Horse owners are being asked to fill in a survey about horse habits in a bid to combat stereotypical behaviour.

A veterinary pharmaceutical company called CEVA, together with scientists at Nottingham University, are working on a way of curing the behaviours using pheromones — or smells.

The initial research will look at finding away to cure or reduce behaviour such as crib biting, weaving or box walking.

The company already markets pheromone products that have been successful in reducing complaints in dogs and cats such as urine spraying or fear of fireworks.

The products are can be sprayed onto a blanket or administered as plug-ins, like air fresheners.

Liz Mossop of Nottingham Vet School, said: “Equine stereotypical behaviour, such as crib biting and weaving is a difficult problem to manage for many owners.

“Pheromones have been shown to be very effective in supporting behaviour management in dogs and cats and we hope that an equine pheromone would prove equally useful.”

The survey will take 15 mins to complete and can be found at www.nottingham.ac.uk/vet/horseownersurvey.