Everything Horse Magazine August 2021 Issue 44 - Page 41

tail , increased defecation and urination , pacing , changes in eating or drinking and increased startle reactions .
As things escalate , we start to see the performance of chase and threat behaviours as the horse attempts to make distance between itself and the thing it is worried about , and this can lead further to freeze , flight and / or fight behaviours .
If we imagine these signs as a ladder of escalation , we should aim to stop the progression of the behaviours as soon as we see them at the calming signals stage . If we see them rising to stress signals and distance increasing behaviours , we have pushed the horse far too far and should immediately stop and take some steps back to where the horse is calm and not displaying any stress signals .
To conclude In conclusion , every horse is unique with individual experiences , genetics , physiology and emotional responses . Therefore , we must learn to communicate at an individual level with each horse to understand their behaviour and enable us to make evidence-led , informed decisions around their training and development . Taking our time , reducing pressure and engaging in empathetic , positive and consistent training are the greatest educational gifts we can give to a horse . •