Combating Stress in Equine Athletes

Just like any professional athlete, racehorses are not immune to stress. The demands of physical training, the lifestyle they lead, and the pressure to perform are just a few elements that can take a physical and mental toll on the four-legged individual. When people speak about equine athletes, referring specifically to thoroughbreds, they attach certain adjectives to the breed — strong, versatile, and fast. Negative connotations such as anxious, high-strung, or hot, aren’t too far behind, seemingly stitched into classifying thoroughbreds as either having the competitive edge, or being too edgy come race day. Determining the triggers that cause them stress is important, whether the horse is showing signs of aggressive behaviour around the barn or turning in lacklustre performances at the track. Moreover, understanding how to combat the stress attached to these triggers is critical to keeping these athletes happy and healthy. Dr. Candice Allen has worked as a…

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