ISSN 2398-2977      

Behavior: box-walking

pequis
Contributor(s):

Daniel Mills

Kate Taylor


Introduction

  • Cause: stabling for long periods, lack of social contacts, lack of turn-out.
  • Signs: repetitive, circular walking or pacing around the sides of a confined area, usually a stable.
  • Treatment: avoid leaving horses stabled for long periods, increase visual horizons and social contact, increase turn out with other horses, increase forage, provide feeding enrichment.
Print off the Owner factsheets on Box-walking and Vices - why and how to manage them to give to your clients.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Lack of turn out or exercise.
  • Predictable stable routine.
  • Reduced forage.
  • Minimal social interaction with other horses.

Predisposing factors

General
  • Long periods stabled without exercise.
  • Minimal social interaction with other horses.
  • Reduced forage.
  • Predictable or routine management practices.
  • Horses that box-walk are more likely to weave   Behavior: weaving  than normal horses.

Pathophysiology

  • Usually results from long periods in stable without exercise or social interaction and a regular routine.
  • May result from frustrated internally and externally moderated motivation to exercise/locomote, ie normal grazing behavior.
  • Lack of opportunity to engage in other activities   →   perseveration in the behavior.

Timecourse

  • Chronic or recurrent behavior pattern.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Mills D S, Alston R D, Rogers V & Longford N T (2002) Factors associated with the prevalence of stereotypic behaviour amongst thoroughbred horses passing through auctioneer sales. Appl Anim Behav Sci 78, 115-124 VetMedResource.
  • Normando A, Canali E, Ferrante V & Verga M (2002) Behavioural problems in Italian saddle horses. J Equine Vet Sci 22, 117-120 VetMedResource.
  • Waters A J, Nicol C J & French N P (2002) Factors influencing the development of stereotypic and redirected behaviors in young horses - the findings of a four year prospective epidemiological study. Equine Vet J 34 (6), 572-579 PubMed.
  • Henderson J V & Waran N K (2001) Reducing equine stereotypies using the Equiball. Animal Welfare 10, 73-80 VetMedResource.
  • Cooper J J & Mason G J (1998) The identification of abnormal behavior and behavioural problems in stabled horses and their relationship to horse welfare - a comparative review. Equine Vet J 27, 5-9 PubMed
  • Luescher U A, McKeown D B & Dean H (1998) A cross-sectional study on compulsive behavior (stable vices) in horses. Equine Vet J 27, 14-18 PubMed
  • McBride S D (1998) A comparison of physical and pharmacological treatments for stereotyped behavior in the horse. Equine Vet J 27, 51-52. 
  • Nicol C J (1998) Understanding equine stereotypies. Equine Vet J 28, 20-25 PubMed
  • Redbo L, Redbo-Torstensson P, Odberg F O, Hedendahl A & Holm J (1998) Factors affecting behavioural disturbances in race-horses. Animal Sci 66, 475-481 VetMedResource.
  • Winskill L C, Young R J, Channing C E, Hurley J & Waran N K (1996) The effect of a foraging device (a modified Edinburgh foodball) on the behavior of the stabled horse. Appl Anim Behav Sci 48, 25-35 VetMedResource.
  • McGreevy P D, French N P & Nicol C J (1995) The prevalence of abnormal behaviours in dressage, eventing and endurance horses in relation to stabling. Vet Rec 137, 36-37 PubMed
  • McGreevy P D, Cripps P J, French N P, Green L E & Nicol C J (1995) Management factors associated with stereotypic and redirected behavior in the Thoroughbred horse. Equine Vet J 27 (2), 86-91 PubMed
  • Houpt K A & McDonnell S M (1993) Equine stereotypies. Comp Cont Educ Pract Vet 15, 1265-1272 VetMedResource.
  • Mason G J (1991) Stereotypies - a critical review. Anim Behav 41 (6), 1015-1037 VetMedResource.

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