When our horses feel relaxed, they let us know how well they are. They would eat with a healthy appetite, they show even-tempered behavior, and they obviously love to learn new lessons. To make it short: This is when they are at their best. So how can we help our horses relax when they are away from home, say at a competition or at some kind of event?
Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven, famous dressage rider from Sweden, offers some useful pieces of advice to make it easier for horses to wind down and relax during competitions. It is very important that her horses don’t feel like learning and competing is hard labor, following the motto “Sport should be fun”.
Four tips to reduce stress in horses
1. Take a walk with your horse before boarding the trailer, and repeat the same procedure right after you have reached your destination
2. Check if the horse has drunk enough water during the journey. If this isn’t the case, feed moisture-rich rations
3. Keep exactly the same feeding schedule your horse knows from his daily routine at home
4. Pamper your horse’s stomach with Equine 74 to buffer excessive stomach acid before it can cause discomfort and pain!
Using these best practices has many advantages for her: While she gives her horses good care – which is what we riders want, of course – she helps them unleash their best performance. Because if nothing is bothering her horse, it gets way easier to focus on the work at hand, without distractions whatsoever.
With this method, competitions become a lot less scary for our horses: What used to be a stressful event can turn into an inspiring, positive experience.
Balance is everything: The natural way to keep stomach acid in check
Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven about her experiences with Equine 74 Gastric
This makes it a great idea to take a closer look at what feed Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven uses. Equine 74 Gastric is a part of her daily anti-stress routine. Read here, what she reports about her experience with our natural feed supplement, and her relaxed horses.
„To get the maximum expression, you need to have the balance between tension and relaxation. For the rest, we trust in Equine 74 Gastric.“
Equine 74: Tinne, after your victory in Aachen you emphasized again and again your joy over your relaxed Don Auriello and said you had one of the best rides ever on him. Why is it for you so important to ride a well-balanced horse?
"I like to feel that my horse are completely with me at the show and that I can get almost the same feeling as when I train at home. Of course it’s a lot of atmosphere that you get on the show, that you don’t have at home, but when the horse is focused on me and not feeling stressed that is what I want to reach. To get the maximum expression, you need to have the balance between tension and relaxation.“
Equine 74: How does a horse show you that it is relaxed?
"I think by behaving the same way as it always does and really listening to me and not being focused on the surrounding.“
Equine 74: You support all your dressage horses with Equine 74 Gastric; a special EGUS preventing supplement, what are the effects on your horses? How fast did you recognize any changes?
"We have one horse that we saw a big difference on and that was actually the reason why we tried it on all our horses. He has always had some problems with his stomach and we have tried many different products without any real effect, but after a few weeks with Equine 74 Gastric we saw a difference.“
Huge events as Aachen, but also smaller tournaments for younger horses are always a strain for horses. They have to travel long distances, are housed in a new stable, experience a lot of turmoil and have to perform in front of a big audience.
Equine 74: How do your horses react in such situations? And how do you limit the stress impact on your horses?
Equine 74: You are working as a trainer on Lövsta Stuteri in Sweden. What is for you particularly important in the daily dressage training?
“To train on the horse´s condition. To listen to each horse and train them in a way that they keep their motivation and happiness. I try to train them in a way that it feels easy for them, and if I get a problem, I can always go back a step to prepare them again.“
Want to know more?
On our topic page you will find a lot more information and links on the topic of gastric ulcers in horses. The possibilities for the prevention of gastric ulcers in horses are also described here.