New research published in the Veterinary Record, the official journal of the British Veterinary Association, shows that more turnout and social contact has been found to help reduce stable vices in horses.

The recent study found a number of misconceptions among horse owners about the causes of vices and how to deal with them.

It reports that the misconceptions “have resulted in specific management practices being imposed upon the infected animals, which may be potentially detrimental to their well-being.”

The best solution to tackling stable vices (at 75%) was increased turnout and contact with others.

The study was carried out byDr Sebastian McBride and Louise Long from the University of Wales. They contacted 100 racing stables, 100 riding schools and 100 competition yards – more than 8,400 horses in total.

They found horses owners were most concerned about stablevices because:

  • They reduced the performance of the horse

  • They had bad effects on the horses’ health

  • They reduced the value of the animals.

  • Vices were copied from other horses