Box rest woes


Well-Known Member
3 August 2009
Up North
Hi all
I am sure this has been done to death but my gelding is struggling with box rest. He had an op a month ago on his fetlock. He's in on box rest with 2 x 15 min walks per day with pole work.
Over the past week he has become quite naughty and, knowing his ways, I think he's getting fed up. He has been a handful in the past but he's mellowed with age and as long as he's having turnout he is good as gold. However I think he's going stir crazy being stuck in.
For example every time I walk him out he manages to try to spin, pull away and buck. I walk him in a bridle so he doesn't get away but ends up cantering in a tiny circle around me. As well as this he will head butt me and try to bite, and threaten to rear. He has jumped his poles a couple of times :( He's a total ******.
Clearly this is going to increase his healing time or even make him worse. I am convinced he's just grouchy and after grass or wanting to get to his friends but it can't carry on like this. I am starting to get a bit scared of him and I often have my children at the yard with me so I can't risk any dangerous behaviour.
He will jog beside me rather than walk, and yesterday he kicked out in the direction of a pedestrian!

What do Other people do when faced with a horse that is a handful to walk out? We don't have a horse walker or an arena. What can I try to calm him? He has a lick, a snack ball, turnip on a rope etc. but he gets bored so easily. My YO caught him bronking in the stable the other day.
While he was awaiting his op he was in a cattle pen at the edge of his friends' field but he got quite depressed like that and the vet says he must be kept in a small stable. He's fed on old hay, with a feed of D&H convalescence mix and mollichaff calmer. Thinking of cutting out the mix. He is also eating a large amount of his bed of barley straw which I know isn't good for them...
This really is his last chance - he has arthritis too so this op was an absolute last resort for him. I keep telling him 'dog food' but he won't listen!!!
Can anyone offer any advice please???

be positive

Well-Known Member
9 July 2011
I would cut the mix out he doesn't need anything other than hay and a token bit of chop to get any drugs into him or keep him quiet when the others are fed, adlib hay and let him nibble some straw if he is getting plenty of hay having a little straw will do no harm, I would be pulling up thistles, nettles, dandelions, a branch of hawthorn or gorse every day so he can forage on something more interesting.
Walking may need sedalin to make it safe for you both, when mine was on box rest I could walk on the concrete yard just about ok but as soon as he felt the soft surface of the school he was off, without sedalin it would have been dangerous, the only other thing is to put a roller and side reins on to help keep some control, it seems pointless to put them through surgery if they then damage themselves during rehab.