Stable and Other Vices


Pawing Problem

February 01, 2008

Is there a humane method for breaking my 4-year-old Missouri Fox Trotter mare from pawing? ... Read More


Belching Horse

November 01, 2007

I have a 16-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse who appears to be in perfect condition, except he belches. Often.... Read More


Oral Attacks

October 01, 2007

Q: We have an Arabian who, for some reason, has taken to chewing on the horse trailer when we are at a show. He has never done this before. He started gnawing on the fender. We tied him away from the fender, and he started chewing... Read More


To Stall, or Not to Stall?

October 14, 2006

Stalling--is it the best way to house your horse, a necessary evil, or something that should be avoided? As it turns out, there is no answer that will apply to all horses. Stalling is a common practice that has been used in the horse industry fo... Read More


"Cribbing Rings" Give Stall Walls and Fences a Break

October 13, 2006

A relatively new procedure to remedy cribbing in horses is performed by some equine practitioners. Kate Christensen, DVM, with Neuse River Veterinary Hospital in Wendell, N.C., practices the innovative procedure, which is the insertion of... Read More


Rearing and Flipping

October 01, 2006

We have a Quarter Horse mare whose mother was a bad flipper in the starting gate. She has two half-brothers that were also bad in the gate. All of these offspring were trained by different individuals. This spring, she had a filly that tried to fli... Read More


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


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


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


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


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


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


Kicking Problems

November 01, 2005

My horse constantly kicks his stall, and in the pasture he's very rough with other horses, biting and kicking them. How can I stop this behavior?          Jess; Boulder, Colo.

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Weaving in Horses: Another Look

April 01, 2005

In this time of enlightened horse management, it is staggering that the myths and folklore surrounding stable "vices" still refuse to die, and therefore the repetitive behaviors themselves continue to thrive. Even the term "vice" implies the... Read More


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


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


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


Cribbing: Effect on Colic (AAEP 2003)

February 04, 2004

Cribbing, the oral stereotypic behavior in which the horse grabs an object with his teeth while flexing his neck and sometimes swallowing air, has long been suspected as a cause of colic. ... Read More


Cribbing and Colic

February 01, 2004

Cribbing, the oral stereotypic behavior in which the horse grabs an object with his teeth while flexing his neck and sometimes swallowing air, has long been suspected as a cause of colic. A study from the Universities of Illinois and Liverpool... Read More


Tail Rubbing

December 01, 2003

One of our mares rubs her butt on everything, all the time. It messes up the top of her tail, and she always has these big scratch marks across her butt.

We can't seem to get her to stop it. We have dewormed her regularly and... Read More


Tough Catches

November 01, 2003

I have an 18-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse that was vaccinated two weeks ago with no apparent reaction. A w... Read More


Forages for Stabled Horses

October 01, 2003

Busy training schedules and fears about injury often limit pasture access for performance horses. Prolonged stall confinement, however, can be detrimental to a horse's attitude. Boredom can lead to destructive behaviors, including weaving,... Read More


Can't He Just Drink Out of It?

August 01, 2003

There are several possible explanations as to why a horse might play with his water bucket every night.... Read More


Kicking Out at Feeding Time

April 01, 2003

My gelding is stall kicking. I'm not there at feeding time, but my trainer tells me the stall kicking occurs when it's feeding time. The same thing happened the last two places he lived. She has tried feeding him first, but that didn't help.... Read More


Cribbing and Wood Chewing: Just Gotta Gnaw

July 01, 2002

Cribbing and wood chewing by horses can create problems for horse and owner alike. Wood chewing is often considered by many owners to be a rather benign vice, while cribbing more frequently is considered to be a direct threat to the horse's... Read More