Nervous Horses

How to handle nervous horses.


When you take on a frightened horse it needs to acclimatise first to its surroundings.

So take your time and let it settle in first.




A stable with a sectioned off area like a paddock would be ideal to get the horse used to its new surroundings, ideally with other horses nearby.

Don’t expect too much, set yourself small goals to achieve.

The horse needs to have more contact with you than other horses in order to build up a strong bond of trust.

When the horse is in the paddock spend time with him so he will gradually accept you and allow you into his safety zone.

The ‘safety zone’ is an invisible circle that surrounds the horse.


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Make a fuss of the horse if he allows you. The longer you spend with him the more he will trust and accept you.

Talk to the horse in a comforting non-threatening voice, making sure you always use positive body language.

Be consistent with everything you do.

Keep your arms down low, remembering not to make sudden movements to startle him. 

When the horse panics or something goes wrong, remain calm and reassure the horse.

Never try to rush the horse, always work at his pace.

Patients and understanding are the key skills to turn a nervous equine into a loving horse.

If the horse is extremely nervous, keep other people away from him.

When introducing other people to the horse, make sure they approach horse in the same manner, slowly with a soft voice and in a non-threatening way.

The last thing you want is a setback, so it is important that others are understanding too.

If you are working with the horse on a daily basis and consistent in your training, you will overtime have a loving and trusting horse.

I remember a small pony that arrived. It had just been broken, but was very nervous.

The woman who bought her as a project, spent many hours gaining her trust and she came good, however it became apparent she was afraid of men.

Something had obviously happened to this pretty, little pony at the hands of an uneducated “bully” of a man and the pony could not forget this. Even years later, the mare would tense up, if a man approached.

Some horses are forgiving, but the scares run too deep for others and will never forget.


Scroll down from nervous horses for more horse problems.

Horse Problems


Nervous horses > > Home

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QUESTION Can anyone advise..I bought a youngster unseen (never done it before and will not again) she was obviously nervous around the head and difficult …

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