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Kick chain for stall resting horse? UPDATE2 #31

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  • Kick chain for stall resting horse? UPDATE2 #31

    I'm about at my wits end as to what to do with my mare

    I have a 7 year old 16.2hh WB mare who is accustomed to about 12 hours in a stall, 12 hours of turnout. She's currently been on stall rest about 2 months as she's been lame on her LF (still trying to diagnose, x-rays are good, coffin joint injection and bar shoes showed no change, blocks sound, waiting on an ultrasound) and turnout made her come up dead lame.

    For more than a month she was getting limited turnout for about an hour a day. Then, a couple weeks ago we decided to pull her off all turnout and just hand walk her. Since then she has really taken to kicking in her (wood) stall. She kicked a little before all this, a little more when still getting a bit of turnout, and now a lot with her on hand walking.

    She's got 3 rubs on each hock, and I can't even count how many boards she's kicked down. One day, it was all but the top 4 boards on one side Thankfully, she hasn't broken too many, but I know the staff is getting sick of nailing in her boards literally every day. Unfortunately, she kicks all 4 walls and the door, so I don't feel like mats are a financially viable option right now.

    She has toys in her stall, a good view, and I'm working on getting a stall guard put up for her (I just moved to a new barn) because I know she really enjoys poking her head out and playing with the clips

    In my mind, she needs turnout and exercise - neither of which I can give her due to her current lameness. She's currently not on any drugs or supplements, but the rest is starting to take its toll on her and it might be time for me to add something to calm her to her diet.

    So, I've been thinking about kick chains. I'm at a h/j barn, always have been, and I have no experience with kick chains. I've never even seen them on a horse. After doing a bit of research, I've found there to be 2 kinds: one that goes around the fetlock and one that goes around the hock. Question: if I were to try a kick chain, which kind is preferable, and would I need one for both hind legs?

    Sorry this got so long, thanks to all in advance.
    Last edited by *Liz*; May. 13, 2011, 12:48 PM.

  • #2
    The ones that go around the fetlock work very well.
    Free bar.ka and tidy rabbit.


    • #3
      I read your post because I have horse trailer "pawers" and wondered about some sort of hobble thing. (I decided it would not be good.)

      Sorry your girl is having such issues but I felt sorry for her as I visualized her being even more restrained than she is. she's obviously in distress. Don't you think chains would make her just go over the edge?

      Perhaps you should have her evaluated by a good lameness EXPERT that can discover what the problem is. Start therapy and move on.
      "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by birdsong View Post
        Sorry your girl is having such issues but I felt sorry for her as I visualized her being even more restrained than she is. she's obviously in distress. Don't you think chains would make her just go over the edge?

        Perhaps you should have her evaluated by a good lameness EXPERT that can discover what the problem is. Start therapy and move on.
        This is exactly my concern. I am hoping someone with some experience will chime in.

        The ultrasound I'm waiting for (and I'm hoping they find something so I don't have to do an MRI) is to be done by a UF vet who is supposed to be VERY good with lameness, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


        • #5
          I had to use one for a while with my fellow while he was on stall rest. We had to move farms to handle his layup and he could see his new neighbors and decided to pitch a fit. I did put one on both hinds at first then only one, now he doesn't need it at all.

          He has been on stall rest for a year... yes a year with handwalking ony due to a DDFT in his R front. He did finally settle down into the stall rest which was waaaay better than I expected from his TB self. I have just got the ok to finally start working him again at the walk, fingers crossed I survive .

          If the US doesn't show anything I would recommend and MRI if you can swing it. My guys tear was low and it took MRI to see it. Fingers crossed it was something that heals quickly
          ___._/> I don't suffer from insanity.. I enjoy every
          ____/ minute of it! Member stick horse art lovers
          ';;;;;;; clique
          //__\\<-- Don't feed the llama!


          • #6
            My horse came with a kick chain when I bought him. It turned out that he had ulcers. Once those were under control he didn't need the chains. I cut back on his ulcer meds and he is back to kicking again. I've put the chains back on until he gets to feeling better. I use the ones above the hocks. They consist of an 1 inch dog collar with a 12 inch length of chain attached to the dee ring on the collar. They work like a charm.


            • #7
              My mare wears kick chains around her pastern. Both legs, although I could try only the right leg as that's the one she tends to kick with. I didn't want to put her back in them, but after a particularly spectacular episode in which she broke out the back of her stall with a double-barrel kick, she just wears them. Soon after that one, both hind hooves abscessed and her right hind leg shows subtle lameness.


              • #8
                I have also heard of having your farrier shape a shoe that sits around the pastern to prevent kicking walls. However I am not familiar with using them or how effective they are.

                Stall kickers are not fun for a BO/BM to deal with. Glad you are open to using Kick chains to deter this behavior. I hope they work, if nothing else to prevent your horse from injuring a hind leg!

                Best of luck to you and your horse!



                • #9
                  You might want to try a calming supplement. I thought they would be a total joke, but my stall rested guy was pacing and started weaving, so I tried it on a whim before asking my vet for tranqs. I put him on the SmartCalm Ultra pellets and he's been a doll on them! They really took the edge off and he's much better in his stall. Maybe a supplement could help your mare chill out?

                  Good luck on getting an ultrasound ASAP. I can't imagine having my horse out that long and not knowing what was wrong.
                  "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks for all the advice, insight, and well wishes everyone. And please, keep the information flowing, I'm still wishy-washy on the whole chain thing.

                    As for the mare, we initially found her to have some fairly severe bruising on her sole under her shoe, so we pulled the shoe, buted, rested, and waited. I had my fingers crossed it was only a bad bruise, but when she was still lame weeks later, we knew there had to be more to the story. My gut all along has said this is a tendon injury. I've dealt with such in the past and can do it again, I just want to know what I'm waiting on.


                    • #11
                      kicking chains work well and do not harm the horse- kicking the wall until it breaks can harm the horse


                      • #12
                        I"m sorry to hear you are going through this. The sole bruising and off and on lameness with any turn out etc reminds me of a pony I knew. Same thing had been worked up presented only with severe sole bruising, Xrays the whole deal.

                        She ended up having a tiny fracture of the coffin bone missed on the first set of xrays and work up. Stall rest and supportive shoeing and she was back to her sound self in due time.
                        "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mickeydoodle View Post
                          kicking chains work well and do not harm the horse- kicking the wall until it breaks can harm the horse
                          This. I would put a kicking chain on pronto before your horse does more damage to herself. Stall kicking is not something you should take lightly. The sheer concussion can cause your horse to be lame in the hind leg. In the past, a long time ago, I used a single kicking chain on the pastern. It worked. So did moving the horse to another stall with a new neighbor. You could try one and then go to two if you think it's necessary. Put the kicking chain on now and then start to figure out any other factors (ulcers, neighbors) that could be exacerbating the problem. And get that ultrasound done asap.


                          • #14
                            I was at a friends barn this past weekend, and they have a bad stall kicker. i walked by her stall and she had empty barrels in her stall (2). BO said as soon as she kicks these, they roll and deter her from kicking. Just a thought...
                            Esmarelda, "Ezzie" 1999 Swedish Warmblood

                            "The world is best viewed through the ears of a horse."


                            • #15

                              Worked very well for my stall-bound horse resting from a soft tissue injury.


                              • #16
                                I would also ask your vet about resperine. You could build a 12x12 to 14x14 outside stall. Some horses prefer that, mine hated being in the barn and drugs and calmers made it worse. I moved him to an open stall outdoors and he become perfect (sadly after the damage had already been done).

                                My horse was a saint once I moved him to this stall http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8dJ-JiZBLR...00/Fharoah.jpg


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by hollyhorse2000 View Post

                                  Worked very well for my stall-bound horse resting from a soft tissue injury.
                                  This. Mine is on month 3 of stall rest. We just started 10 minute hand walk once a day. I can't imagine having done this with out my horse being properly medicated. He is on reserpine capsules, just sprinkle on feed with an ace chaser for hand walking.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by *Liz* View Post
                                    I'm still wishy-washy on the whole chain thing.
                                    I've known a young horse that kicked down stall walls for months. He fractured a hind leg and was euthanized. Kicking chains are definitely the lesser of the evils and in my experience, quite helpful.

                                    Good luck with your mare. Stall rest is no fun for anyone.


                                    • #19
                                      I had a horse that liked to bang the stall with his front leg. He fractured a little bone in there and ground it into the tendon. He had to have a lovely operation to get it out and recovery time. Kicking can do a lot of damage. I would try a chain on one fetlock as the most mild and go to two, then try the hock. I had to put a kicking chain on the hock of my mare until she learned to behave in pasture so she did not cause other horses damage.

                                      Hopefully you can figure out what is wrong and not cause more damage in the process.


                                      • #20
                                        I've only used them once on a horse that used to kick the walls down every night despite turnout for most of the day. They worked great - totally stopped his kicking. Besides hating them, he didn't seem any the worse for wear for the chains, (we had the pastern ones) and as others have said, its the lesser of the two evils. Especially when your hose is supposed to be healing!