, but follow it up with strong leg aids that force him to continue stepping forward and working. If your horse is walking like a tense ball about to explode, pick up the trot and start riding figures like serpentine or figure-eights.

horse funny memes horses meme jumping scared things dance dressage pound head workout quotes fun equestrian through rockout class exercise
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Remember, the hardest thing for some horses to do is walk on a loose rein. The loss of contact with the rider can feel like abandonment, and they’re more likely to become anxious or startled.

Although being able to walk on a loose rein is a must, be patient with horses and riders who struggle with this concept. Begin by trying brief periods of loose rein between two letters of a standard dressage court, increasing the amount of walk over time.

Make him work to force him to pay attention to you, using circles and leg yields, to get his mind off his friends heading toward the barn. Barn- and buddy-sour horses usually balk or refuse to move forward, away from their friends or home.

Balking can evolve into the extremely dangerous behavior of rearing and is not to be tolerated. If your horse balks, you must IMMEDIATELY become far scarier to him than the cause of his initial anxiety.

Use your legs, spurs, whips and voice (growl and scold, don’t scream) and GO FORWARD. Having to gallop out of the barnyard for a week to get past this problem is worth it, if it prevents the horse from eventually rearing.

horse scared horses riding cowboy tame getting rider fear spending rein saddling recidivism racing distance inventive overcome similar try things
(Source: www.istockphoto.com)

How do you prepare a horse to stay calm in the midst of a backfiring engine or gunshots until it happens? And immediately return to whatever work you were doing, so that the horse sees that you weren’t fazed by the sound.

Shake, rattle and bang pots and pan, bells, rattles, plastic bags or other common items around him while you reassure him (with your voice, stroking or food) until he accepts the sounds. It’s rare that you can’t convince a horse who’s afraid of clipping or other care requirements to relax.

There’s nothing wrong with using some Acepromazine or other mild tranquilizer to settle his mind, if you don’t have the time or the situation is too urgent to take a slow, proper training route. For most horses, 1 to 3 CCS of Ace (depending on his size and temperament) will do the trick.

But, remember, tranquilizers are not training substitutes, and some horses won’t learn anything while under their influence. Note: If you use tranquilizers to facilitate care, be sure it’s under veterinary guidance and far enough ahead of competition to avoid breaking the show or event’s rules for using performance-enhancing substances.

Job Stress The anxiety you have the best chance of changing is that caused by horses who are worried about the work they’re doing or the ride they’re getting. From a training perspective, it’s often extremely challenging to meld a partnership between a horse and rider who aren’t suited.

horse scared
(Source: www.youtube.com)

And, although it’s always far preferable for riders to truly work to improve their skills and suppleness and to expand their experience, sometimes trainers just have to admit that a change needs to be made. Make riders aware of the tremendous challenges they’ll face with their current mount given their respective personalities.

Related Videos

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In

01: D.va Overwatch
02: D.v.m. College Of Education
03: D.v.m Degree College Of Commerce
04: D.v.m. Medical Abbreviation
05: D.v.m. Phd
06: D.v.m Public School
07: D.v.m. Quality S.r.o
08: D.v.m. Utilities Inc
09: Qtis Yearling Sale 2019
10: Gloves For Horseback Riding
1 horsemeta.com - https://horsemeta.com/best-horse-riding-gloves/
2 www.farmhousetack.com - https://www.farmhousetack.com/collections/gloves
3 www.ridingwarehouse.com - https://www.ridingwarehouse.com/Riding_Gloves/catpage-EGLOVES.html
4 horsesandfoals.com - https://horsesandfoals.com/horse-riding-gloves/