Anxiety Reduction and Improved Physical Cooperation in Horses Through the Use of Withania somnifera (Ashwaghanda)
An Observational Clinical Study
by Tom Schell, D.V.M, CVCH, DABVP(eq)
Anxiety and stress in horses are a common problem in the equine industry, contributing to behavioral problems, training issues and poor performance. In some cases, increased levels of anxiety are associated with health related issues such as gastric ulcers, which have been shown in some studies to impact a large percentage of horses, necessitating long term administration of anti-ulcer type of medications.
Exact causes of stress in the horse can be hard to determine, but are often linked to herd issues, housing conditions, environmental factors, handling methods, training, transportation and competition. Horses are very similar to humans in the respect that they respond better to consistency and routines on a day to day basis. Any upset in that routine can contribute to stress formation which then manifests as behavioral issues. Learned behaviors or responses to stress in prior environments can transfer forward even though the prior initiating factor has been resolved.