Stress in Horses


Hi! My name is Casie Bazay. I'm a mom, a freelance writer, and a certified equine acupressure practitioner.

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11 Responses

  1. Kathy says:

    Great article, Casie! We can all relate to how people stress can open the door to our physical/health issues, but we don’t often consider WHAT causes stress in our horses or even HOW to RECOGNIZE their stress because they are so patient, kind, tolerant, easygoing, forgiving, and accommodating… so we tend to brush off their feelings and assume they are happy–all rather self-delusional but “normal” thinking. Keep on writing and educating! My prayer is that more people will see natural/whole-istic horse keeping as a better way to go and traditional methods (high carb, isolation, confinement, shoes, routine chemical dewormers/vaccinations) will become the anomaly and NATURAL the norm! Thanks again for being such a super resource for info and an inspiration that we “naturalists” are not alone out there!

    • Casie says:

      Thanks, Kathy. 🙂 What you said is true. It is easy to think our horse is happy in his nice warm stall full of shavings. But we are thinking like a human, not a horse. Give horses a choice, and they would most likely rather be outdoors and with their buddies. Even if it’s 10 degrees!

  2. Eleven of my horses and 1 donkey live as a herd on 20 acres. I have one, a boarder, who is Insulin Resistant and therefore has a special diet and can not eat fresh grass. We live in Oklahoma and a square inch of soil, left alone , will grow grass in `5 minutes therefore no dry lot without pea gravel which his owner is reluctant to pay for. So poor Maxx spends most of his life in a large box stall, from which he can see ‘his’ herd as long as the horses stick close to the barn. I lung him every day and when the weather permits I ride him out on the farm. But he came to me as a cribber and he hasn’t lost the habit so I know stress is a part of his life. His diet consists of Prairie Grass hay, Triple Crown 30 %, and a ton of homeopathic immune system boosters and IR supports. I would truly like to send him back to his friends and have tried short bursts, with muzzle, but his feet heat up and he goes back to his stall. Is there anything you know of that I can do for him?

    • Casie says:

      Hi Virginia–that’s a tough one. I know there are some horses that can’t tolerate any grass at all. But I’ve also heard of IR horses, when their minerals are balanced, being able to return to some pasture. It would be interesting to have a hair analysis done on this horse I think and see what imbalances he may have.

      • In the early days..2 years ago… I sent hair off to my friend who is a homeopath but I haven’t done it recently. Thank you for the suggestion. There’s nothing like sharing a problem to find another path!

        • Casie says:

          You’re welcome. 🙂

          • Come summer/early fall I am moving me and 4 horses from north east Oklahoma to north and east of Sacramento California. I am considering buying a 32′ livestock trailer that has 4 8’x8′ compartments. That way I can put 2 horses into each compartment and still have room for the hay they are used to. It will take us at least three days to get there. Is this a good plan?

            • Casie says:

              I think it’s smart to take your hay that way there will be one less thing they have to adjust to. Just make sure to stop and get the horses out every 6-8 hours and ensure they’re drinking.

  3. Alli Allison says:

    Yep I used to be like this, everything had to be perfect, then I realized that I was missing out on whats really important! NOW I would laugh and play with my daughter with the peanuts and if the houses isnt clean enough then so what!
    I recently went on a trail ride at a “ranch” and the poor horse had ulcers, and everything you just mentioned was going on, little to no foraging and probably too many horses in a too small area AND on top of that they where breeding babies. This infuritates me to no end. I WONT be going back of course and I wish I could have just bought the whole place and turned it into a decent place for the horses and the riders. Although most of the riders are probably clueless.

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