Horse Has Become A Stall Walker
My horse is kept at a stable a few miles form my house and has started pacing up and down his stable. The stable manager says this is "stall walking". Why does he do this and what can I do?
In some ways stall walking is similar to obsessive compulsive disorders in humans and can occur when a horse is either nervous or bored. The most frequent causes are lack of exercise and keeping the horse stabled for longer than usual. There is also some suggestion that it is a way to work off pent up energy, since high-level competitors have a higher tendency to do this. This behavior can lead to unnecessary and uneven wear on a horse’s hooves, particularly if the surface is not great.
It is important for you to determine if it is anxiety, boredom, or pent up energy which is causing this. You can try allowing your hors more pasture time to start with, and then work towards more work is this fails to help. At the same time, be on the look out for possible reasons that your horse could be anxious in his stall, and possibly try giving some calming herbs.