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Behavioural & Hormonal Problems in Horses

It is quite common for horses to suffer from stress or display behavioural problems. Hormones, as is the case in mare nymphomania, are an example of one of the numerous causes for behavioural problems. It is imperative to treat these problems properly to be able to help improve your horse’s physical and emotional wellbeing.

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When in a stressful situation, like being loaded into the trailer and training or competition stress, some horses become very fearful. Fortunately, there are certain types of supplements that may help relieve stress. Vetsend offers a range of products to may lessen your horse’s stress levels by brands such as Pavo, Sectolin and Primeval Stressless.

Hormonal Imbalance

Behavioural issues that are caused by hormones can be a source of great frustration for both the horse and the rider. one of the most common examples of a hormonal imbalance causing behavioural issues is “mare nymphomania”. Another example of behavioural problems includes unruly mares during competition or training. Fortunately, supplements can even be used for hormonal problems that may alleviate behavioural symptoms. Examples of these types of supplements include: Phytonics hormonePuur Oestro and Groene Os Provarum Breeding. If the use of these products does not help, it is advisable to contact your veterinarian.

Stable Vices

Stable vices are some of the more common behavioural problems, such as cribbing and weaving. Horses spend multiple hours a day confined in a stable, which can lead to boredom and eventually manifests as some type of stable vice. Naturally, horses spend much of their time grazing, which would keep boredom at bay, however, horses kept in a stable are often fed roughage feeds (possibly in combination with concentrates) two to three times a day, which drastically diminishes the time they spend eating.


Cribbing is when a horse grabs onto their trough or other surface with its teeth, arches its back and sucks in air. A lot of research has been done into the causes and consequences of cribbing and it appears that it is associated with stomach problems. Cribbing can also harm their teeth.


Weaving is when a horse rocks back and forth on their front legs, in a repetitive motion. This can cause problems with their knee joints.

Related to feeding, there are a number of products that can help your horse stay busy for a longer period of time by making some adjustments to their stable. Examples include, the Jolly Stable Snack, the Equine Decahedron, the Jolly Ball, the Pipolino for Horses. These products will help boost your horse’s emotional wellbeing. It is important to prevent the development of steroetypes as they can cause physical complaints. If problems do arise, thorough and immediate treatment is key.