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Common behavioral problems in horses and what causes them

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As we are all just about to go into full holiday mode and are frantically running around doing last-minute shopping etc, I’ll keep this week’s post nice and short 🙂

And as it is the holidays I have a little gift for you!

It’s a result of one of the most frequently asked questions I get, which is some form of:

“Why is my horse doing this?” or “Why does my horse do that?”

It’s difficult to answer that question without knowing a horse’s personality, quirks, and background, so I considered trying to draw up a quick reference guide to help people.

And then I thought that there must be something like this already out there in internet land.

This sent me off a fun adventure (research is always fun for me!) to see if I could find a 1-page cheat sheet that outlined the causes behind some of the more common behavioral problems.

Eventually, I found what I was looking for from the Merck Veterinary Manual, which I think does a very good job.

You can download a copy of the chart by clicking the image below.

It will hopefully point you in the direction of finding a quick diagnosis and fixing whatever problem you might be experiencing with your horse.

If you feel it is a physical issue, I always recommend calling out your trusted veterinarian right away to help you diagnose the problem.

However, behavioral issues can also be emotional or mental in nature and so are sometimes not as easily solved as just calling out the vet.

If that’s the case, I suggest you seek a second opinion from someone around the barn or maybe even a local trainer.

If you’d like to get my opinion then please reach out to me as I love to talk about horses and help any horse lover or horse in need.

Anyway, I hope you find the chart useful.

Until next time, I’d like to wish you Happy Holidays and Happy Horses!

Please Share


  • Thank you as I often wonder how horses take to the holidays. Thank you for the cheat sheet tips as sometimes I overlook to be cautious. Thinking of as a horse will have the same easy-going way that mine did when that wasn’t true. Happy And Merry Christmas and New Year.

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