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Tips/hints for.....ugh....stallrest!!!

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  • Tips/hints for.....ugh....stallrest!!!

    Any and all advice would be great...having to learn the hard way that mare that LOVES being outside 24/7 is not enjoying all this extra attention. Any practical ideas...stall maintenance,feeding,toys etc. that have helped others would be much appreciated! She is getting lots of hay and RB only...thanks!

  • #2
    Small hole hay net would keep her occupied. My horse thinks of at as a game, picking and playing with the net. It takes him longer to eat and he eats small quantities, instead of gobbling all the hay up at once. Also, since he gets 1-2 flakes of orchard a day, I can stuff that in his FF too so he doesn't inhale it (literally...kind of-he LOVES his orchard grass).

    Also, I got my horse a Nose-It, and really like it.

    I have been using the mini timothy/alfalfa cubes, and they my horse LOVES them. it kept him busy and sane.


    • #3
      Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**


      • #4
        Second the slow feed haynet. I also put her in a diffrent/bigger stall during the day. She thinks it is her turnout and does not object when all the others go out.
        Its her routine now and after 4 1/2months she still behaves.


        • #5
          When my gelding was laid up for months I created a 12x12 outdoor stall out of corral panels which I put up in the pasture so he'd be outside, fresh air, donkey buddy could hang around, etc. It was great. Since he'd eat the grass down every day I would "walk" the stall to a new place every day or two; you can leave one panel in place, "fold" two around and then only have to carry one panel to finish the move. He spent nights and bad weather days in his indoor stall but spent most days outdoors, with hay as needed. Worked great other than the moving it around. I did get nice more toned upper arms though!
          It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.


          • #6
            Better living through chemicals.


            • #7
              I've also had to do reserpine. i did manage a horse on 8 weeks of stall rest on just ace pills for hand walking.


              • #8
                Are you handwalking? Drugs, lots of them, if your horse is anything like mine. Some horses handle it better than others. Mine didn't care for toys, but does like an outdoor round pen panel or whatever movable fencing "stall" a LOT. Preferably next to friends. Small hole haynets (2 is even better so he has a couple things to choose from). Patience. Friends to give you pep talks on a daily basis. Be prepared for your horse to change a lot, attitude (especially) weight/muscle tone, etc. Don't be afraid to ask your vet for more help/suggestions, mine has been wonderful about that. Don't be afraid to ask for more or different sedatives (for your horse) to keep yourself and your horse safe and don't wait too long to ask for them like I did!
                "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks to all....good ideas! Yes,we are "doing drugs",handwalking and various types of slowfeed haynets,toys etc.Also switiching stalls during the day for different scenery. Thanks for pointing out to not be surprised about changing shape-already noticing that in a week! Keep the ideas coming and thanks again!


                  • #10
                    I got my girl and "Uncle Jimmy's Hanging Ball." Keeps her entertained. Also bought her a jolly ball but I haven't seen her play with it. Maybe she only plays with it when I'm not watching. And of course slow feeder. And she has front and back openings to her stall so she can look out. One more week (she's been on stall rest since Dec 7). Can't wait!!!!!


                    • #11
                      When my old horse had several months of stall rest, it helped him to be in a stall that was within sight of the tack room/grooming areas, so he had lots of activity to watch. We also put up a stall guard and left his door open so he could hang his head out and get attention from people who walked by.


                      • #12
                        The only thing we did that I didn't see mentioned is bringing a buddy in on a rotational basis to keep the mare company. She didn't seem to need it so much after the first month. We also sometimes had to shut the Dutch door to the outside because some of her horse visitors seemed to actually agitate her rather than comfort her. Also made the mistake in trying to keep her hay ration down to keep her from getting fat on rest, we learned real quick that it just wasn't worth it. She pretty much got all she wanted with her slow feed net and it kept her somewhat
                        content. She oddly did not seem to gain weight, just lost muscle tone.
                        Good luck it was difficult!


                        • #13
                          I train racehorses and have had many on stall rest. I always say "survive then thrive". Lots of hay and reduced/minimal grain. My stalls face my indoor arena and they can watch the activity in the arena and have stall gates to hang their heads out.

                          Sometimes I build a small pen in the corner of the arena with roundpen panels.

                          Don't worry about loss of muscletone or a haybelly. One of my best horses fractured a hock and went on to win a $26,000 race about a year after a longgggggg stall rest.

                          It helps me to focus on the future knowing that even if the horse is depressed now it is best for him.

                          Be strong, don't rush the healing by being tempted to let him do too much to soon. Best of luck for a full recovery.
                          My mom didn't raise no jellybean salesman!


                          • #14
                            Several years ago, when I needed this info desperately, I compiled this list from COTH posts:

                            Dressage, riding, sport horse blog
                            Unique browbands for dressage and hunter riders


                            • #15
                              Nothing more to add - many covered it especially lpcutter. It's frustrating - I am sorry you are having to deal with this... it stinks... the saying "this too shall pass." Agree, hang in there. Your doing everything you can.
                              Live in the sunshine.
                              Swim in the sea.
                              Drink the wild air.


                              • Original Poster

                                WOW!!!! Thanks to all of you!!!! What a great souce of advice/tips and support!! She is actually doing ok....the handwalking is more of a battle about grazing vs walking at this point...(with an occassional "What the heck was that??" at the sounds various wildlife make in the woods around the barn). She is such a primadonna that I will try a mirror-she will stop and stare at herself whenever she sees her reflection. THanks again for all the help and wellwishes....at least my stall cleaning skills are becoming better and better...and I'm getter a little better at filling haynets and bags....and at walking in the rain and mud....


                                • #17
                                  One more suggestion. Get yourself a stall guard, camp chair & a good book. My mate loved hanging out her stall door "ignoring"me and checking out the action around the barn. It's amazing how relaxing it is for both of you!


                                  • #18
                                    My OTTB was on stall rest for a suspensory and DDFT injury (that he sustained AFTER he got off the track ) for 6 months. He was the type that was kick quiet and VERY lazy so I figured it wouldn't be a problem. I was seriously wrong. He got to the point where he was downright dangerous to walk (read: leaping straight in the air, bucking, rearing, striking, biting, etc.) and that's when I called the vet. I had waited WAY TOO LONG to get drugs. I AM NOT a proponent of drugging a horse AT. ALL. EXCEPT, in cases of rehab.

                                    Everything that people have mentioned is VERY valuable and I think I did all of it in the course of the 6 months. But I have to say, always use drugs, a chain or a chifney bit, and a lunge line. You never know what is going to set them off and it's not worth your safety or theirs.

                                    Also, talk to your vet if the dosage they told you to give isn't enough, most of the time, the dosage they initially give you is very low as they want to see how the horse reacts. Also, if you are giving what you think to be a lot of one type of sedative, talk to your vet about using something else. I started using ACE on my boy but it was almost like he built up a tolerance and I was giving him close to the max recommended dosage, so we tried xylazine. It was exactly what he needed. Also, if you're comfortable (if and ONLY if) and your vet is willing to show you, try doing IV instead of IM or oral. IV made a huge difference for my boy (although you can't do it every day).

                                    Be patient and don't try to do anything faster than your vet recommends. It can get very frustrating, but in the end, it's worth taking the time. Good luck, it isn't fun or easy.
                                    "Be the change you want to see in the world."
                                    ~Mahatma Gandhi


                                    • #19
                                      I just survived 5 months of stall rest for 2, yes TWO, horses. Unrelated injuries but bad timing on both their parts. One of my patients is a OTTB who has a very nervous personality. I have dealt w/ 2 other horses on stall rest before, but this time around I really took charge.

                                      First off, I NEVER had to ace either one of them. I did use resurpine on the TB for a few weeks but didn't think it was making a difference so stopped using it. My feeling is, I didn't allow them to be assholes before the surgery so why would I allow them to behave that way after it? Before either one was allowed to leave the stall for a hand walk, graze, grooming, etc I always made them back up a few steps just to establish dominance and control. Crowding me at the door was definitely not allowed...basically, I made sure to not allow them to build up an attitude at any point. Also very important, don't put them in a position to misbehave. There were days that I could see in my TB's eyes that he was in a mood, so I would just handwalk him in the barn. I'm sure it wasn't as enjoyable for him, but I prevented any issues and an argument that way. Music helps so they aren't just listening to the voices in their heads. Make sure you keep any other horses in the barn quiet, or try to keep the noisy horses away.

                                      I just can't imagine that using ace that much is healthy for a horse. I had SO SO many people tell me I was being 'mean' to my horses b/c their mental state wasn't healthy...but then they would come see them and realize how wrong they were. In fact, I think my horses were happier b/c I wasn't drugging them every day! They enjoyed life, got lots of attention but not enough to annoy them. More importantly...I gave them boundaries and something to work on every day (behaving and paying attention to me), and horses ENJOY having a job of some kind and working for their reward.

                                      Another huge help...amazing graze aka the big green penis. seriously, it's a life saver


                                      • #20
                                        Another thing...when grazing or walking, always make sure you stand at the shoulder. That way, if they do kick out, buck, jump forward, you're out of their reach.

                                        If you're going to use a chain, use it under the chin so if they do get loose you aren't dealing w/ a broken nose as well.

                                        Hand walking doesn't just need to be walking back and forth...work on getting your horse to be more in tune w/ you. Practice walking, stopping, backing up by just doing the motion yourself and using a voice command. get them to move away and towards you w/o having to use any tension. there is so much you can do to keep it interesting AND help your connection w/ your horse