Make sure your horse or pony is able to behave normally.
Things you should do
- Horses must be given the opportunity to run freely in a paddock as frequently as possible and for as long as possible, in the company of other horses.
- Take the time to learn how your horse learns so that you can train him humanely and effectively. Be careful to use training aids your horse understands and use them in a consistent manner.
- Do not shout at or punish your horse. Being impatient, aggressive or violent with your horse can frighten or hurt him. It will also make your horse harder to handle and train.
- Take time to learn how your horse normally behaves. If your horse starts exhibiting abnormal behaviour or its behaviour changes away from its normal behaviour, you should seek immediate advice from an equine specialist vet.
- You should not use anti-cribbing collars, anti-weaving grilles or other devices that simply attempt to stop the performance of abnormal behaviour. Using these devices can cause further welfare problems.
- Horses are very active, athletic animals and need the opportunity to run freely.
- Horses have a natural fear of confined spaces and do not like feeling trapped.
- Horses are very trainable and can be taught to perform desired behaviours using positive, reward-based methods. They do not learn well through punishment. Fear of punishment can cause a horse to become aggressive or develop behaviour problems.
- Individual horses may express pain and stress differently. Some may develop abnormal behaviour, whereas others may become withdrawn and unresponsive.
- An early sign that a horse may be ill or suffering is a change in its normal behaviour.