Box resting a box walker- any tips?

molly7886

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My lovely boy has fractured his splint bone & is confined to barracks for 3 weeks, when he'll be re x-rayed and a decision will be made whether to operate (chip fracture near top of off fore splint) Despite being a complete gem in all other ways he hates his daily routine being changed & not spending all day in his grass filled paddock is driving him round the bend-literally, and he's reverted to box walking which he hasn't done for years.
So any ideas as to how to persuade him his sore leg will only get worse if he keeps going in tiny circles??? The vet gave me sedalin for him. 2ml yesterady made no difference, 3ml today slowed him down a little bit but I would be grateful for any other ideas/experiences. Also any good or bad info regarding realistic recovery periods with/without surgery. Thanks
 

swellhillcottage

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Hi sorry to hear about the box rest its never easy my chap had 6 weeks of it last year - what about strategically putting bales of straw on the floor it will certainly limit the area he can tramp unless of course he wants to jump them !!Good Luck

Sharonx
 

SusieT

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I'd be inclined to get him into a field shelter if possible, with a tiny bit in front roped off. At the end of the day he'll be doing himself more harm running around than meandering round a small area.
 

MegaBeast

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Think someone on here hung empty plastic bottles from the roof of her stable when she had to keep her horse on box rest to stop him box walking, worked a treat if I remember correctly, he used to like to doze standing in the middle of them. Can't remember her HHO name but the horse was Blaze.
 

cronkmooar

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Last summer one of mine had a dropped pedal bone due to injury and I had the same problem. He had previously done 12 months box rest for broken pelvis and SI injury so you could understand his point of view:D

I sectioned off a square 14/14 in the field with his mates. Never had a problem after that and horse recovered fully.

Don't think it would be the best in the winter or bad weather but I was lucky and it was dry.

Good luck hope he recovers fully
 

hannah87

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If he absolutely HAS to be box rested and cannot be put in a teeny section of a field, you could cross tie him? Not nice, but if it means his leg heals and is for a limited time...
 

TarrSteps

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Think someone on here hung empty plastic bottles from the roof of her stable when she had to keep her horse on box rest to stop him box walking, worked a treat if I remember correctly, he used to like to doze standing in the middle of them. Can't remember her HHO name but the horse was Blaze.
It was madhector and the idea came about from something I said about hanging things from the ceiling of boxwalkers in general. I had a horse in to school that was an absolutely ferocious boxwalker and we hung a grain bag half full of shavings in his "favourite spot", ostensibly to make it difficult for him to weave in the front of his stall. He took to standing with the bag on/against his neck/withers, at which point he'd stand quietly! So I made a bit of a study of it and found one box walker and one weaver who stood with their necks under ropes (one was a breeding stallion who had a permanent tie chain in his stall, the other had a cross tie outside her door) so I tried the experiment on a couple of other horses. It didn't work every time but it did work for some, at least when they weren't at their most stressed, and mh found it worked for hers.

For the one I had - who did have to be on box rest at one point - we double netted a stuffed haynet so he had to work hard for his food and of course we were careful about the usual management things, such as which stall he was in, what horses were around him, feeding order etc.

I would also suggest the "outdoor stall" but I understand not everyone has the wherewithal for that option. It would also depend on how the horse was outside - if he fence walks that's not a great option either.

Also - and I can already hear the screaming starting ;) - if the horse is REALLY endangering himself, there are other options than acepromazine for horses that have to be on box rest, specifically ones that address anxiety. Obviously they have risks which need to be discussed with your vet, but then so does him running about like a loony.
 

kerilli

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i agree with hanging plastic bottles and/or pillows from the ceiling, i found some horses like this a lot.
you could cross-tie him, it's a 'cruel to be kind' scenario, and in my experience they go very passive and resigned, and just stand there quietly.
 

molly7886

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Thanks for all the idea's. I have already discussed with the vet that it's possible he'll put more stress on it on 'box rest' than in very confined turn out & she agreed that if I couldn't get him to settle than compromises would have to be made, but obviously the more immobile he is the better! He lives alone (funnily enough its since he's lived without other horses about that he's got better about the walking anyway-he seems to like a solitary life, strange boy) so it will be easy to partition a small area off in a little paddock if necessary. My only concern with that is that I'll have to buy some tall posts as he'll hop over electric fencing & he wouldn't be bright enough to realise that he shouldn't try that on 3 legs!
I'll give the hanging things a go. I've previously hung veggies etc in his stable & he just walked through them (no sense, no feeling!) When he's on a stress out mission he seems to lose all sense of reason.
So far he's not been as bad as I expected so I'm going to monitor him for the next couple of days so that when I go back to work he'll hopefully will have accepted his new routine of the only trips out being to the hosepipe :(
 
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