When a loud noise or something unexpected happens in the stable it may affect the horse. Something can also happen in the transport truck or in a competition. Because of these events we are likely to have to deal with traumatized horses.
Traumas or scares are not just for humans. Animals are also scared because they are living beings and at the same time horses are very sensitive.
That is why when faced with a strong situation, your equine can present discomfort, fatigue, fear, and certainly traumas. That is why we must learn how to deal with trauma situations in horses
Some things that can scare horses are:
- Lightning and thunder during a storm,
- An annoying horse that is all the time anxious and kicking,
- Persistent pain,
- A sharp fall
- Abuse by humans.
Accidents, screams and blows also cause physical and emotional injuries in these animals.
In conclusion we have traumatized, injured and fearful horses.
More today we will learn to work with traumatized horses to heal the horse’s psyche.
Symptoms of traumatized horses
A horse that is impacted by this circumstance begins to move away, retract, does not want to be with other horses or with humans.
The traumatized horse prefers to be isolated and when it is sought to remove it from the stable or take it from outside to the stable it rises on its hind legs and neighs.
It becomes arisco and does not want to be touched.
There are even times when he becomes aggressive with the people it knows, who spend time with it.
If you notice symptoms like the previous ones on your horse, pay attention because he could be traumatized.
Even rebellion appears as a defense mechanism in horses.
The animal considers a protection and that with that behavior nobody can harm him.
Starting from that scenario, you cannot fall into your game, but put yourself in your place to understand it.
To remember what the animal has lived recently to find the reason that makes it act that way.
Only in this way will it be possible to know what has it doing so and begin to take measures to heal it.
How to help traumatized horses
One of the most common things in traumatized horses is that they do not respond to the orders of their masters, riders or trainers.
They become rebellious and aggressive. Cranky and distant.
Faced with this, what must be done is to regain the trust of the animal. Remind him that You are not a threat to him.
Once the animal begins to yield, it will try to set its rules and that is when you have to say who is the leader of the pack.
Horses are sociable and affectionate animals but when they are traumatized fear makes them act differently. When the horse is traumatized it activates its survival instinct and can become aggressive
Leadership cannot be imposed by force, it is earned with respect
To make a horse understand that you are the leader of its pack, it is not necessary to resort to violence.
Overuse of the whip or whip can even make things worse. Aggression may cause you to fear approaching and may become aggressive. Therefore, with a traumatized horse, care and affection must be doubled.
The only way to tell the equine who the leader is is to return to the basics: the dressage in the pen.
Circling around and making the horse trot causes it to drain.
The key is that the trainer should not give up if the horse does not collaborate. Those things take time. No one tames a horse completely in one or two days.
We can see samples of this behavior in the movie “The Horse Wisperer” which we recommended some time ago.
How long does the healing process take?
The process of training a horse will take several days or weeks depending on the temperament of the animal. However, day by day the horse will show small advances.
The interesting thing about returning to the pen is that the horse, if the coach does not give up, can whinny, get up on two legs and show signs of rebellion. At the end of the day the horse will be forced to recognize that the human is the leader.
The secret for that horse to see man again as his guide is that he shows him that he can take care of it and teach it.
You don’t need blows and screams with ugly words. Only firmness and resistance when the animal becomes restless. And perhaps it is good to show some affection when the horse lowers its guard.
The pen really helps the horse to focus again. We must show the horse that we are not a threat to it.
How can the horse overcome the fear of humans?
If the horse is afraid of people it is because someone mistreated him so much that he traumatized him.
In that case the trainer has to show him that not all humans are bad or have bad intentions with him.
Earning the animal’s respect is the next step and especially you have to earn it without violence. Again the taming of poultry works very well for these cases.
Turning it around and making it trot while offering an apology on behalf of the person who has hurt it works.
The horse will understand that not everyone is bad and that he can trust. Also, if you give carrots or apples, the horse will also see it well. This is the same way if a child is the cause of that fear in the horse.
The therapy that will help traumatized horses overcome that fear is getting closer.
The child who is used for that therapy will have to stay out of the pen. This is a safety measure so that in case the horse is disturbed it does not harm him.
In this sense it will help the child to talk to him and feed him. I caressed it while he gave it the food.
Thus the animal will feel that this little one is not equal to the child who mistreated and traumatized him.
Tips to overcome fear of jumping or racing
When it comes to an athlete horse, one cannot forget that despite being an athlete, it is still a horse.
The traumatized horse needs to return to the field and share with other horses, eat quietly and at his own pace, graze in peace.
This harpa that relaxes and has fun being what it is: a horse.
The problem occurs when the animal is forced to train hard without recess, when its owners become obsessed and exploit it.
The animal suffers and does not collaborate. Which affects the rider because the horse does not perform the same.
Human obsession can reach the point of discarding it when what it needs is a rest.
After these cases appear the horse has to be treated calmly.
It should not be forced. You have to let it be itself again.
And if the problem that the animal has is the result of a fall while jumping obstacles or running, you must work on the safety of the horse.
But not in external security but in internal. The animal has to know that it is safe on the track and that damage will not happen again.
Patience in these cases is vital because all horses are different, they have their own rhythm.
The horses learn in their own way and speed. They should not be forced because otherwise they refuse training.
Reflection on our relationship with horses
People often talk about how amazing horses are helping people.
Equine therapy is spoken of as salvation for many lives that have physical and emotional traumas, even psychological ones.
It is time for us to worry about horses, what they need and what we can give them to be themselves again.
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