Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: British Columbia, Canada
• Horses: 0
This was a habit of the 9 horses in the herd mine are kept from boredom and an empty belly in the winter months. Horses are meant to graze all day, a little bit at a time. Their stomachs secrete acid 24/7 no matter if their is something in their or not. A bored horse needs to mouth something and they pick up yucky habits, whether eating poop cribbing, chewing, etc. Also, having SOMETHING in their stomach helps offset the discomfort of excess stomach acid (anyone here have acid reflux, lol?) this can also cause ulcers, anyways, this was eliminated by slow feeding. Hay nets with TINY holes, which made the horses twice daily hay feeding stretch out to 7-8 hours at a time, really helped. This is not to say that nutritional deficiencies will not cause this. I am a HUGE advocate for slow feeding, and other "natura"l ways of keeping horses (out in a pasture in a herd, and I do not rug or use shoes, or sugary feed) I think this is the secret to mentally happy healthy horses-trying to mimic their natural needs.