What to do when your good horse suddenly behaves badly

We all have days when we just feel off. The same holds true for your equine athlete. It’s not uncommon for a normally calm animal to show signs of resistance, avoidance, or aggression during training or everyday activities. When the behavior lasts for a day or two, there is usually little to worry about. But if your horse continues to behave dramatically different, it’s necessary to realize that there may be an underlying issue triggering the behavior. Getting to root of the problem will help you take control of the situation and work to restore your horse’s normal temperament.

Possible reasons for the change

There are many things that can cause your horse to behave differently. It’s important to think about any changes that may have occurred recently. Just like people, changes in life can cause a horse to become sad, angry, or stressed. Possible causes include:

  • Injury due to an accident
  • Food or supplement changes
  • Barn changes
  • A new saddle
  • Hoof or shoe issues (abscesses, quarter cracks, corns, or sore heels)
  • Dental work or tooth pain
  • Muscle or body soreness
  • An altercation with another horse
  • Stress
  • Eyesight issues
  • Hormones
  • Changes in rider attitude

How equine massage can help

Many of these issues can be helped with regular equine massage. This therapy will positively impact your equine athlete’s entire body and emotional state, which addresses many of the possible causes for a change in temperament. It relieves pain, helps restore exhausted muscles, reduces restlessness, and stimulates motor nerves. Equine massage is often used to calm skittish or nervous horses and to help them acclimate to new surroundings.

An experienced equine massage therapist can treat numerous issues that may be disrupting your horse’s performance.

How equine massage works

Originally designed for human athletes, equine massage is a hands-on healing approach. This therapeutic technique releases endorphins in the body which can aid in an increased feeling of well-being. So if your horse is misbehaving because he or she is hurting emotionally or physically, massage is a proven and non-invasive solution.

When bad behavior occurs, it’s easy to get impatient and upset, especially if you’re trying to adhere to a strict training schedule. But horses, just like humans, experience good days and bad. Remember, if you suspect there is a medical reason for behavior changes, always talk to your veterinarian. And if your horse is experiencing fear, tension, stress, worry, or pain, equine massage is a great way to alleviate many of these issues.

For more information on the benefits of equine massage and how we can help your horse, get in touch with us today.