What Does It Mean If A Horse Is Fresh?’


In the horse world, the terms ‘fresh’ or ‘green’ might be used to describe a horse that is full of energy, or not completely broke. No, a green horse is not actually green in color, but they are quite energetic and can be hard to handle.

What Does It Mean If A Horse Is Fresh?

A fresh horse is a horse that has a lot of energy and can be quite difficult to ride. Young horses that aren’t completely finished in their training are often described as fresh because of their excitement and high energy level. Horses that might not be getting out enough also can be considered fresh if they react to their inactivity with high energy levels and enthusiasm. A horse that is full of energy and is difficult to handle is also described as fresh. Usually, these horses are difficult to handle, excitable, enthusiastic, and spooky.

What Signs Does A Horse Give Off Showing That It Is Fresh?

A fresh horse will show a number of signs indicating that they are feeling themselves. Some examples of things a fresh horse might do include:

  • Buck
  • Refuse to walk nicely (my Arabians, when feeling fresh, would insist on prancing next to me)
  • Throw their head
  • Refuse to stop
  • Refuse to stand quietly
  • Paw the ground
  • Pace
  • Rear up
  • Gallop and buck around (if turned out)
  • Bolt
  • Spook

There may be a few other things a fresh horse might do, but these are most of the things they might react with.

What Aged Horses Get Fresh Most Commonly?

Freshness is seen in any and all ages of horses from foals to senior horses. But, because some horses naturally carry more energy, it is these horses that get fresh the most frequently. As you might guess, the horses to become fresh most often are young horses, especially young horses between the ages of 1 and 10.

Do Certain Types Of Horses Get Fresh More Often?

Yes! Actually the level of ‘freshness’ that a horse might reach really does depend on the type of horse that they are. If you are dealing with a hot blooded breed like the Arabian horse, they will be a lot more spirited than a heavy cold blooded draft breed like the Percheron.

Usually, the hot blooded horses will already naturally have more energy than other types making them even more enthusiastic when feeling fresh.

Is There A Certain Gender Of Horse That Gets Fresh More Than Others?

Actually yes there is! There usually is a few exceptions to this general rule, but most commonly uncastrated male horses (stallions) will be the horses to get the most fresh the fastest. This is because not only are they not releasing their energy consistently, but they also have lots of testosterone coursing through their body which increases their energy level.

Mares are the next most likely to be fresh over other horses. These horses have the reputation of being pretty moody, and having ridden (and getting bucked off of) fresh mares, I can vouch for the fact that they are next in line after stallions to get fresh easily.

Depending on the breed, geldings (castrated male horses) tend to be the most docile and mellow of all horses. This is because they have had the flow of testosterone cut off which calms them down immensely. These horses don’t get fresh as quickly or as badly as the ‘intact’ horses do.

What Causes A Horse To Be Fresh?

There are quite a few things that can cause a horse to be fresh. These can include:

  • Being kept in a stall for too long without turnout
  • Not getting ridden frequently enough
  • Putting a horse in a new environment
  • Putting the horse in an exciting or busy environment (like a horse show)
  • Not giving the horse a job
  • Cold weather
  • Rain, wind, or other distracting or ‘scary’ force of nature
  • Natural anxiety

Other Names For A Fresh Horse

There are a few other terms and sayings to describe a horse that is fresh. These include:

  • Green
  • Feeling their oats
  • Spicy
  • Energetic

There may be a few more words to describe a fresh horse, but these are the synonyms that I could find

How To Calm A Fresh Horse

There are a few things that you can do to help calm a fresh horse:

  • Try to keep the horse’s mind focused on the task at hand. Instead of just riding in circles, complete a variety of patterns so the horse isn’t expecting what to do and will pay more attention to you
  • Let the horse get its energy out in little spurts. You can do this by letting them run it out, though at a controlled level. Don’t let your horse take off with you
  • Lunge them for a good amount of time before getting on.This will help to get the horse in work mode and get all the bucks out before you climb aboard
  • Encourage the horse to put his head down. This will help the horse to focus on what you are wanting it to do and bring his attention back to you
  • RELAX! I am guilty of this too. If my horse is feeling fresh, I too will find myself getting tense too. Relaxing down into your seat and breathing will help your horse to relax too.
  • Don’t keep trying to rein it back in. Your horse is feeling good so he wants to go forward. Moving forward will not only keep your horse from getting frustrated and acting up even more, but it will also help to burn the energy that your horse has so pent up from whatever it is that is causing your horse’s freshness.
  • Remember that it is okay to stop. Stopping and standing for a little bit can not only help your horse with patience, but also show them that they need to relax. If your horse is anxious or nervous for whatever reason, I recommend doing this to show them that everything is okay and that you want them to relax.

Hailey Johnson

Horses have been my passion ever since I can remember. At school, I was known as that weird horse girl, and I would read horse encyclopedias for fun. Over the years since those days, I have only learned more. My experiences with horses of a variety of breeds have taught me a lot. Now I want to share what I know with you!

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