We are finally moving towards (dare I say it) Spring now, the days are getting longer (hooray!) and the weather is slightly milder, daffodils are popping up everywhere and blossom is now starting to peep out from the trees.
As delightful as this is, you may have also noticed ‘spring-like’ changes in your horses too! I know Snoox and his girlfriend have been suddenly more spritely, and I’ve had many reports from friends and clients of their horses acting and feeling the same!
While its great to know that your horses are ‘feeling well’, changes in their behavior, admittedly, can be a bit frustrating. You may be seeing more adverse behaviors such as heightened awareness and spookiness, low attention spans, and general ‘freshness’ from your horse. If you are reading this and can relate, please know, you are not alone! Seasonal changes are a real thing when it comes to horse ownership, and as your horse is a living thing, and connected to nature as much as we are, shifts in daylight patterns and changes in weather affect us all.
So how can we work with our horses through these seasonal transitions…and remain sane, loving partners to our horses??
Here are some tips that I hope help!!
- Know and Understand, that this ‘is a thing’ and it will pass.
It can be so frustrating when you’ve been making progress with your horse, or you have things you want to achieve, and suddenly their behavior has changed, and you’re not quite getting what you want and need from your furry pal. Here its important to understand, this will pass, look at the positives in the situation (i.e. this means the weather is getting better, its great that your horse is feeling well etc) and try not to get bogged down in annoyance and frustration.
2. On Days Where You Bring In a Fire Breathing Dragon From the Paddock..
You have two options. Decide that today is not the day, pick their feet out, check they’re alive and well, and chuck them back out again to try again tomorrow…or…commit to your session, take a breath, and minimise what you work on. If you choose option 1, know that this is ok, there is no win or lose, sometimes, its just not worth the hassle! If you choose option 2, break down your session, really focus on just getting your horses focus in the session, and reward moments of relaxation and focus from your horse. Lots and lots of transitions are always helpful to get your horses focus in a session.
3. Consider some Herbal Help!
I change Snoox’s supplements depending on the seasons, to best suit his needs and make sure he stays nourished and healthy all year round. I LOVE using herbal support! This time of year if he was being consistently crackers (which for now its just every now and then so we’re ok), I might consider bringing some calming herbs into his diet such as chamomile, valerian, or passionflower.
The biggest thing to remember here, is that this will all pass, and to stay positive, not to take any behaviour personally, and to be kind to yourself, and your horse, as we transition through the seasons.
I hope this was helpful, please feel free to email me at email@example.com with any questions or comments!