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The Nervous Horse

            Horses have highly developed flight responses. They are sensitive to their environment and their human handlers. Causes of nervous system imbalances range from inherited behavior to intolerance of feed including sweet feeds, training methods, riders nervousness or inexperience, handlers, occupation or environment. Differentiating between soundness and behavioral problems is usually one of the first steps in deciding how to treat apparent nervousness.  Ruling out physical problems would be the first step.  Emotional problems are many times able to be helped with flower essences.  If all else fails calming herbs may be of great help. 
The Nervine Herbs  (for both horse and rider)

  • Chamomile – gut and skin reactors; loose manure when nervous; reacts easily on the skin to insect bites, flies, etc.
  • Vervain – skin reactors: itchiness, sensitivity to biting insects, rashes lumps, etc.; sweats excessively, trembles or shakes when nervous; impatient, fidgety and veins pop out when nervous; over-conscientious, but use up too much nervous energy before they need to.
  • Valerian – gut reactors: hold muscles tightly, hard manure, tucked up gut; may be prone to tying up and impaction colic because of this.
  • Passionflower – general anxiety, apprehensiveness and uneasiness; mares and hormonal problems.
  • Mugwort – extremely sensitive and over-reactive to stimuli: sight, sound, touch, smell, light, wind and barometric pressure (especially chestnut thoroughbreds).
  • Hops – used to reshape nervous attitude and old habits.  Horses who’s heart rate increases noticeably when stressed, but recover quickly.
  • Skullcap – for seriously over-adrenalized horses that do not recover quickly; their heart rates go up and stay up until the adrenaline works its way out.


            There are times when a change of trainer, rider or occupation is the only answer to chronic nervousness.

Kelley Robie of Horsetail Herbs is an Animal Communicator and Herbalist.  She offers Equine Health & Wellness evaluations to aid your horse and you to optimum wellness. 
Call (802) 893-0521 to make an appointment today. 


Pella the dog communing with KelleyCoreopsis plant in bloomHenry the catLemon vetch or sheep's sorrel?Spike the pony