Is your little angel chewing your barn and fences to shreds?
Horses can chew wood for a number of reasons.
1.) They may have a legit vitamin/trace mineral deficiency and adding a compete vitamin/mineral supplement to their feed just may do the trick.
2.) They may be seeking fiber. During the winter season, as the natural forage diminishes, horses may start chewing on trees, wood fences and, yes, their wood stalls to fill that void. Horses are grazing animals and spreading their hay out over the length of the day may help prevent this habit.
3.) They may be a nervous horse and chewing wood soothes them. Some competition horses that are kept indoors for extended periods of time may get a little stir crazy and will use wood chewing as a way to pacify themselves. Taurine and other natural calmers can help balance this behavior. Be sure to check for any signs of digestive upset, like uclers, in nervous and/or competition horses.
3.) They may just be bored! Try introducing stall toys, pacifiers Jolly Balls, etc. to keep your horse’s mind working while he is stuck indoors or without grass in the pastures. Just remember to stay away from the stall toys that incorporate a sugary treat as the means of entertainment 🙂
Give your horse plenty of natural exercise.
Pair them up with a pasture mate that is suitable for their age and personality and let them enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.
Regularly scheduled riding is beneficial to both horse and rider and will help keep the horse’s mind fresh, even during these cold winter months!
Also, make sure that the horse isn’t actually using the wood to suck air, hinting that he is a cribber… as this is an entirely different bag of worms!
…and just think of all the cool things you can do with those personalized pieces of wood in your barn!