Behavior

Article

Stallion Washing Aversion

March 01, 2005

My husband and I run a business of shipping semen from a few stallions that we board. We have some started ourselves, and some have started elsewhere. Most of them do really well with our simple collection routine. We bring them to the breeding... Read More

Article

Stopping Aggression Problems With an Equine Shock Collar

February 14, 2005

To determine whether equine shock collars could eliminate aggressive behavior, Kennedy looked at a group of 15 horses that were either aggressive toward a new horse in the pasture, aggressive toward a horse on the opposite side of a fence... Read More

Article

Horse Behavior and Women's Reproductive Cycles

February 01, 2005

Do horses (stallions) respond to women's reproductive cycles? I work with a group of stallions, and some days they seem more interested in me. They come right up to me and seem to sniff at me. Could it be in response to my period or to... Read More

Article

Breeding Your Stallion On Cue

January 01, 2005

Our stallion has a great pedigree, and we have kept him intact hoping he could eventually become a breeding stallion. We’ve put a lot of effort into getting him to show well enough to be worth breeding. He has always done really well except for... Read More

Article

General Social Organization of Equids

December 22, 2004

Editor's Note: This excerpt is from The Equid Ethogram--A Practical Field Guide to Horse Behavior by Sue McDonnell, PhD. The book is available from Read More

Article

Nutritional Link to Equine Behavior

December 01, 2004

Today's equine management practices can be a recipe for disaster. For a horse, stall life and two meals a day might be like living in a prison, and that lifestyle might contribute to delinquencies and health problems in horses.

"These... Read More

Article

Sleeping Patterns

December 01, 2004

I think my 11-year-old mare isn't getting enough sleep. My mother and I have seen her start to fall asleep in her paddock and in her stall during the day. Her eyes begin to close, her lower lip hangs loose, and her head slowly lowers. When it... Read More

Article

Seven Deadly Sins

December 01, 2004

No matter a horse's talent, if he consistently engages in difficult, damaging, or dangerous behavior, he risks being found guilty of being a "problem horse." He then will serve time wearing uncomfortable devices designed to break or hinder an... Read More

Article

My Horse Will Eat/Drink...

December 01, 2004

Even though horses are primarily forage eaters, many also seem to like candy, soft drinks, and even meat.... Read More

Article

Behavior, Good and Bad?

December 01, 2004

What makes our horses "acceptable" to us, even when they might not be "acceptable" to another owner? As someone who has taken her share of bucks, falls, bounces, and near-misses, at this stage in my life I'm not looking for a new "challenge" or ... Read More

Article

Tips for Stallion Handlers, From Novice to Advanced

November 16, 2004

Even though we think a stallion should know his business in the breeding shed, that is not always the case at the beginning. "Starting a novice breeding stallion can range from a quick and easy project accomplished in a few brief sessions to a... Read More

Article

Using the Twitch Properly

November 01, 2004

I attended a short course on horse behavior at New Bolton Center where you explained how a twitch works and your recommendations for how to use it most effectively. It seemed to make so much sense why sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't,... Read More

Article

Breaking A Young Horse

October 01, 2004

My husband and I recently broke my 3-year-old mare to ride. The first few times she rode like a dream, then she caught on to the idea that when we catch her, she has to work, and she has gotten a bad attitude. Her new antics include bucking. I'v... Read More

Article

Water Crossing

October 01, 2004

How can I get my horse to cross through water when I'm riding him on trail? He refuses to even get his feet wet.           via e-mail


For horses that are afraid... Read More

Article

Temperament: Buying the Right Horse for the Trail

September 08, 2004

In a discussion of proper temperament in a trail horse, words like "solid" and "steady" come to mind. You want a horse that will carry you over a trail with little to no fuss or fidgeting--a horse that is solid and steady in the bridle... Read More

Article

Arizona Horse Attack Mystery Solved

August 01, 2004

The necks of more than 20 horses were mysteriously slashed near their jugular veins at Tanque Verde Guest Ranch in Tucson, Ariz., beginning in July, 2003. The attacks launched an investigation, and concern about area horses' safety erupted.... Read More

Article

Sleep-Crashing

July 01, 2004

In any of the equine behavior literature that I have read, I am unable to find any description of the sleeping behavior we see in our retired broodmare (17 years old). She has functioned as the watch horse in the small herd she was from, and she... Read More

Article

Why is My Horse So Grumpy?

June 01, 2004

Why does my 2-year-old pin her ears all the time (i.e., if you touch her, mount her, walk in her stall), but she doesn't kick or bite and seems to like attention?... Read More

Article

Blind and Restless

June 01, 2004

My 19-year-old horse is 95% blind, and when he's not eating or sleeping he walks in circles. What can I do to stop or minimize this behavior? via e-mail


You certainly would want to have this horse evaluated by a... Read More

Article

Get a Vet!

June 01, 2004

When I ride my 24-year-old Arabian mare Western, she tends to want to pick up the pace and wants to look around. How can I get her to slow down and stay focused? She gets stiff and starts to limp on her left hind leg when I am riding her. Anothe... Read More

Article

Don't Leave Me Alone!

June 01, 2004

Why do some horses not like having their buddies taken out of their pen when they have to stay in?    Katy


The ancestors of our domestic horses were open plains grazing animals, for whom the strategy... Read More

Article

Stall Rest: Laid Up or Losing It?

June 01, 2004

Stall rest--a term that all horse owners and stable managers dread--is generally prescribed following severe injury such as fractures, large wounds, surgery, and in some cases of lameness. How strictly imposed the stall rest is depends upon the sever... Read More

Article

Rock Hard Ten Goes to Gate School

May 25, 2004

(from Belmont Park notes)

In the Preakness on May 15, Rock Hard Ten, a huge colt, was especially conspicuous. As the last horse loaded into the gate at Pimlico, Rock Hard Ten had the attention of the racing world and NBC's... Read More

Article

Play Invitation

May 01, 2004

We have been struggling with a very particular behavior problem with a young colt. From birth, he's been a strong and athletic rascal, and has been "full of himself," with the usual colt behavior tendencies. We have dealt successfully with all... Read More

Article

Smart Horse: Understanding the Science of Natural Horsemanship

April 02, 2004

From CHAPTER 3: LEARNING AND REINFORCEMENT

When we say that a horse has learned something, we are really saying that we have increased the likelihood that he will perform a particular action in response to a particular stimulus.... Read More