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I'm going to kill my horse if he doesn't kill me first - stall rest & rearing

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  • I'm going to kill my horse if he doesn't kill me first - stall rest & rearing

    I know it must be typical behavior when a horse is on stall rest, but I'm gonna kill him if he doesn't kill me first.

    My horse is on stall rest from a torn suspensory (we're on week 5-6 of stall rest), and has taken to REARING straight up in the air & striking out at me with his front legs as he rears up (when handwalking).

    It's very ironic because he's extremely calm in his stall & 99% of his walk he's walking with his head down, lip hanging, he goes through life with no sense of urgency, and then out of the blue BAM he's jerked away from me and rearing up.

    Yesterday when he did it I yelled at him (usually when he tries it I just jerk on the leadrope (with a chain over his nose) and he can't get up very high if at all, but yesterday he got away from me enough to rear up twice, so I just yelled at him and he quit. Then he continued to act stupid when I walked him towards his stall. Granted it WAS feeding time (and he knew it). He did this when I walked him out of the indoor back up to the barn.

    Should I talk to the vet about a sedative? put him on a calming supplement? Do some voodoo? Grit my teeth and know it won't be forever? Beat him with my dressage whip when he does that (I'm only half joking)? I do stuff his ears and that has made a difference with him jumping at noises in the indoor. Vet will recheck him in a couple of weeks, not sure when he'll be able to be turned out.
    "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11

  • #2
    I'd absolutely put him on a sedative--either ace him before you walk him, or use a long acting drug like fluphen.

    I'd also consider walking him in a chifney bit.


    • #3
      I agree with Simkie.

      That chifney bit will work better than a chain.

      Good luck.
      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
      -Rudyard Kipling


      • #4
        Definitely sedate him. Clearly there are respect issues here, but while he has a torn suspensory isn't a good time to get after him.


        • #5
          Since he seems to be a relatively quiet and stable guy, just losing his mind right now, I'd try a supplement rather than the big guns. I'd try him on some quietex. I like that it takes the edge off without making them dopey. If that doesn't work though, definitely go for the stronger stuff, as rearing is not something to mess with. All it takes is one bad step for him to come crashing down, and you'll be dealing with a lot more than a torn suspensory.

          Maybe talk to the vet about walking him under saddle. Or if handwalking is your only choice right now, try a lip chain. Just remember to stay out of his way if he goes up, and do not yank on the lead if he makes it all the way up. You do not want to get him off balance and bring him down or flip him... trust me, I know from personal experience. Bowed tendon turned RIP.
          Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


          • #6
            Tranquilize. I've never had much luck with quietex or calm n cool. We have a yearling recovering from a severed suspensory, and she gets 3 ccs of ace every time she goes out. It's just not worth either me getting hurt, or her getting loose.


            • #7
              First I would address his diet and remove any excess calories that may be contributing to such behavior!

              Then I would add a calming substance like Magnesium for example, which will also assist the healing as it is anti-inflammatory.

              I am not a huge fan of stall rest. My horse had a suspensory tear and he was out 24/7 and healed just fine. I did modify his diet to hay and supplements only. I think the movement also helped to create a stronger connection. He also was not on bute so he could feel the pain and stop him from overdoing it.


              • #8
                I'm not a fan of stall rest either -- in fact I wouldn't do it except for a catastrophic injury. I did turnout with my horses too, but common sense (on the part of the owner) is paramount.


                • #9
                  Pull all grain from his diet (gradually). He doesn't need the kind of energy that grain gives him.

                  Definitely ask the vet about tranqing him for safety.

                  Second the chifney bit as well.

                  Wear your hard hat and an eventing vest when hand-walking, and don't forget your gloves either!

                  How much longer will he be on stall-rest? When can he be put in a small paddock instead?
                  "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


                  • #10
                    Yes, we did the full on rears two weeks ago. Chain on gum did the trick to prevent those. Chain over the nose was useless.

                    Reserpine did jack for my horse. I don't like how the ace makes him drunk-- even the slightest bit still makes him not so keen on his feet and I don't want him hurting himself even more. Chain on gum seems to be the fix-- for now.

                    My horse is just like yours-- fine in his stall, not fine out for walks.

                    This stall rest deal is killing me! We were cleared to start the trot last week with some not so good results-- horse is still lame . Back to walk only and the recheck on April 6th will tell us more. I've had it-- horse has been off since the first of January. I don't know how I am going to get through it with no end in sight. The little steps of being able to trot for two minutes was keeping me going, but now that he is still lame and we are back to the walk indefinately, I am having a hard time keeping at it.


                    • Original Poster

                      Ok, I'll do either a calming supplement or Ace him.

                      I'm not sure how much longer he'll need to be on stall rest - when the vet re-checks him in a couple of weeks I'll know more. I know there is some debate on stall rest, but I'd rather go by what my vet says on this one...

                      He's on 1 qt of 13% protein/8% fat/reduced carb pellets twice a day. He also a scoop (the 2 qt scoop) of soaked beet pulp twice a day. I'll as BO if we should just cut all grain...

                      I have been giving him treats in his bucket in order to stuff his ears - perhaps I need to switch to Beet Treats or something like that?

                      And yes to whoever said something about respect issues - he's a 4 year old with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. Angel wins out 99% of the time, it's that other 1%....
                      "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11


                      • #12
                        Could you tranq and then work up to a little turn out? I figure they are walking in the stall so you just don't want them to run right? This must be a terrible strain on you two. Good luck.
                        “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
                        ? Rumi


                        • #13
                          I am on week 7 of stall rest for my guy. 1cc of ace does the trick for him. Before I started giving it, he would buck, rear then double barrel kick in one movement. He knew he wasn't supposed to pull away from me, so he would do it in place. It's a talent.

                          We just had a few days of straight rain, but as soon as the ground dries up I am going to panel off a 15x15 area of a paddock for turnout and slowly enlarge it.

                          Good luck! I know how frustrating it can be!


                          • Original Poster

                            Pardon my stupid question, but with Ace, is that something I just inject him with prior to each handwalk?
                            "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LDavis104 View Post
                              Pardon my stupid question, but with Ace, is that something I just inject him with prior to each handwalk?
                              Yes. Ace can go IM, IV, SubQ or orally. IV is going to be fastest acting with the shortest duration. Most people use it IM or orally. You will want to give it 15-20 mins prior to walking if giving it IM, and 20-30 mins prior to walking if giving it orally.


                              • #16
                                I give it orally then groom. By the time I'm finished he is nice and mellow.


                                • #17
                                  Went through exactly this with my youngster when he was recovering from a torn suspensory. As he was very young (not yet four), I didn't want to put a bit in his mouth, so used a chain over his nose and then invested in a Dually halter.

                                  He had a couple of Come to Jesus moments before he remembered his manners, and then went back to being my angelic boy.

                                  Good luck with yours.


                                  • #18
                                    We had a gelding on stall rest who was acting like a nut when we were walking him, and he didn't react well to ace. One of the teens came up with the idea of tacking him up and adding side reins. We'd hook him up, put the halter and shank over the bridle, and walk him. It worked like a charm for that horse - he'd bounce around a little but nothing scary or dangerous. It seemed like the light frame the side reins created gave us just enough extra control.
                                    ~ A true friend knows all there is to know about you and still likes you. -E. Hubbard


                                    • #19
                                      tranqulizer as much as needed. Consider trying reserpine. For my gelding ace granules brekfast lunch and dinner 2 large scoops in a handful of soaked beet pulp. Nothing less worked for him. he wouldn't rest, I tried everything else. He is in rehab now, is sound and we are on our last bottle of ace, I think!


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Originally posted by Kaeleer View Post

                                        He had a couple of Come to Jesus moments before he remembered his manners, and then went back to being my angelic boy.

                                        Good luck with yours.
                                        What was included in your horse's Come To Jesus moments? I think mine needs one of those...

                                        I'm never quite sure what to do when Peppy rears or acts crazy except to tell him no or cut it out, pop the leadrope & make him walk forward again.

                                        When he tries to bite me, he gets whapped/smacked, but that sure doesn't seem to get the point through when he keeps doing it! I think I need to carry a crop, and whap him that that if he bites.
                                        "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11