How do you know if your horse is too tired?

With our sudden and very early heat wave, I’ve seen a few horses lately who have showed signs of working too hard and been completely worn out.

According to Horse and Hound (, fatigue can manifest itself in a variety of ways according to discipline. Some signs to watch out for are:

➤ A slowing of pace
➤ Decreased responsiveness to the aids
➤ An unwillingness or inability to increase speed or change gait
➤ Loss of motivation
➤ Reduced coordination (for example, stumbling/losing balance/wandering)
➤ Increased frequency of brushing or overreaching
➤ Increased frequency of changes in lead in canter and gallop
➤ Increased head and neck movement
➤ Increased breathing effort
➤ Hitting obstacles

It’s easy to forget that our very large friends might be in worse physical condition than we are, and that they feel the heat more because of their fur coats. Please pay close attention as you ride , and stop if you notice any of these signs for the sake of your animals.

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