Every horse owner is familiar with the concept of steam. This is the term used to describe a horse’s behavior when it is in a heightened state of arousal and excitement. It is important to understand what steam looks like and how to tell if a horse is steamed so that the proper steps can be taken to help the horse calm down. In this article, we will explore the signs of a steamed horse and the ways to help the horse relax.
What is Steam in Horses?
Steam is an emotional state in horses that occurs when they become overly aroused and excited. Horses can become steamed for a variety of reasons, such as when they are in a new environment, when they are around other horses, or when they are asked to perform a task that is challenging for them. Steam can also be caused by fear or stress, as well as by a lack of experience with certain activities. When a horse is steamed, its behavior will become agitated and it may become difficult to contain or control.
Signs of a Steamed Horse
There are several signs that can indicate a horse is steamed. It is important to be able to recognize these signs so that the proper steps can be taken to help the horse relax. The following are some of the signs to look for when trying to determine if a horse is steamed:
One of the most obvious signs of a steamed horse is its vocalizations. A steamed horse may whinny, snort, or neigh loudly, and can even scream or squeal when it is feeling particularly stressed or frightened.
A steamed horse may also exhibit signs of agitation through its movements. It may paw at the ground, jump around, or bolt. The horse may also become overly active, running around or bucking.
A steamed horse may also become reactive in certain situations. It may startle easily, become aggressive or defensive, or become spooked by loud noises or sudden movements.
A steamed horse will often have a sweaty coat, as its increased heart rate and respiration can cause it to sweat profusely. This is especially true if the horse has been running around or engaging in other strenuous activities.
How to Tell if a Horse is Steamed
Now that we have discussed the signs of a steamed horse, let’s look at how to tell if a horse is actually steamed. Here are a few tips to help you determine if your horse is steamed:
Observe the Horse’s Behavior
The best way to tell if a horse is steamed is to observe its behavior. Pay close attention to the horse’s movements and vocalizations, as well as its reactions to certain situations. If the horse is exhibiting any of the signs that were discussed above, then it is likely steamed.
Check the Horse’s Pulse
Another way to tell if a horse is steamed is to check its pulse. If the horse’s pulse is elevated, then it is likely steamed. To check a horse’s pulse, place your hand over the horse’s shoulder and count the beats per minute. A normal resting pulse rate for a horse is between 40 and 50 beats per minute. If the pulse rate is higher than this, then the horse is likely steamed.
Check the Horse’s Respiration
In addition to checking the horse’s pulse, you can also check its respiration rate to determine if it is steamed. The normal respiration rate for a horse is between 12 and 20 breaths per minute. If the respiration rate is higher than this, then the horse is likely steamed.
How to Help a Steamed Horse
Once you have determined that a horse is steamed, it is important to take the proper steps to help the horse relax and regain its composure. Here are some tips for helping a steamed horse:
Remain Calm and Speak Softly
When dealing with a steamed horse, it is important to remain calm. Speak to the horse in a soft, soothing voice, and avoid making sudden movements or loud noises that may further agitate the horse.
Walk the Horse
One of the best ways to help a steamed horse relax is to take it for a walk. This will allow the horse to release some of its energy, and the calming rhythm of walking can help the horse regain its composure.
Provide Comfort and Reassurance
Another way to help a steamed horse is to provide it with comfort and reassurance. Spend time with the horse, petting it and talking to it in a soothing voice. This will help the horse to feel safe and secure, and can help it to relax.
Use Natural Remedies
There are also some natural remedies that can help a steamed horse relax. Herbal remedies such as chamomile, lavender, and valerian can be used to help the horse relax. Additionally, aromatherapy can be used to help the horse relax, as the scents of essential oils can be calming.
Steam is an emotional state in horses that can occur when they become overly aroused and excited. It is important to understand the signs of a steamed horse and how to tell if a horse is steamed so that the proper steps can be taken to help the horse relax. The best way to tell if a horse is steamed is to observe its behavior and to check its pulse and respiration rate. Once you have determined that a horse is steamed, there are several steps that can be taken to help the horse relax, including remaining calm, taking the horse for a walk, providing comfort and reassurance, and using natural remedies such as herbs and aromatherapy.
By following these steps, horse owners can ensure that their horses are in a relaxed state and that they are being cared for properly.