This habit manifests in the horse swinging or rocking the head, neck and possibly the shoulders and forelimbs from side to side, shifting the weight from one leg to the other. This habit is more common in lighter breeds and is commonly believed to be indicative to boredom or resentment of long stable confinement which if persistent develops into a vice and eventually becomes a nervous disorder.
If this vice is constant, then unsoundness may occur due to the alternating strain on the lower fore limbs, uneven wear of the front shoes or feet and considerable loss of weight.
Spinal pain or muscle tightness in the body may also be a cause as the practise of this vice will release endorphins which are a natural painkiller, thus feeding the habit to relieve the discomfort.
- Anti- weaving grids ( as shown here) fitted to the stable door, stops the ability to swing the head and neck from side to side.
- Increase the time out at pasture to eliminate the boredom issue.
- Introduce an animal companion to distract and entertain the horse