Management of aggressive behaviours in the stable

The daily management of a stable usually has rather precise and repetitive schedules so operations and activities are often a routine and become a scheme for horses.

Feeding, cleaning become a regular habit and it almost seems that horses have an internal clock because they know exactly when meal or feed time is approaching. Some horses that have an aggressive attitude by their nature or because they have developed it over time, can become particularly aggressive and sometimes even dangerous at mealtimes or feed times. Have you ever seen a horse banging on the door of the stable, moving its head frantically or rearing its ears when you pass by, perhaps near feeding time?

It is an attitude that is often found and that causes great stress for the horse but also for the others around him so much that it can "rub off on" his neighbors and trigger a sort of chain reaction for which all horses get nervous. This is a fairly common process that can be managed and improved with the right strategies. Unfortunately, it is not good for horses to develop aggressive attitudes because they cause stress and make the horse too concentrated for example on food, also becoming dangerous for us humans. Horses that are particularly aggressive by their nature, may also tend to bite or come upon us when we bring hay or feed into the stable. We can therefore improve this situation by implementing some small simple strategies and vary for example feeding time, instead of every morning at 7.00 sharp, maybe we start one day at 7.30, another at 6.00 and another at 8.00, creating therefore less stress in horses that will wait for food but will not have a precise time and therefore less "expectation".

Also as regards the grains, we could vary the times, or give the grains to a horse, an hour later to another, three hours later to another, or even one day they skip the grains and eat it the day after. This variety will initially  make the horses a little restless because they have an established habit so it is difficult to change it immediately, but over time this type of management will make the horses more serene, less stressed around feeding times. Be aware that this happens over time not in a week, with the repetition over a prolonged period of time.

To learn more about this subject, you can take a look at Eric Berlanda's video about a particularly aggressive horse that we had in our stable.

Front Ranch

Front Ranch ASD

Località Frontignano
53016 Murlo - Siena - Italy
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