It’s not an uncommon for a horse enthusiast to encounter a horse that has bad stall manners which can either be annoying or dangerous. Stall vices include biting, kicking, cribbing, & weaving, all are considered a serious issue in horses.
Rather than considering stall vices as ‘bad behaviour’, they’re now considered to be signs of ill health or pain in a horse.
Key Points to Avoid Stable/Stall Vices
Stable vices are very troublesome especially if the horse repeatedly exhibits bad behavior and is likely to harm itself or other people.. To avoid stable vices, here are four important points –
Horses are naturally social creatures that enjoy the company of other horses. If they are taken out from the group, or are constantly introduced to new horses, this can become stressful and should be minimized. On the other hand, if you can’t keep as many horses on your property, providing your horse some company through another animal such as sheep or a goat can be very helpful.
Time Well Spent Outdoors
Horse owners should find time to allow horses to be turned out and get some exercise. The horse should be exposed to its natural environment – and the stable is not a good example of a natural environment. Allow your horse to roam freely in a pasture or a paddock just to let him stretch those muscles and have a breath of fresh air.
Horses should receive diet that is high in forage but at the same time provides him with the complete nutritional requirements. If horses are not given forage, behaviors such as wood chewing may develop. If it is difficult to let your horse graze freely on a pasture, provide him small, frequent meals instead of bulk feedings.
Training a horse to be well-mannered is a good idea, but it also depends on the type of training being used. Owners should decide which methodis to be used, making sure it benefits both the owner and the animal. Several training methods are available but it is a good idea to choose ones that favors positive reinforcement.
Explore Potential Digestive Health Problems in Poorly-Behaved Horse
There are many reasons why a horse would develop and display poor behavior through stall vices. It could be issues in training, a learned behavior, or a history of abuse – as well as an indicator that the horse is in great pain. There are instances when even though the horse is provided witha n ideal environment, the right diet, and allowed to be with their social circle, they still manage to develop unpleasant behaviors. Different reasons as to why horses can behave that way exist and if you see that you have done everything possible from your side, but still see that your horse acts inappropriately, it would be time to explore other possible causes like an injury or a health problem.
As you find more about the cause of the poor behavior, make sure to also consider digestive problems. Consult your veterinarian to analyze your horse’s feeding regime, care measures, or to perform any necessary test to confirm clinical issues.