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Has anyone had success using a mirror to alleviate stall weaving?

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  • Has anyone had success using a mirror to alleviate stall weaving?

    I believe my OTTB baby developed stall weaving during his racing days. He's done it for as long as I've had him. I never see him do it, but I see evidence of it in the mornings when I give him his breakfast. I read that there has been some reported success with adding companion animals such as a goat or mirrors. I can't redo the stalls (I'm a boarder) to allow him to see his neighbors through the walls, and I can't get a goat because again, I'm a boarder, but I could put in a mirror. I just wanted to know if anyone else used one with success or if it was just a flop.
    When life throws you lemons, put on your best Asian accent and scream "Faaack yuuuu Rehmooohns!" (says yours truly, the half-Japanese kid )

    My Pony Blog Dressage & My Horsey Life

  • #2
    I know of 2 different people who have tried it. Both said that it helped cut down on weaving quite a bit (I think one said their horse stopped completely).
    Kim
    'Like' my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calla...946873?sk=wall

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    • #3
      either put a weaving grill up above your door or put a bar up nose hieght then place an old blanket over the bar so it makes the door look bigger this helps to break the habit as he cant see whats going on outside is stable so wont get anxious and weave then add some root veggies like sweed or parsnips and huge carrots apples etc and drill a hole and hang them from the rafthers add plenty of hay this will break his bordum ,
      another thing is look at his actually stable and where its situated
      some horses get stressed out and weaving is a habit, and can be from stess
      so look to see if hes in a quit bit of yard, bissy bit of yard windy bit of yard, poor lights dim lite stable see where th wind comes from etc
      as you might have to move to a part of the yard that could be lessbissy or more activity or less windy or get better lighting, also look how small the stable is in comparision to your horse if for exsaple hes in a 10x10 and hes 16.hh and above its to small or if his stable is landsape and narrow its to small

      so look at his stable then delete each thing you have looked at and work out why he does it this also helps him have moer confidence in himself
      also will say this a horse that weaves needs regualr check with front feet be shoes or otherwise as he will wear out the fronts quicker than the hinds

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Callaway View Post
        I know of 2 different people who have tried it. Both said that it helped cut down on weaving quite a bit (I think one said their horse stopped completely).
        Did they happen to mention the placement of the mirrors inside the stall?

        I like the suspending snacks idea That's pretty neat, and hopefully would be fun for him. He has a suspended himalayan rock salt lick, but he doesn't play with it as much as the reviewers of the darn thing said their horses do.

        As to modifying his door, the design of the door prohibits putting up a bar I think. Not entirely sure about the grill, but I'd have to check out dimensions and also verify if the hinges (it's a swing out door constructed of wood, home made by the BM) would be sturdy enough for the additional weight without causing the door to sag.

        He's getting as much hay as can be stuffed into his bag at night, and he's on the quiet outer side of the barn. He and his girlfriend, my mare, can see each other if they poke their heads out the window. He's in a 10x12 stall and he's only 15.2 hh, so he's not huge. It's not windy, but the lights go off at night. Do you think leaving a light on in his stall would help? I'm also thinking of possibly getting him a stall ball and a LikIt toy, but hadn't decided if I should just get one or the other or both.

        At the last barn he was at, he could see two other horses across the aisle, and he still did this. I'm kind of starting to think that he does it more out of habit now than out of stress. I will say that his trampled poo pattern is better at this barn (we've been here since New Year's) than it was at the old barn. This stall he's at now is more enclosed than the last barn, and now he weaves whereas before he seemed to walk the entire stall.
        When life throws you lemons, put on your best Asian accent and scream "Faaack yuuuu Rehmooohns!" (says yours truly, the half-Japanese kid )

        My Pony Blog Dressage & My Horsey Life

        Comment


        • #5
          Is there any way you can just put him on pastureboard? Some horses are so extreme they'll weave outside too, but most seem to be "cured" if allowed to live outside.

          It might be worth a "trial run"!
          Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by sublimequine View Post
            Is there any way you can just put him on pastureboard? Some horses are so extreme they'll weave outside too, but most seem to be "cured" if allowed to live outside.

            It might be worth a "trial run"!
            He was on pasture board until the beginning of the month, but he's not the fastest eater in the world. I just don't have enough time in my day to sit and wait for him to finish eating so I can turn him back out. Between the alf cube/beep mash with grain added and then hay intake, it would take me about 6 hours a day of waiting around for him to eat all of it (because of how leisurely he eats his hay). Aside from how long it takes him to eat, another problem is that they don't hay the pastures where I'm at. I put mine in their stalls at night so that they can eat their dinner without being harassed by other boarders and so that they can also get enough hay in their diet. They each get a small pail full of beet pulp and alfalfa cubes twice a day, plus a good 4 flakes of hay per night. If I don't keep them in, the other horses will eat their dinner.

            He doesn't weave outside that I've seen. Like I said, I've never actually seen him doing it. It's just overnight when no one is watching. He's fine in the pasture and fine when there is a person around paying attention to him (I muck in the mornings, then occasionally he stays inside to wait for our workout while I finish up other barn chores.)

            I think I'll see about finding a non-glass mirror and see how that goes. If anyone has suggestions about height, size and wall placement, please feel free to let me know!
            When life throws you lemons, put on your best Asian accent and scream "Faaack yuuuu Rehmooohns!" (says yours truly, the half-Japanese kid )

            My Pony Blog Dressage & My Horsey Life

            Comment


            • #7
              I put a plastic mirror (the kind you hang on the back of a door) in and watched my horse squeal with delight as I turned out the light and went to bed - and was horrified when I found it shattered the next morning. Took forever to get it all up out of the stall, and I can't tell you how long I stared at the bottom of his feet looking for pieces, all a while thinking what a absolutely stupid, stupid move that was. We all have our bad mom moments!

              The mirror def made my boy happy for the few hours he had it. I would recommend getting one of those metal, prison type mirrors that have no glass or plastic if you can find them, or putting the mirror behind something so they can't get to it. I have a 'gate' door that I thought if I ever did that again I would strap it to the outside of the door.

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Yikes, good to know! An article I read about the mirror suggestion said plastic over glass, but if the plastic will shatter easily, too, I will definitely search for a metal one with no sharp edges instead! Thanks for sharing that so I can avoid the same mistake!
                When life throws you lemons, put on your best Asian accent and scream "Faaack yuuuu Rehmooohns!" (says yours truly, the half-Japanese kid )

                My Pony Blog Dressage & My Horsey Life

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've not tried it, but if you do, report back on how it goes.

                  My mare weaves, but she is the opposite of yours. She only does it when there are people around (namely me ) and she's in her stall and wants attention. When there's no one around, no weaving. So I don't think the mirror would work for us, but I'm curious for future reference.

                  Caitlin
                  Caitlin
                  *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
                  http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01

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                  • #10
                    The people I know put up mirrors on the side wall of the stall, on the opposite side of where the horse was being fed.
                    Kim
                    'Like' my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calla...946873?sk=wall

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                    • #11
                      We used this on a race mare who would RUN in her stall. She had actually come to us as a 2 year old with a set of leather hobbles because she was so bad. We closed her front door during training hours and put a buddy mirror (shatterproof) in the back corner. I forget where I bought them (they were not as expensive as in the link below - but we bought 3 or 4 of them and put 2 in her stall and used the rest with other horses. Seemed to help, but not completely stop the behavior. That same mare (my username) is out in my back field right now and is happy as can be. She still has her moments, but is much better.


                      Stall Buddy Mirror

                      Got a bored, lonesome horse? Get it a friend. No, not another horse but a shatterproof Stall Buddy Mirror. The Stall Buddy Mirror has also been reported
                      to help with weaving. Studies at University of Lincolnshire & Humberside in England have found the use of shatterproof mirrors to be effective with all the horses involved in their research of weaving.(McAfee L M, Mills D S, Cooper J J, 2002.

                      Prices:

                      825 Stall Mirror, ready to hang 2' x 2' $69.95 (shipping $19.95)

                      http://www.jumpswest.com/barn_mirrors.php

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ClassynIvansMom View Post
                        Did they happen to mention the placement of the mirrors inside the stall?

                        I like the suspending snacks idea That's pretty neat, and hopefully would be fun for him. He has a suspended himalayan rock salt lick, but he doesn't play with it as much as the reviewers of the darn thing said their horses do.

                        you could also try hide and seek the food as in chop up some veggies and that and hide around the stable on the floor

                        As to modifying his door, the design of the door prohibits putting up a bar I think. Not entirely sure about the grill, but I'd have to check out dimensions and also verify if the hinges (it's a swing out door constructed of wood, home made by the BM) would be sturdy enough for the additional weight without causing the door to sag.

                        depends if its wooden - all you need is a bar of 1x2 and then ablock like this
                        [ ] each end on the wooden frame then slide the bar into it
                        one the horse will walk back away from the door when the bar comes out as un auto matically haha good for teaching naughty horses who lunge over the door and all it is - is an illussion that the door is bigger lol

                        but for a horse weave is the same as one that cribs if a learnt habit
                        it need to be broken by adding the blanket he cant see so wont weave well he can but he cant get his head over the door and thats the objective as weavvers put ther eheads over the door and then constantly weave for attention etc not saying it all cases ok but some cases


                        He's getting as much hay as can be stuffed into his bag at night, and he's on the quiet outer side of the barn. He and his girlfriend, my mare, can see each other if they poke their heads out the window. He's in a 10x12 stall and he's only 15.2 hh, so he's not huge. It's not windy, but the lights go off at night. Do you think leaving a light on in his stall would help? I'm also thinking of possibly getting him a stall ball and a LikIt toy, but hadn't decided if I should just get one or the other or both.

                        he should be in a 12 x12 at least - is dimly lite or is the area like ailse dimly lite ?
                        is dark down his side

                        At the last barn he was at, he could see two other horses across the aisle, and he still did this. I'm kind of starting to think that he does it more out of habit now than out of stress. I will say that his trampled poo pattern is better at this barn (we've been here since New Year's) than it was at the old barn. This stall he's at now is more enclosed than the last barn, and now he weaves whereas before he seemed to walk the entire stall.
                        arh so he boxed walked before so this weaving is new

                        common causes for box walking weaving and cribbing is bordum and frusttration if kept in all or most of the day, horses get bored or frustrated because it is kept separate from other horses, it's feed is restricted, or it's kept in a stall for prolonged periods. Fence walking usually occurs when a horse is kept separated from feed or herd mates

                        horse who habitually stall walks may be difficult to keep in healthy condition. Nervous stall walking burns a lot of energy and while a horse is stall walking it is not eating. Stall walking may also be damaging to flooring, especially dirt floors, and a fence walker will quickly wear ruts along fence lines. There is a chance the horse could hurt itself as it repeatedly paces, kicks or paws
                        is also know as vice as in bad habit .

                        you can try a mirror it might work but you really got to try and find the cuase as this is effect his joints just as much as his shoes

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It sounds like he prefers to live outside.Is it possible for you to rent a pasture just for your horses so you don't have to worry about the other boarder's horses eating their food? A second , but less favorable option, would be to purchase a portable stall that you can keep in the pasture or shed. At least this way your horse will still be outside and be able to see the other horses in the pasture with him.
                          It is important to do what is best for the horse, not always what is convenient for us.
                          Good Luck in finding the right solution for your horse.
                          www.equinealternativehealthsupply.com
                          Natural Horse Health Care, including Holistic Equine Health Products, Supplements & Alternative Therapies.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            When I interned at ReRun my senior year of college, they had mirrors in one of the horses stalls. He would literally stand there and stare at himself. Hey, it worked....
                            <3 Vinnie <3
                            1992-2010
                            Jackie's Punt ("Bailey") My Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbred

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              I just found this: http://www.professionalplastics.com/ACRYLICMIRROR

                              And I'm excited. I checked out the Stall Buddy Mirrors through the jumpswest link that Witherbee posted, and their prices were pretty high. I just need to figure out the right thickness if I decide to try the mirror route. They have 1/16", 1/8", and 1/4" thickness. It says flexible, non shattering, and impact resistant. If mounted flat against a flat wall (the inside of the stalls they built with flat walls), then the wood would also reinforce the structural integrity of the material, so if already impact resistant... hmmm. I dunno that I want to go as thin as 1/16th of an inch, though that's definitely cheapest. Since an earlier poster mentioned that her mirror got shattered, I think I might look into the 1/4" to be safe.

                              Heck, the prices on these mirrors are actually really inexpensive... you can even get a 4'x8' arena size mirror in 1/8" thickness for only $200, whereas on that JumpsWest horse website they start at $500~. Even if you go up to 1/4" thickness, a 4'x8' size is still only $387 on that website.
                              When life throws you lemons, put on your best Asian accent and scream "Faaack yuuuu Rehmooohns!" (says yours truly, the half-Japanese kid )

                              My Pony Blog Dressage & My Horsey Life

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by goeslikestink View Post
                                arh so he boxed walked before so this weaving is new

                                common causes for box walking weaving and cribbing is bordum and frusttration if kept in all or most of the day, horses get bored or frustrated because it is kept separate from other horses, it's feed is restricted, or it's kept in a stall for prolonged periods. Fence walking usually occurs when a horse is kept separated from feed or herd mates

                                horse who habitually stall walks may be difficult to keep in healthy condition. Nervous stall walking burns a lot of energy and while a horse is stall walking it is not eating. Stall walking may also be damaging to flooring, especially dirt floors, and a fence walker will quickly wear ruts along fence lines. There is a chance the horse could hurt itself as it repeatedly paces, kicks or paws
                                is also know as vice as in bad habit .

                                you can try a mirror it might work but you really got to try and find the cuase as this is effect his joints just as much as his shoes
                                Over the last 3 or 4 days, it has gotten concentrated to in front of the door. I think I'm going to try a mirror to see if that helps. I never see him pacing, but the pile of poo that collects as he stands with his head out the door shows obvious signs of trampling and him moving his feet. The occasional poo clumps at the back of the stall aren't trampled anymore. Maybe if I hang the mirror close to the door where it'll catch more light, plus it'll be close to where he wants to hang out anyway.
                                When life throws you lemons, put on your best Asian accent and scream "Faaack yuuuu Rehmooohns!" (says yours truly, the half-Japanese kid )

                                My Pony Blog Dressage & My Horsey Life

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Surprising Insta-fix!

                                  I totally didn't expect this, but after some recent construction at our barn, Ivan has suddenly improved on his stall weaving behavior!

                                  See, we had makeshift exterior walls up at first (just plywood) until our nice exterior siding came in. They put it all up over the weekend, and now that it was finally done, I was able to finally install his webbed stall guard on the front. With the doors redone and rehung, I just put him in with the door open and the stall guard up (my horses' stalls are on the outside aisle, enclosed by a fence into a tiny paddock/walkway in case one gets loose out of a stall), and VOILA! Significant elimination of the stall weaving! With the door pushed all the way open and just his stall guard up, he gets more light and he can see more even when his head is down eating from his ground feeder. No more poo-poo-lambada in front of his door! I think I'm still going to get him a stall mirror just to be safe, but for the last 3 days since Saturday, there is virtually no poo-poo lambada aside from where he just incidentally walked over his pile when moving normally through his stall.
                                  Last edited by ClassynIvansMom; Feb. 22, 2011, 11:45 AM. Reason: typo
                                  When life throws you lemons, put on your best Asian accent and scream "Faaack yuuuu Rehmooohns!" (says yours truly, the half-Japanese kid )

                                  My Pony Blog Dressage & My Horsey Life

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    There was a school horse at a barn i used to ride at and she was a weaver. We put tires in her stall. Two tires off set one by the door and one in the back. She quit doing it after she realized it took more effort to dodge the tires.

                                    The tires also helped cure her of her fear of the tire jump we had in the arena! So we killed two birds with one stone!
                                    Last edited by LuckOfTheIrish91; Feb. 22, 2011, 11:50 AM. Reason: added info

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I have an orphan horse...he lost his mom when he was just hours old. He bagan to weave at about 6 months old and I believe this started because I am betting he had ulcers since he was grinding his teeth as well. We ran him on ulcer meds and the teeth grinding stopped but the weaving did not. He is a mild weaver and it happens when he anticipates some pleasent happening (the arrival of dinner or time to go out to his paddock). He is a very social horse and loves action. I noticed when he went to horse shows he did not weave because he was busy watching what was going on. He is now at a boarding stable for winter training and he has not weaved once!!!! He loves the action so I left him there the entire winter but he comes home to our own small five horse barn April 1st. I feel sad that he is likely to weave again in his own home ;-( My current plan is to switch stalls and give him the first stall by the entry door which has two windows and an open dutch door. At the boarding stable he doesn't even go out as much as he does at home where he gets about 12 hours out (he does not weave outside) but I plan to continue his 12 hour turnout. I know being in work keeps him happier and we keep him away from sugars and strach. Any other suggestions besides mirrors which I was investigating?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by ClassynIvansMom View Post
                                        I totally didn't expect this, but after some recent construction at our barn, Ivan has suddenly improved on his stall weaving behavior!

                                        See, we had makeshift exterior walls up at first (just plywood) until our nice exterior siding came in. They put it all up over the weekend, and now that it was finally done, I was able to finally install his webbed stall guard on the front. With the doors redone and rehung, I just put him in with the door open and the stall guard up (my horses' stalls are on the outside aisle, enclosed by a fence into a tiny paddock/walkway in case one gets loose out of a stall), and VOILA! Significant elimination of the stall weaving! With the door pushed all the way open and just his stall guard up, he gets more light and he can see more even when his head is down eating from his ground feeder. No more poo-poo-lambada in front of his door! I think I'm still going to get him a stall mirror just to be safe, but for the last 3 days since Saturday, there is virtually no poo-poo lambada aside from where he just incidentally walked over his pile when moving normally through his stall.

                                        glad to hear it, see i said look at his stable as it can bestresful obviously he couldnt see enough i think hes a horse that likes a bissy part of the yard where he doesnt feel hes alone

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