The Competitive Horse and Stress

The equine athlete is no different from us, as a human species, whether we are an athlete or not in our daily lives.  As individuals and living beings, we are in-tuned, in most instances, as to how different stressers, diets and activities impact our health and general well being.  For instance, we may know that spicy food may upset our stomachs or create a sense of heat in our bodies.  Or we may understand that over-exertion, whether physically or mentally, drains us of vital energy.  Given these apparent observations, why is it that we can listen to our own bodies and heed warnings, but when it comes to our equine companions, often we do not?