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Horse on stall rest, need help with hand walking!

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  • Horse on stall rest, need help with hand walking!

    Last edited by charliesangel; Nov. 8, 2010, 12:36 AM.

  • #2
    I would really talk to the vet about a long acting mild tranq. I don't think you are going to get the kind of results you are looking for with a feed through product.

    The other thing you can do is to make your handwalks "work." Put a bridle on him, take a dressage whip with you, and possibly a chain shank. Make him walk with you properly, give him things to do (you can create patterns, walk over poles, etc to keep his attention) and get his brain focused on paying attention rather than being fresh.
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


    • #3
      Use a chain over his nose, and walk him inside the barn if possible. If you have an indoor arena, that might help.

      Calm n Cool might help. It's a paste you can give them. You might also talk to your vet about a Reserpine shot. It lasts about 30-45 days. Personally, I would do that for long term stall rest/handwalking.

      There are a bunch of stall toys you can do. Lik-its, hanging an empty gallon milk jug for him to play with, Jolly balls, toys you can put treats in that they have to roll to get the treat out. I'd also keep grass hay in front of him all of the time, and try to keep a horse beside him for company.


      • #4
        You've got a way to go and you will need some drugs to help you (er...your horse).

        Your safety is paramount, and hand-walking a high TB can be dangerous. I am sure your family would far rather help you with the cost of some Ace each day for handwalking than visit you in the hospital! I've done tons of confinement layups, and always wind up using some sort of drugs --- Ace, fluphenazine, etc. These horses just aren't designed to live in a stall 24/7.

        If a stud chain doesn't help, either use a bridle or find a "bumper" or "bonger" like they use at the track (it's an aluminum bosal --- they are hard to find but very effective). Walk him in an enclosed area for safety, using a long cotton lunge line (so you can hang onto him if he gets squirreley, but still stay away from him) and gloves AND a helmet and jump vest!

        I'm handwalking a rehab horse now. I simply don't walk him if the planets are not in alignment at that moment, ie, windy, dogs running around, etc. Some days he gets out much more than others. Good luck! Get those drugs!!!


        • #5
          I had a gelding that sustained a shoulder fracture that had to be on stall rest for several months. I aced him AM and PM. It was not a big deal, it was not expensive, he actually *liked* his daily drugs (would come over and present his neck to me), he did not get sore, and it kept him sane enough to tolerate the rest. He would have likely not survived if I had not kept him drugged.

          Reserpine and fluphenazine were not mentioned as possibilities when I was going through this--CSU said ace was my only option. So I aced him.

          If the horse needs to be on stall rest to heal, acting like an idiot and getting free is not going to allow him to heal. Talk to your vet about what pharmaceuticals you need to get your horse through this.


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by Simkie View Post
            I had a gelding that sustained a shoulder fracture that had to be on stall rest for several months. I aced him AM and PM. It was not a big deal, it was not expensive, he actually *liked* his daily drugs (would come over and present his neck to me), he did not get sore, and it kept him sane enough to tolerate the rest. He would have likely not survived if I had not kept him drugged.

            Reserpine and fluphenazine were not mentioned as possibilities when I was going through this--CSU said ace was my only option. So I aced him.

            If the horse needs to be on stall rest to heal, acting like an idiot and getting free is not going to allow him to heal. Talk to your vet about what pharmaceuticals you need to get your horse through this.
            Thanks for the advice, I will call my vet tomorrow. He has never gotten free or run away from me he just spooks and overreacts to everything and I calm him down and then he does it again a few minutes later, its like a neverending process. Is the oral Ace effective at all? Thanks!


            • #7
              Mine was fine for the first month (I would walk her all over outside, let her graze, continue walking - making sure she got the required 20 minutes 2 x a day) and then totally lost her mind. It was like hand walking a 1000 pound kite! I had to resort to walking her inside the barn, because even walking in the indoor was too much for me. I used Ace on a couple of occasions when she looked especially wild on my arrival. Good luck!
              She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!


              • #8
                Don't take a chance on getting yourself hurt. Does the vet feel he can go into the paddock? That might make him more manageable.


                • #9
                  I've not found oral ace at all useful for a horse that wants to explode. I have found it useful to take the edge off a horse that's a little high. You do have to use quite a bit more (I start with 4 cc), it takes longer to take effect and the effect is definitely not as strong as IM or IV administration.


                  • #10
                    You can also use injectable ACE orally. I had to handwalk a fit endurance horse for a month and the vet told me about giving the liquid Ace orally. I found that 1 cc worked for this small mare but you may need 3 cc's. You can use the same syringe that you use to remove the Ace from the bottle, just remove the needle and squirt into the mouth. I found that she would take it from my had after I put it into a treat. My horses love bread so I can squirt it onto a slice of bread which soaks it up and feed the bread.



                    • #11
                      Reserpine comes in capsules that you can put on the feed. And yes, Ace can be used orally. You just have to give more (at least 3cc) and at least 30 minutes before you want to start walking. Reserpine is the go-to drug for long term stall rest, but it has a nasty side effect of causing diarrhea. Daily Ace won't hurt him a bit.


                      • #12
                        It's not just to keep you safe, though that's important, but his jumping around and jigging and spooking isn't going to help his injuries heal, either. He'll heal faster if he stays calm, so in the long run that will be cheaper than having to extend his stall rest or have further surgery or vet treatment because he jumped around and wrenched something or fell down, etc...


                        • #13
                          You HAVE to protect yourself AND your horse from himself. He is not the same horse that you are used to. Don't think for a minute that he won't hurt you because he will. Horses are totally different animals on stall rest.

                          Many IM injections of ace are not a big deal. Having you head kicked in or having him reinjure himself is.

                          Ace is a very mild traqualizer and has NO lasting or long term effects. Reserpine however, changes gut motilitly and makes horses prone to colic.

                          Do yourself and your horse a favor and get over the whole I don't want to drug my horse mentality. You both need it right now especially if he is doing what you say he is. He will make more progress with his recovery if you just ace him every time you walk him.

                          Ace costs about $17 for a 100 ml bottle. Even if you give him 2 cc every walk thats 50 walks for $17. I bet your health insurance co-pay is more than $17.

                          Please take my advice, I give it in good faith and believe it's the best thing for you guys. I have rehabed many horses in my 30 yrs of working with them.

                          Good luck!


                          • #14
                            You say he has a paddock attached to his stall. Why not take him out there for his daily walk? That way if he gets loose he is confined and he also gets to know his neighbors etc in anticipation of his release from the stall.


                            • #15
                              I would imagine that during his time in a stall with no green grass he has gotten low on some of his vitamins and minerals. Perhaps he already was before if he wasn't getting a fortified grain and/or vitamin and mineral supplements. I highly recommend you put him on a good supplement that has a good deal of magnesium in it. They get really frazzled when they are magnesium deficient. The results at my place have been incredible...you might not need drugs.

                              Quiessence with magnesium and chromium seems to be pretty popular.
                              Altamont Sport Horses
                              Trakehners * Knabstruppers * Appaloosa Sport Horses
                              Home of stallions: Ambrosius af Asgard "Atlantis" & Hollywood Hot Spot
                              Birmingham, AL


                              • #16
                                If you have the time you could try clicker training him in his stall. You can check out the website, clickertraining.com Clickers are only a few dollars (maybe $2) and you could teach him to touch targets for rewards. It is good mental exercise. I know people who have trained horses to move off their leg and load into trailers with clicker training. The other thing I would recommend is teaching your horse to put his head down on command. There are many ways you could do it. I usually apply pressure to their poll and gently rock their head left to right so they do not brace their neck. As soon as they lower their head, even a millimeter, I stop asking. Now, whenever I my horses start to get hot, I have them put their head down and keep it down. You can even have them walk around with their head down as far as they can put it. These ideas may help but please stay safe.


                                • #17
                                  not everyone has access to this but. . .

                                  When I had to had walk one who went nuts due to confinement (this was many years ago), there was a cowgirl at the barn who rode her husbands big old roping horse up to his stall and we handed my horse off to her to pony. the roping horse didn't take any cr@p from my horse and it worked well.
                                  I owe that woman a lot!
                                  A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton


                                  • #18
                                    Before I'd try tranquilizers I would put the horse on the supplement, Equinime, or a mixture of 2 parts calcium carbonate:1 part magnesium oxide (natural muscle relaxants).

                                    The Equinime contains calcium and magnesium as well as a B-vitamin complex and some amino acids beneficial in getting a horse to chill out. You should see a change within 2 days to 2 weeks.
                                    "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~


                                    • #19
                                      I have a horse with a fractured knee on stall rest. I was giving him reserpine to walk him but like someone else mentioned it causes watery diahrea and that is just not worth it in my opinion. I found it slowed him down but not completly. Instead he was sorta dull and sleepy but still reactive. I have been walking him in the barn because it is the outside walking that causes him to become rank. The ace works the best in my opinion and it is very easy to give via shot or orally. Also, reasonable in price.


                                      • #20
                                        You can give the injectable reserpine orally, daily or every other day. Squirt it in alittle beet pulp in his meal works well on some horses.