Does your horse get anxious? How does it affect you, when he does?
It’s pretty normal for horse anxiety to trigger us in some way – you might find yourself getting worried, frustrated, or even angry.
You might also find that YOU get anxious.
But, have you ever wondered who got anxious first?
Did their anxiousness trigger yours – or, was it the other way around?!
This morning I brought my mare in to her shelter, as it was rainy with high wind. I thought she’d appreciate being out of it for a while, to rest in a safe space.
However, she was quite anxious, jumping every time there was a big gust of wind – even ignoring her breakfast, and there’s not much that distracts this horse from food, lol!
I became aware of a sensation right in my centre, like something was stuck there, and realised that – since I couldn’t account for that for myself – I was actually feeling her anxiety.
The thing about horse anxiety is that it’s really easy to get drawn in to their negative emotions when something like this happens, right? Much harder to stay calm and draw them to yours instead.
I closed my eyes and focused on feeling my feet on the ground, then started taking some really deep breaths. She definitely couldn’t hear them over the wind, but because I was staying calm and grounded, she started to settle and focus on her food.
I also visualized smoothing out all the energy around her, and grounding her feet – just imagining that I was cupping each hoof in turn, letting her feel its connection to the ground below.
It only took a few minutes and she was much more relaxed and settled.
So, whatever the cause of your horse’s anxiety, remember these key points:
- Make sure it’s not originating with you. In other words, if you’re feeling anxious about something, eg where you’re riding, who you’re riding with, or even something completely unrelated to your horse, remember that it could be you transferring anxiety to them.
What can you do about that? Well, check your own emotions before connecting with your horse, and learn how to manage them when you’re with them.
- Practice identifying whose emotions you’re feeling, and how you’re feeling them. Suddenly notice that you’ve got butterflies, or feel queasy? Tune in to that and ask it questions – whose is it, what does it mean? The better you get at this, the less likely you are to get drawn into their anxiety without realising it.
If you’re interested in learning more techniques to help you build your own awareness and connect with your horse, checkout my self-study Animal Communication course!
Til next time, keep connecting with your horses!
Trisha Wren has been an equine professional for most of her adult life. She rode, competed, and taught Western Riding for 15 years in Scotland, then taught horse and rider bio-mechanics in New Zealand and Australia for 10 years. She’s been a full time horse and animal communicator since April 2016. Find out more about Trisha here and sign up for her self paced Animal Communication course here.