Though horses are extremely intelligent and patient, it is not unusual to find one that is very agitated. It’s a popular misconception that tame and trained horses do not get agitated. They are, after all, animals. A horse may often get agitated and out of control because of a natural impulse.
Horses are large animals and can be quite dangerous when they are in a bad mood. If you are riding a horse when it gets agitated, it could prove to be an extremely dangerous situation for you, and therefore, it is recommended that as soon as you realize that your horse is agitated, you should immediately get off it. After getting off the horse, it is important to calm the animal.
Most trainers know how to calm horses, but if you are a newbie, it may be worthwhile to know how to deal with a situation like this.
If you are good at reading your horse’s body language, first understand the signs of agitation. When agitated, a horse usually flattens its ears, bares its teeth, stamps uncontrollably, and swishes its tail from side to side. It may also appear restless and may be breathing unusually heavily. If you are able to ascertain that your horse is indeed agitated, remove its stressors. While doing this be sure to stay clear of the hooves of your horse.
It is important to stay calm during this entire ordeal, because if you too get agitated, it will only infuriate the animal even more. Every move of yours should be very deliberate. Let the saddle remain on your horse and take a hold of the reins. Now, without jerking the reins, try to get the horse to tilt its head downwards. This movement tends to calm the horse because it associates this position with sleep and rest.
Using your voice, mouth gentle commands to further soothe the horse. Start rubbing its neck is it begins to become calm. Release the reins, and tighten it only if the horse does something that you do not want it to do.
If you have a horse shed, you can take the horse to it and use a lavender aroma to help soothe and calm the horse into submission. You can also rub some lavender oil on the neck of the horse. If you have to ride the horse again, wait till it has completely calmed down and stays that way for some time.