Reply To: Cabin fever – help!

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My mare has done the stall rest dance (3 months or so both times) twice now. The first time we built her an outside stall (metal stand alone stall with tarp roof for shade) so she could “go out” but wouldn’t be out with others. I agree with other posters – lots of hay (slow feed nets are GREAT) and very little grain to keep them busy without a ton of energy. Hand walking is great but be prepared for any… expressions of opinion and wear gloves. Try to make sure she has something to do/see/eat at all times – toys or lick-it products, try to move the horse near a high traffic area where there will be lots to look at, etc.

The second time we did stall rest, we were at a different barn and she would pace and scream for her friends. For the first few days and when she went out for “paddock turn out” (still not supposed to do anything but walk) I gave her benadryl (as suggested by a field vet) to dial her down until the heat of the day took it’s toll (she went out for the first time during a record high-temp week) and they were sleepy/slow moving anyways. A routine of visiting also helps – they know they will get out, at what time, etc, which helps with the anxiety.

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