Cabin fever – help!

This topic contains 9 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by DapperEquine DapperEquine 4 years, 6 months ago.

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  • CommanderInChief Original Poster CommanderInChief
    Topics Started: 2Replies Posted: 0

    My horse bowed a tendon and will be on stall rest for awhile. She is used to all day turnout so I’m worried about keeping her quiet. I don’t want her to reinjure herself! Any tips?

    Jon Jon
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 17

    I have tried jolly balls, flavored toys on rope, other horses on baby sitting duty for half day shifts and as much attention that you can give the beastie. I used almost no grain for the horse. Just enough to get any supplements in the horse. If the horse will be good, a few minutes of hand grazing helps. Good luck.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    Little or no grain and lots of hay. When my horse strained a suspensory, we built a slow feeder so that his hay would last longer and he wouldn’t be bored. Youu could also get a slow feed hay bag…SmartPak sells the slow feed hay net, but I prefer the Jeffers slow feed hay bag for safety reasons.

    Jon Jon
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 17

    My wife reminded me that my one gelding liked “his” cat when he was confined to stall rest. For some reason he was comforted by his cat sleeping on his rump or just being in his stall with him. Not that you can confine a cat for the purpose, but sometimes a good barn cat can help out.

    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 21

    Lots of hay in a small mesh hay net. You can try toys like ropes, jolly balls, etc, but I’ve found most of them are ignored. I do have a gelding (not on stall rest) that will occasionally play with a rope I have tied in his stall. If the horse is not an easy keeper you can try food toys like the Uncle Jimmy’s Hanging Balls or the likit toys.

    If you are at a lively barn, moving to a stall where your horse can see all the action can help, if your horse is the sort that doesn’t get agitated by that sort of thing.

    You could also build a 12×12 or 12×14 corral outside and give the horse a few supervised hours of turnout.

    Also, don’t be afraid to drug the horse if necessary. It does no one any good if you have a horse constantly pacing and having fits while on stall rest. Ace is my go to for this type of thing.

    Sundance Acres
    home to 6 overly spoiled, fat, shiny, adorable horses, and 4 cute barn kitties

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 7

    Be careful if you do decide to set up a 12×12 turnout pen. When my gelding foundered from a shot and had to be on stall rest for a period of time, we were glad to toss him into a small 12x12ish turnout area for the morning stall cleaning. One day I visited to just check the pads on his feet and didn’t turn him out for that period of time, and he apparently got so upset that he was rearing and knocked his water buckets off the wall in frustration. Thankfully he didn’t injure himself, but a horse with a tendon injury might have. Definitely don’t set up a solid turnout routine in the case that one day it won’t be followed.

    I agree with an active stall if that is a possibility and she likes to be in on the action. My gelding was unfortunately stuck in the barn all day by himself, with company at night.

    I want to say that we tried jolly balls, but they only ever got pushed around in the stall. Horses seem to only like them if they played with them when they were foals/younger. Hanging one off a rafter just led to him being afraid of it, so that was a no-go as well. We couldn’t give him the sweet treats to hang, but I think ones we did try were just ignored.

    Hay was really the most important thing, and I would second cutting down grain to a minimum and jacking up the hay.

    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 28

    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.

    Visit my horse care and product review blog at:

    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 4

    I also rehabbed a gelding with a bow and it was not always fun! If you are allowed to walk her at all, sometimes hand grazing is the best. She gets a snack, stuff to look at, and is out of the “box” for a bit. We were lucky in that ours wasn’t too bad and we were able to walk the flat parts of the trails behind the barn, as long as he behaved! I put him on Quietex in about the 1 1/2 month mark as he just couldn’t control himself and his excitement. I only used half a scoop instead of the full scoop they recommend and it was enough to take the “edge” off without him being all dopey.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 5

    Recruit some volunteers and have them visit your horse daily at different times of the day and get everyone to try and get the horse to do simple little tricks that don’t involve movement of the legs. Things like smiling, shacking head yes and no. These are great mental exercises for you horse and will help keep her occupied. You’re horse will appreciated the attention and won’t get quite as bored.

    Ride to live, live to ride!

    DapperEquine DapperEquine
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 7

    In addition to the other suggestions made, SmartCalm Ultra has made a HUGE difference for my OTTB when he’s been laid up (due to hoof issues) on multiple occasions.

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