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Dr. Erica Lacher Highlights the Stress that Horses Undergo During Shows

From Audio: S4E07 Recognizing and Managing Stress with Ella Richardson

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station description A must-listen for equestrians of all disciplines!
Straight from the Horse Doctor's Mouth
Duration: 02:45
Dr. Erica Lacher tells "Straight from the Horse Doctor's Mouth" host Justin Long and his guest Ella Richardson about the different stressors that horses experience during horse shows.
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Dr. Erica Lacher tells "Straight from the Horse Doctor's Mouth" host Justin Long and his guest Ella Richardson about the different stressors that horses experience during horse shows. These stresses include experiencing a foreign environment, being separated from the rest of their horse pack, and simply being overstimulated.
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this is kind of a stressful environment for horses to. Right? Oh yeah, definitely. Horse shows are full of stress for them. The biggest thing that we do at horse shows to horses in particular is their their herd animal, right? So they like to be with their friends and horse shows are by their very nature, whether it's it's day shows or ones that were there for a longer time, they take them out of their environment and then we remove their comfort system. So we say, ok, so you know, you're used to your stall and your friend next to you or across the aisle from you or if you turn out with other horses, you know, you're used to your support system, we're going to take all that away from you and we're gonna put you in a strange environment, your human may or may not also be losing their mind a little bit. They pick up on that. Yes, exactly. And then we're going to do this thing where okay, now we're gonna put you into a different heard we call that the Warmup Ring, which is always just managed chaos, right? And with air quotes around managed definite air quotes like housing arena, honestly. Exactly, and especially for a submissive horse, the warm up bring is a really scary place, right? You have your human on your back and you're supposed to listen to them, but you have all these other horses coming at you and in particular in the hunter jumper world, here in the US, they can definitely be coming at you, coming up behind you, coming all the ways. Uh you know, the, the inventors, I do think they have this right here. The jumps, you can only jump in one way, You know, like everybody is jumping from one side of the arena to the other. You may have your jump that you have set up, but you're jumping them all the same way here, you know, you may be headed to a jump and there's another horse coming at you. So yeah, I see so many near collisions just yeah, so that's stressful for horses to they're not just the people. Exactly right, so we're putting them in this and and like I said, especially the submissive horse, that's a really, really tough place to be and that's where you'll see those horses that just do not enjoy the warm up, bring it all. Then we say, okay we have you in this herd now we're gonna send you out into an arena by yourself with huge arenas. A lot of the times the scary things everywhere. Yeah, Exactly. Green Crew that are hiding behind bushes or trees, you know, the judges box is sure to contain a mountain lion or some such predator that is going to jump out and grab them. You know, we really we just take them from a happy place to an unhappy place and then we remove their ability to cope with it through their own mechanism, so being aware of all that I think is.
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