Are you looking for an effective way of curbing your horse’s excessive wood chewing? This behavior can quickly become a destructive habit that costs both time and money. Fortunately, there are several solutions available to help you stop horses from chewing on everything in sight.
In this blog post on how to stop horses chewing wood, we’ll cover the causes of problem wood gnawing behavior and offer practical tips to get their feeding habits under control. Keep reading to learn how stopping horses from destroying wooden fencing, stall walls or any other part of their environment could be easier than expected!
Given below are some of the materials you need to effectively stop horses from chewing wood:
- Horse Treats
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Foam Padding or Sheets
- Bitter Apple Spray
- Toys and Activity Items for Your Horse
Before you begin, it’s important that you protect yourself from potential harm. Horses can be unpredictable and are capable of delivering strong kicks and bites. Here are a few safety precautions to keep in mind when attempting to stop horses from chewing wood:
- Always Wear Protective Gear Such as Gloves, Helmets, Boots, Etc.
- Make Sure There is Another Person Present When You’re Working With a Horse.
- If the Horse Shows Signs of Aggression, Stop Immediately and Leave the Area.
11 Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Stop Horses Chewing Wood
Step 1: Determine the Cause of the Chewing
Before attempting to solve the problem, you must first identify what is causing your horse to chew on wood. Common causes include boredom, stress, lack of exercise and hunger. By addressing these issues, you can help curb this behavior and change their habits for good. It’s also important to keep your horse’s mouth healthy with regular dental checkups.
Step 2: Provide Adequate Exercise
If your horse is showing signs of boredom or restlessness, it’s important to increase their activity levels. Make sure they are getting enough exercise with regular rides, walks and playtime. This will not only help them stay fit but also give them something else to do rather than chew on wood. Although exercise isn’t a cure-all, it can help with the long-term solution.
Step 3: Feed an Appropriate Diet
Make sure your horse is consuming a balanced diet that includes vitamins and minerals. If they are not getting all the nutrients they need, they may try to satisfy their nutritional needs by gnawing on wood. But if they are getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals, their cravings for wood will be reduced.
Step 4: Make Sure Your Horse Is Comfortable
Ensure that your horse has a comfortable environment to live in. Inspect the stall or paddock for any sharp surfaces or objects that may be causing discomfort, as this can lead to frustration and wood chewing. This includes checking for any jagged wood or other dangerous materials. If you find any, make sure to remove them immediately. This will help make the environment safer and more comfortable for your horse.
Step 5: Introduce Chew Toys
Provide your horse with something safe to chew on instead of wood. This could include toys such as balls, ropes or even specialized equine chews made of wood or other materials.
This will give your horse something else to focus their energy on, while also satisfying the need to chew. You can also give them treats as rewards when they choose to chew on the appropriate items. But make sure any treats you offer are made of safe, non-toxic materials.
Step 6: Increase Time Spent in the Field
If possible, increase the amount of time your horse spends in a field or paddock. This will help ensure they have plenty of space and grazing material to occupy them. It also allows them to interact with other horses, which can help reduce stress and boredom.
This may be especially beneficial for horses that are confined to stalls or small areas. It’s important to monitor your horse closely when allowing them outside time, as they may attempt to chew on objects that are not edible.
Step 7: Block Access to Chewable Objects
If your horse is regularly chewing on particular objects, block their access to them. Install a fence or cover the object with something that will discourage them from trying to chew on it.
However, make sure the fence or covering is made of safe, non-toxic materials. Always place objects out of your horse’s reach to prevent them from being able to access them. It may also help to move your horse’s stall away from any wooden fences they may be able to reach.
Step 8: Use Taste Deterrents
Using a taste deterrent spray on the wood can help curb your horse’s urge to chew. Make sure to apply it in areas that are not easy for your horse to access, as they may still try to lick or bite at treated items. But be sure you are using safe, non-toxic products to ensure the safety of your horse. It’s also important to remember that some horses may not be deterred by the taste and may still attempt to chew on the wood.
Step 9: Provide Consistent Training
Consistently train your horse using positive reinforcement. This will help them learn appropriate behaviors and discourage problem chewing habits. You can also use treats as rewards for good behavior. This will help them associate positive actions with rewards and build an understanding that they are rewarded for good behavior, not bad. You can also reward them with verbal praise or a scratch behind the ears.
Step 10: Seek Professional Help
If the problem persists, consult your veterinarian or an equine specialist for advice on how to stop horses from chewing wood. They may suggest other solutions such as changing diet or medication that could help resolve the issue.
It’s always best to seek professional help before attempting any new treatments or methods as they are more qualified to provide advice on the matter. But following these steps can help you get started on the right path to curbing your horse’s chewing habits.
Step 11: Be Patient
Remember to be patient when trying to stop horses from chewing wood. It takes time and consistency with the steps above to form new habits and break old ones. Always remain calm and consistent, as this can help encourage the desired behavior in your horse.
With patience and dedication, you should be able to reduce or even eliminate their chewing habits altogether. But if the problem persists, it’s important to consider seeking professional help.
Hopefully these tips on how to stop horses chewing wood will help your horse kick their wood gnawing habit for good! As long as you are consistent with the steps outlined in this article, you can expect to see
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I Use Wood Chewing Deterrents on Other Surfaces?
A: Yes, you can use taste deterrents on other surfaces such as metal fencing or walls. Just make sure to follow the instructions on the product label for best results.
Q: How Can I Make Taste Deterrents Taste Less Palatable?
A: You can add a bittering agent, such as apple cider vinegar, to the mixture to make it less palatable for your horse. Just make sure to use a diluted solution so it won’t be too bitter.
Q: Are There Other Solutions to Stop Horses from Chewing Wood?
A: Yes, there are other solutions such as introducing chew toys or providing more exercise and mental stimulation. It’s important to identify the root cause of the behavior and address it accordingly.
Q: What Should I Do If My Horse Continues to Chew on Wood?
A: If your horse persists in trying to chew wood, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian or equine specialist for advice. They will be able to recommend more specific solutions tailored to your horse’s individual needs.
Taking the time to identify why a horse is chewing wood can help you create a resolution that satisfies both you and your horse. Never punish your horse for this behavior unless you know and understand why they are doing it in the first place.
It’s important to remember that horses aren’t maliciously destructive in nature, but when unaddressed, they may become bored or seek attention through inappropriate behaviors, like chewing on wood. Sometimes offering boredom busters or providing adequate grazing or hay may be enough to stop their habit of chewing wood.
Ultimately, taking preventive measures, such as covering wooden structures with stall mats and fences with electric fencing can help reduce a horse’s access and desire to chew wood or other objects. With patience and experience, you can save yourself time, money and frustration by preventing this habitual behavior before it starts. Thanks for reading this article on how to stop horses chewing wood.