(Last Updated On: October 9, 2021)

Have you ever felt to say, my horse seems tired!  Have you noticed a change in your horse’s behavior recently? Is your horse acting a little more sluggish than usual, and wearing out quickly after workouts? If you’re seeing indications of exhaustion, you should be concerned. Is it merely a blip on the radar, or is there a more severe underlying issue that has to be addressed?

10 Cause and Remedies While My Horse Seems Tired

Let’s go through several indications and symptoms that indicate a tired horse so you can detect it in your own horses.

Is Your Horse Experiencing Exhaustion?

Horses’ energy levels fluctuate on a regular basis, much like people’s, due to a number of physiological and environmental variables. As a result, you’ll need to pay great attention to your mount throughout both exercises and rest to ensure that what you believe you’re seeing is a problem.

Here are some telltale indicators that your horse is tired:

  • Horses suffering from exhaustion may be less attentive to your orders or cues in their surroundings.
  • If your horse’s speed has decreased considerably, it might be a symptom of exhaustion.
  • When horses are tired, they might lose part of their coordination. For example, you could notice your mount tripping more frequently. Horses suffering from exhaustion may occasionally collide with obstructions.
  • Your horse may be less motivated than normal and may give up exercise sooner than usual.
  • It may be more difficult to accelerate or slow down your horse.
  • Changes in the lead that occur more frequently while galloping or cantering may indicate tiredness.
  • Horses who are tired move their heads and necks more than horses that are not exhausted.
  • You could notice that your horse is struggling for air and getting more easily winded.
  • Overreaching may become increasingly common.
  • Brushing may become increasingly common.
  • Have you noticed a few or more of these symptoms on a regular basis? It’s time to go to the root of the problem and figure out why your horse is exhausted.

Here are some of the most common causes of your horse’s exhaustion.

Let’s have a look at some of the probable causes of horse tiredness. Some of them have to do with the environment. Others have to do with health. Others, on the other hand, may mirror your actions.

1. Excessive training

If you just exercise your horse in a normal, healthy manner, some degree of weariness will occur on a regular basis, but it should be only temporary. However, if you overtrain your horse on a regular basis, you may discover that tiredness lasts longer and occurs more frequently. In fact, it has the potential to become chronic.

Recommendation to Overcome

Overtraining causes tiredness, therefore the best thing you can do is quit overtraining your horse. While working out your horse, pay special attention to indications of severe tiredness. Reduce the intensity of what you’re doing or take a break whenever you realize your horse is becoming weary.

If your horse begins to move in unusual ways as a result of exhaustion during exercise, be especially cautious. This is a warning indication that you should cease immediately.

2. Diarrhea or Colic

Colic is one of the most common health issues that horses face. When a horse gets colic, it is in agony in the stomach. Gas, impactions or blockages, ulcers, inflammation, infarction, or strangling are all possible causes of colic. Here’s additional information on the many forms of horse colic you can encounter.

Colic can be mild, moderate, or severe, but if you suspect your horse has it, you should never take any chances since it can be fatal.

REACT is an abbreviation devised by the British Horse Society to aid in the early detection of colic symptoms and indications.

(R)estless or agitated is a term used to describe someone who is restless or anxious (E)

(A)bdominal pain (C)clinical changes (T)ired or lethargic (T)ired or lethargic (T)ired or lethargic (T)ired or lethargic (T)ired or lethargic (T)ired or let

The society expands on the term “weary or sluggish,” writing:

More lying down
Head position has been lowered.
bleak and despondent

Recommendation to Overcome

If your horse shows indications of colic, you should take him to the veterinarian right away. You’ll be able to handle the potential colic before it causes significant injury to your horse. You might also attempt some basic colic prevention techniques.

3. Extremely cold weather

Did you know that if your horse gets too chilly, he may get colic and become exhausted? We’ll get into more detail regarding colic in general in a moment. The important thing to remember regarding cold weather and colic is that it can be caused by exposure and/or a lack of drinking water.

Why is it that your horse doesn’t drink enough in the winter? It’s possible that the water sources you offer will freeze without your knowledge. As a result, your horse may drink less as a result of this.

Recommendation to Overcome

According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners:

If you notice your horse is suffering from mild hypothermia (a body temperature below 99.5°F, symptoms of lethargy, and a reluctance to move), take him out of the cold as quickly as possible so he may thaw out and recover. If you don’t have access to a barn, a garage might serve as a temporary solution. Warm water baths and blankets can also help speed up the warming process.

Check your horse’s water source on a regular basis, and if some of it has frozen over, be sure to offer some non-frozen water to prevent dehydration.

4. A low blood sugar level

You’re undoubtedly aware that low blood sugar may make people feel sluggish, but did you realize that the same is true for horses? Low blood sugar might be one of the reasons your horse appears weary all of the time.

According to Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a nutritionist at Kentucky Equine Research,

The major causes of hypoglycemia in adults are an increase in the body’s utilization of available glucose or a reduction in glucose synthesis, metabolism, storage, and transit throughout the body. The vast majority of the body’s functions, notably the central nervous system, are powered by glucose.

As a result, if blood sugar levels are out of whack, nervous system disorders may arise. Fatigue is one of the possible outcomes.

Recommendation to Overcome

While it is critical to ensure that your horse gets adequate glycogen before engaging in strenuous activity, according to the Merck Manual,

In horses, no technique of glycogen loading utilizing conventional feeding modifications has been documented. There is no scientific foundation for using glucose or other carbohydrate solutions before a race to increase performance in Standardbred and Thoroughbred racehorses.

If your horse is presently consuming highly processed foods, you should consider switching to less processed items.

To avoid blood sugar spikes and imbalances, don’t give your horse items with a high glycemic index.
Including necessary fatty acids in your horse’s daily diet may also aid in blood sugar regulation.

You can talk to your veterinarian about your horse’s blood sugar levels to obtain tailored advice. Seeing a veterinarian about the potential of low blood sugar (or high blood sugar, for that matter) allows you to confirm the problem with blood testing. That way, you’ll know you’re doing the proper therapy steps.

5. Consistent exercise and training

To begin with, horses become tired during training and exercise. It’s a normal part of the process for animals, just as it is for people.

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual,

Fatigue is a natural side effect of high-intensity exercise performed over a lengthy period of time. The body’s reduced muscle’s capacity to create force is really a safety mechanism. The extreme activity might cause structural damage to muscle cells and supporting structures if tiredness did not arise and force the animal to cease.

If your horse is doing high-intensity or endurance exercise, he may ultimately become fatigued. There are a variety of methods to exercise your horse, and simple foundation activities can cause fatigue.

When a horse becomes tired, you should not force it to continue exercising. If the horse decides to keep going, it may compensate for its exhaustion by changing its stride in an unnatural way. Injuries can occur as a result of this. It’s likely that you’ve encountered this when exercising or performing a repetitive activity.

According to the website, most horses will become fatigued within 30 to 40 seconds of high-intensity activity (for the animal in question). It’s possible that it’ll take even less time. Dehydration or electrolyte loss are commonly connected to fatigue associated with endurance activities and training, which we shall discuss momentarily.

Recommendation to Overcome

While your horse is exercising, there is no way to entirely avoid tiredness. It’s par for the course. You may, however, attempt to prevent overtraining (see below).

Here are a few techniques to help your horse recover from frequent workout weariness and offer adequate care afterward:

  • Regular training will gradually improve your horse’s strength, endurance, and stamina. In the future, as your horse grows more athletic, longer and tougher exercises will be required to exhaust him.
  • Warm-up your horse properly before working out.
  • Increase the quantity of fat in your horse’s diet if possible. If you do this, be sure you do it gradually rather than all at once.
  • You may also feed your horse a bit less fiber than usual before exercise.
  • Prior to engaging in strenuous activity, keep meal portion sizes minimal.
  • After an exercise, use an efficient technique to rehydrate your horse. If water doesn’t appear to be enough, a saline solution might be used as part of your rehydration approach. Your veterinarian can help you decide which treatment is best for your horse.

6. Inflammation or pain

Pain can lead a horse to get tired, as Horse and Hound just mentioned. This might be temporary weariness as a result of temporary pain, or persistent fatigue as a result of chronic pain.

It’s worth looking into whether or not your horse is in discomfort. Is there possible harm that you aren’t aware of?

There might be an underlying health problem contributing, depending on your horse’s age and health. A horse suffering from arthritis, for example, would be in discomfort and inflamed, resulting in substantial exhaustion.

Recommendation to Overcome

Pay attention to your horse’s body language and symptoms to see if any patterns emerge that might help you figure out what’s wrong. If you can’t figure things out on your own, you should seek advice from a veterinarian. This might be an opportunity to detect and address an underlying problem early on.

You might also find it useful to learn about the warning indications that your horse is in discomfort, as well as how to recognize and treat common horse injuries.

7. Loss of electrolytes and/or dehydration

There will be a lot of perspiration while your horse is active and/or it is a hot day. Your horse loses water and electrolytes when it sweats. The outcome will be exhaustion.

my horse seems tired

Recommendation to Overcome

First and foremost, if possible, reduce your workout routines on very hot days. In addition, you should definitely avoid overworking your horse on, particularly hot days. You should always water your horse before exercising, regardless of the weather.

Dehydration and endurance-related tiredness are both significant problems that require prompt attention. According to the Merck Manual,

Despite current methods of evaluating recovery at rest breaks, horses competing in 3-day competitions or endurance rides may show indications of fatigue.

Sweating causes horses to lose a lot of fluid, resulting in depression, tiredness, dehydration, elevated heart and breathing rates, and a high body temperature. These horses require immediate medical attention.

Horses with a high body temperature should be hosed down often with very cold water, kept in the shade (preferably in a cool wind), and given fluid treatment (both oral and intravenous).

The handbook defines “extremely cold” as “almost ice cold.” To add to your routine, here are some strategies to ensure your horse gets enough water. You might also want to learn more about horse sweating so you can recognize what is typical and what isn’t.

8. Infection

Fatigue can be caused by a variety of infections. Consider how you feel after you’ve caught a cold or the flu, for example. When your horse is afflicted with a virus, bacterium, or parasite, it is also not in the mood to accomplish anything.

Recommendation to Overcome

Make an appointment with your veterinarian if you suspect your horse has an infection. You can cure your horse and get rid of the illness after you figure out what it is (if there is one). Here are a few additional symptoms that your horse needs to see a veterinarian that you should be aware.

9. Your horse is chubby.

Another easy cause for your horse’s tiredness is that it may be overweight. Are you unsure what constitutes obesity? Here’s an estimate of how much a typical horse should weigh. It should be quite simple to determine whether this is the case. However, if you’ve never explored it previously, it’s probable you haven’t regarded it as a possible source of weariness.

Recommendation to Overcome

If your horse is overweight to the point of exhaustion, it is likely that the additional weight is causing (or will contribute to) other health problems. It’s time to take the necessary actions to get your horse’s weight under control. This may need alterations to one’s diet as well as one’s workout program.

10. Issues with the lungs

Horse and Hound explore several reasons for central tiredness, writing, and other topics.

Central tiredness can be caused by a number of things, including low blood sugar, hormones in the blood, and pain. Central tiredness can be triggered by feelings of being out of breath; horses with an upper airway blockage, such as roaring, or a lower airway issue, such as recurrent airway obstruction (RAO), may be more vulnerable.

As a result, it’s important to look into whether your horse has any respiratory concerns, especially if he’s always winded.

Recommendation to Overcome

A visit to your veterinarian is the recommended course of action if you believe you have a respiratory condition.

Your veterinarian can do an examination and determine whether a blockage is causing your horse to get tired.

Consult a veterinarian if necessary.

We’ve now gone over a list of some of the most prevalent causes of a horse’s weariness. Transient tiredness is not uncommon and is to be expected, especially during activity. However, if your weariness is extremely severe, frequent, or persistent, you should try to figure out what’s causing it.

It’s possible that all you need to do is make a few little adjustments to your horse’s routine. It’s possible that you’ll need to make some nutritional changes or prevent overtraining your horse. Hopefully, this will be sufficient to restore your horse’s health and performance.

However, recognizing an underlying problem early is the greatest thing you can do. If you have any doubts, you should consult a veterinarian to determine why your horse appears to be weary all of the time.

You should be able to not only make your horse feel better but also maintain its long-term health so you may enjoy many years of riding together with the appropriate treatment.

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