Equinophobia is an extreme fear of horses. The word is derived from the Latin word ‘equus’ which means horses and phobos which is ‘deep fear or dread.
Causes of Equinophobia
Animal phobias of various kinds are more common in women than in men. However, in almost all the cases, the phobia develops from a negative or traumatic event in the past that is related remotely to horses.
- A child having been bitten, kicked, thrown off or trampled by an angry horse will forever remember the pain or blood around horses well into his adulthood. Horses also have very large teeth and penises which can seem frightening to young minds.
- Experts also believe that many specific or animal phobias tend to run in a family. A parent displaying a fear of horses might unknowingly pass it on to the child. Genetic factors like adrenal insufficiencies can also lead to phobias.
- A disaster, an accident or an illness that is closely/remotely associated with horses can lead one to permanently fear horses.
- Wild horses can be large, frightening and unpredictable creatures. They have muscular strength and speed on their side which some humans find intimidating. Actor Christopher Reeves of Superman fame was paralyzed neck down after being thrown off by a horse. News reports of similar incidents seen on TV/media etc can cause already high strung or anxious people to develop an intense and persistent fear of horses.
Symptoms of Equinophobia
Those who truly possess an excessive fear of having an accident will often exhibit some of the following symptoms:
- Excessive sweating
- Dry mouth
- Being overly cautious
- Heart palpitations
- Inability to speak
- Becoming angry
- A feeling of detachment from reality
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Feelings of unsteadiness