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Stable toys can minimise stereotypical behaviours by decreasing boredom and stress.
Stereotypical behaviour is an area which has been misunderstood for years; it was thought that stereotypical behaviours such as weaving, cribbing and windsucking were performed because horses were naughty and as a result these behaviours were punished. However, we now understand that horses present with stereotypies as a coping mechanism for stressful situations. Stereotypical behaviour results in the release of endorphins, the feel good chemical, helping horses to cope with a situation that they otherwise find stressful. Therefore instead of forcibly preventing a horse from performing a stereotypical behaviour, you can add novel stimuli to his environment such as stable toys and boredom breakers to reduce his anxiety within the environment. Stable toys are available in the form of likits, scented play balls and mirrors which all help to make the environment a little less stressful to the horse.