Horses really don’t spook out of no-where. You just missed all the signals before the spook and therefore couldn’t prevent it either. In this newsletter I will tell you about the stress signals and how to prevent those spooks.
You might have read it before on my Instagram or heard it in my videos. I talk about the ‘stressbucket’ a lot. It’s a visualization of how much stress your horse can handle before the bucket overflows and the horse spooks.
There are many things that fill up that bucket all day long:
What situations that your horse deals with on a daily basis, add to his stressbucket?
You can see if your horse experiences a situation as stressful, by looking at his bodylanguage:
Some of these signals are subtle. Some are more clear. Not all of these could indicate stress. Some even help your horse relax after feeling stressed. It’s important to know your horse very well and observe him frequently to really understand what these signals mean. If you ignore these stress signals, there is a bigger change your horse’s stressbucket overflows. He might spook and run off then, or rear, bite, buck or completely freeze.
Once you can recognize these signals, you can help your horse empty the bucket before it fills up.
If these solutions don’t work, you probably missed some signals. There’s a big chance your horse’s bucket is already too full to ask anything from him.
If you practice this often, your horse will learn to release stress without your help too.
But if you still struggle with recognizing and releasing stress, I’m happy to help you in the Happy Horsemanship Course.