Stable vices is a term used to describe undesirable stereotypies displayed by horses. They are typically caused by boredom or stress and can become an unbreakable habit. The repetitious nature of these behaviours can result in physical strain on the parts of the horse’s physique which are involved.

Stable vices include, but are not limited to: box walking, crib-biting, weaving and wind sucking. If a horse has a stable vice, this should be disclosed prior to sale and may impact on the horse’s sale price.

Once a stable vice becomes ingrained, it is very difficult to stop. Most stable vices can be prevented from developing initially by satisfying the horse’s natural desires to eat little and often, have interaction with other horses and have the ability to move around at will. This is typically achieved by plenty of turnout time with ab-lib forage when stabled.

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Practical advice from HORSE magazine on how to prevent your horse from developing stable vices such as wind sucking and crib biting