Horse Anxiety and Curiosity

February 20, 2012

You may have problems with regulating yourself and your emotional states.  You may also have pain issues.  All these difficulties can combine and be very hard to untangle.  This clip is a little bit about my horses shifting between anxiety and curiosity as they explore leaving the barn for the yard near my horse trailer.  They knew the plan was likely about going riding somewhere.  The two horses have different attitudes about coming out into the yard and staying near the trailer.

I shortened a 45 minute period into 5 and a half minutes, so you can see a little bit about using the idea of stress ramping up and stress ramping down, approach and retreat concepts, and some of the idea of pacing.  I let my horses take a long time to decide that they wanted to come out into the yard.  This was an exercise for my horses in exploration within a certain amount of boundary.

People also experience a dynamic between anxiety and retreat, and curiosity and exploration when facing situations that are challenging.  A therapeutic approach for people and horses too, is to find a way to scale the challenge to a manageable amount.

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