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Today’s Horses ~ Stress and the Endocrine System

Millie-Serene-Showing

Today’s horses are experiencing more stress than ever! 

Whether they are show horses, or endurance horses and even horses used for camping, all are subject to added stressors.

With the show season in full swing it’s a good time to stop and take a look at how stressors may affect competitive horses.

Horses are very emotional creatures who are adversely affected by stress.

Understanding this is imperative to having a healthy and happy competitive equine. How individual horses respond to potentially stressful situations differs, but many health ailments are originated from stress of one kind or another.

Stress can be defined as a general term which describes the combination of psychological and biological responses of an animal during real or perceived threatening circumstances. While the physiological response to stress is a highly complex subject, and certainly is not completely understood, scientists agree that there are two types of stressors.

Physical stressors are things such as injury, over-exertion or a change in the environment. Psychological stressors typically include situations that make the animal anxious or fearful. Uncertainty and fear of the unknown can be categorized as two of the major psychological stressors. Competing horses, and even horses who travel for seemingly leisurely activities such as camping, are exposed to both physical and psychological stressors.

The primary concerns with stress are the effects on the endocrine system.

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Bitchy Mares & Other Moody Horses

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Want a natural solution for Bitchy Mares & Other Moody Horses?

Do you know of any Bitchy Mares?

Check out this interview shared by Laura Stopper-Batts, The Horse Hippie.

Three years ago, I was a presenter at the Horse Expo in Pomona, California.  I had a Horse Hippie booth and gave presentations on Eco-Friendly Horse Care, DIY Ideas for the Horse Owner, and Alternative Methods for Equine Ulcers.

I met many interesting horse people at this expo (it WAS California after all) but I really connected with one in particular and that was Shelly Black.

Shelly hung out at my booth all weekend. Picking my brain about natural horse care. We talked about what kind of harmful substances horses were being treated with for showing, racing, and breeding. We were both horrified by how common the use of Regumate and Medroxy was. We agreed it was time that horses had a safe alternative for balancing their reproductive cycles.

Fast forward three years, and BOY! has Shelly been busy!  I think her product is soooo needed AND effective that, after helping her with product testing, I asked her for an interview for my blog.

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Hormones in Horses and Humans

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Hormones in Horses and Humans

Do hormonal fluctuations wreak havoc on your attitude and performance, or your horses’?