Focused, attentive horses are easier and more fun to ride, show and train!
Your horse’s diet can impact his mood
It is the goal of every horseman to have a well-broke, responsive horse that is a pleasure to ride, but how can you attain that goal if your horse is constantly nervous and inattentive?
While patience and proper training techniques are essential when working with any horse, some horses can benefit from nutrients that support the normal activity of neurotransmitters (the chemicals responsible for transmitting impulses along nerve cells). Ingredients like thiamine (B1), magnesium, taurine, and alpha-lactalbumin help maintain healthy nerve and muscle function.
Mood can also be affected by glucose metabolism. When glucose is quickly digested and absorbed it can cause spikes in “stress hormones” that make horses edgy and nervous. Choosing feeds high in fat and fiber that are slowly metabolized help to limit hormone spikes.
It is hard to pay attention when things hurt
Pain and discomfort can also be distracting. Ulcers, lameness, and even ill-fitting tack can all contribute to tension and edginess. It might take some detective work, but uncovering and fixing the causes of a horse’s pain can greatly improve his mood.
Providing the proper energy sources, supplementing to ensure adequate nutrient availability, and careful management are all key factors in keeping horses attentive and calm.