Box walking is when a horse paces up and down the stable or walks around the inside of the perimeter. This can be due to anxiety, nerves, boredom, frustration or general unhappiness in their environment. Ways to help stop your horse from box walking are as follows:
- Install a stable mirror so that your horse thinks that there is another horse in the stable with them (to avoid any accidental injury, use a speciality unbreakable stable mirror)
- Tie clean and empty plastic bottles or toys to the roof to distract your horse
- Keep the time your horse is stabled to an absolute minimum and keep them turned out to a maximum. Imagine being stuck in a small space for a long period of time and you will realise just why your horse may become unhappy!
- Put the horses your horse is friendly with next to the stable and keep the ones who do not get along away from each other
- If possible and if your horse has another it is particularly friendly with, have a lower wall in between the stables so that the horses can touch and groom each other. Remember that horses are herd animals and that they like to be together
If box walking becomes a habit, it can lead to stomach ulcers so remember to keep your horse turned out as much as your can and to keep him entertained when he does have to be inside.
The Stable Doctor
Advice is given without legal responsibility
Researched: Horse & Hound, Horse About, Vet Stream, Wow Horses, Mac Vets, Pets4Homes