Recent News for Behavior & Handling

Article

More Than a Bad Habit

July 01, 2006

Many horses are kept in an unnatural environment--confined in stalls or small pens. Some of them resort to repetitive behaviors such as cribbing, weaving, or stall walking. Most of these horses are fed concentrated, high-energy rations they... Read More

Article

Equine Body Language

June 14, 2006

When handling a horse, you are better prepared for his actions and reactions if you can interpret his body language, to know whether he is at ease with what you are doing, nervous, afraid, annoyed, or resentful. Part of handling horses safely... Read More

Article

Can Horses Be Carnivorous? (Book Excerpt)

June 07, 2006

My horse has become carnivorous! She eats roadkill such as dead birds, and now I've discovered her stomping on a live rabbit in her stable. She picked it up in her mouth, bashed it against the stable wall, and ate it.... Read More

Article

Riding the Better Side of Bucking

June 07, 2006

Bucking is a misunderstood horse activity. Most people look at bucking as an ornery habit, something the horse does when he's trying to get out of work. Or when he just doesn't feel like cooperating at that moment for some reason or another.... Read More

Article

Horse Learning

June 01, 2006

In a web site advice column written by a veterinarian, he claimed that if a blacksmith trims or shoes a horse incorrectly so that the horse becomes lame within a couple of weeks of work, the horse will make the connection that the blacksmith was... Read More

Article

Stable Vices (Book Excerpt)

May 24, 2006

A stable vice is an undesirable behavior shown by horses that are stall bound but also in pastures or small paddocks. The most common stable vice is probably "wind sucking," commonly known as "cribbing," followed by wood chewing, stall weaving ... Read More

Article

Rolex Talk Highlights Performance Horse Issues

May 03, 2006

The 2006 Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event drew more than 90,000 equine enthusiasts to the Kentucky Horse Park, and Lexington's Hagyard Equine Medical Institute (HEMI) used the opportunity to educate horse owners on common health issues... Read More

Article

Temperament--Buying the Right Horse for the Trail (Book Excerpt)

May 02, 2006

If you're going to enjoy trail riding, you need a horse with a good temperament. You may have the best-conformed horse in the world, with sound limbs and body, but that will matter little if the horse is mentally and emotionally unsuited... Read More

Article

Superstition

May 01, 2006

I have a BS in animal science and am now taking graduate courses in animal behavior while working to save up for vet school. A topic we are discussing in class is comparative cognition in a psychology and neurobiology program. This has to do wit... Read More

Article

Communicating With Horses

April 12, 2006

To work with horses successfully, we must be able to communicate adequately with voice, touch, and body language. The horseman must be sensitive and sympathetic, with an intuitive feel for what is right for that particular horse at that... Read More

Article

Basic Horse Handling (Book Excerpt)

April 05, 2006

Always think in terms of safety first when handling horses -- safety for you, the horse, and anyone else in the general area. Like it or not, horses are fight or flight creatures and can be unpredictable when faced with new people or surroundings.... Read More

Article

Sexual Misbehavior Vaccine?

April 01, 2006

I am looking into ways to settle down a colt that is showing full-blown sexual interest already at a 1 1/2 years of age. He's just too much for us to handle, but we are not ready to geld him. If you try to correct him when he's all excited, he... Read More

Article

Tying and Hobbling Horses (Book Excerpt)

March 22, 2006

Whether on a pack trip into the mountains or on a weekend trail ride during which you return to your trailer at night, it is important that your trail horse has been taught to stand quietly when tied, hobbled, or tethered by one foot to a picket pin.... Read More

Article

Cribbing Weanling

March 01, 2006

I have a client with a foal that was weaned a few days ago, and it has started cribbing. Within only a few hours after it was separated from the mare, it was seen doing something funny that the owners now appreciate was cribbing. Once they... Read More

Article

The Therapy Horse: An Integral Player

March 01, 2006

Therapeutic riding is for people of all ages with various disabilities, and it has become very popular. For horses, however, the invitation is much more re-stricted. There are specialized expectations of a horse used in therapeutic riding. If... Read More

Article

Horses and Wild Animals

March 01, 2006

Throughout their existence, horses have been prey animals. Predators have been pursuing and feasting on them for eons, and they continue doing so today, despite the fact that domestication of the horse and the spread of civilization in general... Read More

Article

Weaving, Headshaking and Cribbing (AAEP Convention 2005)

February 17, 2006

We often punish horses for exhibiting undesirable stereotypic behaviors, but most of these behaviors are responses to suboptimal environments. Thus, punishing the horse for the behavior only increases the already heightened stress that caused ... Read More

Article

AAEP Convention 2005: Physical, Psychological, or Both?

February 17, 2006

When your horse's behavior changes, you wonder what caused the change--did he start kicking his stall because he is in pain, or just because he hates his new stablemate? Behavior changes can stem from physical problems, psychological ones, or a... Read More

Article

Foal Imprinting -- Research Review

February 17, 2006

While horse owners worldwide want a simple answer to the question of whether foal imprinting works or not, it's hard to give a simple answer to what really isn't a simple question. This was the message of an imprinting research review presented... Read More

Article

AAEP Convention 2005: Equine Learning Ability

February 17, 2006

"Until recently, horses have been estimated to have average intelligence at best," said Evelyn B. Hanggi, MS, PhD, president and, along with Jerry Ingersoll, co-founder of the Equine Research Foundation (ERF) in Aptos, Calif., during her review... Read More

Article

Stallion Handling (AAEP 2005)

February 17, 2006

A stallion handler must be able to focus the stallion's mind on him, as well as the mare, and make him wait for instructions. This cannot be achieved through fear or abusiveness, but through training basic cues and maneuvers to the stallion before he... Read More

Article

Pony Girthing/Mounting Issues

February 01, 2006

My 11-year-old daughter is having trouble with her pony nipping at her when she is girthing him, and when she goes to mount without an assistant. He also smacks his tail and pins his ears, almost looking like he might cow-kick at her sometimes.... Read More

Article

Why Veterinarians Get Kicked

February 01, 2006

It comes as no surprise that a Swiss study of kick injuries to veterinarians found that the risk of injury to veterinarians treating horses is highest when performing painful procedures on the horse. In the study, Sabina Jaeggin, assistant at th... Read More

Article

Licking/Chewing=Learning?

December 01, 2005

I'm studying for an MSc in Equine Science and am researching equine behavior. Having studied scientific literature, including your catalog of horse behavior (The Equid Ethogram, A Practical Field Guide to Horse Behavior), I cannot find any... Read More

Article

Horse Personality Researcher Seeks Subjects

November 15, 2005

An English researcher wants to provide a reliable and accurate way of identifying the personality of individual horses. Adele Lloyd, MSc, a Moulton College research associate based in Northampton (Central England), wants to study whether a horse... Read More