Is Your Horse Depressed?

Knowing and noticing the signs of depression in your horse may alert you to illness, injury or stress that can negatively affect your horse’s health and performance.

Signs of depression in horses:

  • Stands facing the stall wall for periods of time while exhibiting a withdrawn posture (neck stretched out level with back, lack of eye and ear movement, eyes open, fixed gaze)
  • Lack of response to tactile stimulation
  • Lack of interest in treats put in feed tub
  • Lack of attention to surroundings
  • More emotional response to challenging situations

Causes of depression:

  • Illness or injury that causes pain or discomfort
  • Lack of adequate positive social interaction with other horses
  • Lack of adequate exercise and/or turnout
  • Stress during training, showing or in the daily routine


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