Horses bring a great deal of joy to many people. Even those who do not keep horses often enjoy watching or riding these noble, intelligent animals. Horse behavior problems can be a stressful and frustrating interruption to an otherwise enjoyable pastime, but it is important to remember that behavior problems may be a sign that there is an underlying problem.
A horse that is displaying signs of stress or worry, like holding its breath or tensing its body, is probably anxious or stressed. Taking the time to identify the source of stress, and allowing the horse to become comfortable, is better for both the horse and the handler.
Behavior problems with the mouth or bit, like biting or chewing on the bit, may be a sign that the horse is uncomfortable. Dental problems, oral injuries or sores, and bits that do not fit properly are all possible reasons why a horse may act up with its mouth.
A horse that is cinchy or girthy may act up whenever it is time to put on a saddle. This behavior may be a sign that the horse is uncomfortable or even in pain. A saddle that does not fit properly could be the source of the pain, or your horse may be suffering from rib or sternum pain or back pains. In some horses, even the anticipation of pain from being saddled can cause this behavior.
Problems with walking downhill or standing on three legs for hoof care may also be a sign of trouble. Sometimes it is obvious if a horse is lame, but other times the signs of pain or discomfort may be more subtle. A horse that has a sore back or is suffering from arthritis may exhibit what appears to be behavior problems, but are really just outward signs of pain.
It can be tempting to blame all horse behavior problems on training, but often the behavior is a sign of another underlying issue. Take the time to identify the problem and experience a better result for both the horse and the handler.
Deer Creek Structures offers top quality barns and boarding structures to keep your horse comfortable all throughout the year and in any climate conditions. To learn more, call us today at 254-546-2276.