Has your horse’s behaviour changed recently, leaving you perplexed and frustrated?
It’s easy for our gut reaction to be that they’re doing it on purpose, just being annoying, or playing up – but the reality is that horse behaviour changes are actually one of the only ways that your horse can communicate to you that something isn’t right in their world.
Behaviour changes you might notice in your horse:
- Mood changes – he seems grumpy, sad, more volatile, anxious, or spooky
- He’s pinning his ears
- You’re noticing more wrinkles around his eyes and mouth
- Tossing his head more
- Stumbling, or not feeling as balanced as usual
- Seems lazier, or is unwilling to go forward
- Bucking, rearing etc
- He’s stopped doing something he used to do easily, or started doing something you’d really rather he didn’t
It would be so good – and save so much time – if they could just tell us what was going on, right?!
Figuring it out is usually a process of elimination.
Here are the top 5 reasons for horse behaviour changes (in no particular order).
1 – Diet
Have you been feeding them something different lately? There could be too much sugar, or something else in there that isn’t agreeing with them. Think about the grass, too; a spring flush can mean they’re eating rich or toxin laden grass – or, just too much. Or, they could be mineral deficient. So, you may need to add or remove something from their diet and see if their behaviour returns to ‘normal’.
When I’ve checked diet in my animal communication sessions, I’ve found that 57% of diets need something added or removed.
2 – Pain
Pain or discomfort can come from many sources – sharp teeth, uncomfortable or unbalanced saddle, sore back or feet, or ulcers – and is one of the biggest causes of horse behaviour changes. Teeth should be checked at least yearly, and your saddle fit probably twice a year (or whenever your horse’s weight or fitness changes). Check and eliminate one thing at a time, with help from the appropriate professionals, ie get checkups from your equine dentist, body worker, saddle fitter and farrier / trimmer if necessary to help you clarify which things are or aren’t a problem.
From the statistics I collect in my animal communication sessions:
51% of teeth are out of balance / need attention,
50% of horses have ulcers
29% of horses are not currently structurally sound for riding.
Any one of these things could cause a behaviour change in your horse.
3 – Saddle
I’m putting ‘saddle’ as an entry in its own right, because the actual issue may be bigger than that. It could be your girth that’s the problem, your pad, or even the way you tack up. For instance, if you always tighten your girth on the left, or, if you always mount on the left, you may be causing problems for your horse. What you see as a behaviour change may just be him trying to communicate to you that he is uncomfortable or in pain.
In my animal communication sessions I routinely check whether the horse’s saddle currently fits – and, in my experience, 39% do not. (Read more about saddle fit in this blog.)
4 – Living arrangements
Has something changed in the way, or where, you keep your horse? Has their best friend left, or a new horse arrived? (Also under this category could be changes with you, that are affecting them, so think about what’s been going on in your own life lately. Yes, your horse’s behaviour change may be related to your own behaviour changes!)
I do routinely ask horses if they like where they live. It’s not something I’ve been recording (must put that on the ‘to do’ list, lol), but I do get a few that don’t like where they live for some reason.
5 – Bad experience
Has anything happened that caused your horse stress or anxiety? For instance, if, the last time you took them out in the float / trailer, it wasn’t a pleasant experience, remembering that could be causing what you see as behaviour change in your horse this time.
6 – Energy Imbalance
Yes, I know I said ‘Top 5’, lol – but this is the hidden one, that, if you’ve eliminated all other causes and still can’t figure out what’s going on, is most likely the culprit.
We are energetic beings, and our energy field and chakras can get out of balance for all sorts of reasons – affecting our mood, happiness, and behaviour.
Have a watch of this 20 min video for more:
So, think about what has changed that could have affected your horse (grass, environment or lifestyle changes, experiences, and even weather). Then think about what hasn’t changed (eg diet needs a tweak, saddle needs to be checked, or it’s been a while since the body worker has been).
Through a process of elimination – and listening to your horse – you should be able to figure out what’s going on. If you’re concerned about his health, please contact your vet.
If you’re still at a loss – or think energetic imbalance may be the issue, it might be worth seeing what an Animal Communication session unearths.
By tuning in with your horse, I can give him a physical once over to identify any pain, check whether his diet needs a tweak or he has ulcers, and check if his saddle fits. I also routinely clear and rebalance any energetic issues. And, of course you can ask all your burning questions about why your horse is behaving the way he is.
If you’d like to cut to the chase and get a comprehensive report on what’s going on with your horse, you can book a horse communication session, here, then send me a photo of your horse with its name and your questions.
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 horse and rider bio-mechanics in New Zealand and Australia. She’s been a full time horse and animal communicator since April 2016, and also runs regular Animal Communication online workshops. Find out more about Trisha here.