The Anxiety of Equine Caretaking

I was talking with a new friend recently who is rehabbing her horse from a variety of physical ailments. I was reminded of an article that I found last year. As I listened to my friend share her worries, I remembered back to when I was rehabbing a horse from a major injury and several underlying issues. There is so much anxiety in our hearts when we’re obsessing over the caretaking of our equine charges. I have talked with many owners and friends, and I hear the same things over and over again:

  • He’s not doing well today…
  • The vet said we could try this, or this, or this….
  • Well that didn’t work, so maybe I’ll research something else…
  • My new supplement came in the mail, hoping it helps!
  • She’s lame again.
  • The farrier/trimmer/vet came out and said….
  • Now I feel like I have ____ under control, but now I have to deal with ____.
  • What am I missing?
  • What should I do?
  • Maybe I should change the diet, maybe I should pull the shoes, maybe I should put the shoes back on.
  • Maybe it’s the arena footing, maybe it’s my saddle, maybe it’s the excess iron in the water….

We worry ourselves to death about all the details as we try to manage chronic conditions. We research late into the night and end up being well-versed enough in the literature that we can converse freely with our vet in technical vocabulary. It’s a lot of work and it’s stressful. I’ve read about Lyme disease and nutrition and homeopathics and track systems and glue on shells and arthritis and on and on until my eyes couldn’t focus anymore. We are overflowing with knowledge about our selected topics, yet still worrying about our favorite horse. We desire complete control over every aspect of their lives, but so often we can only control a few factors.

Trust in the process. You are learning and evolving. You have a special task to care for your horse, and you’re doing the best you can do in this present moment. You have made it this far. You can put your anxiety to the side. All the puzzle pieces will eventually fall into place.

Read the article here: https://integrativehorsemanship.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/dont-worry/.

Remember how far you and your horse have come. Remember you always have tomorrow. Remember that you have a life outside of the barn, that you’re doing the absolute best that you can. Remember your horse’s being is a great gift entrusted to you, not a burden. It will be okay.


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  • Reply
    May 23, 2018 at 8:27 am

    Are you sure you weren’t writing about me? This is so true and so hard to let go and trust that you are doing your best.

    • Reply
      Corrie Mannion
      May 24, 2018 at 7:34 pm

      I was not writing about you specifically, but it certainly applies for you! I’m always impressed by your attention to detail in your horses’ care.

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