Help! Lunatic on controlled rehab...

TheHairyOne

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I thought maybe the combined knowledge of H&H might be able to prevent an accident, all suggestions welcome. And this horse is not normally like this, its frustration and boredom and hes lonely.

Short story. Full 2 months box rest. Now on the controlled (not really!) walking period and are up to 15 mins a day.

Problem is is he turns himself inside out at least once or twice in this period. Hes not strong, but he throws the most ridiculous shapes (he can capriolle like the best of the spanish riding school!) and as time walking increases so does the risk of him seriously injuring me.

He is walked in a bridle and lunge line. I wear hat + gloves and am now seriously starting to consider a bp.

It starts off with him trying to 'play', and i really feel for him, but he is far far too big for that.

He can not be turned out yet.

He has a small pony friend next door who is also on box rest.

The minute we get back in the barn he settles again.

ACP hasnt made a bit of difference...maybe more needed?

He is even more bonkers if anything at all is going on at the yard and he cant have horses moving around at all or he just keeps bouncing.

Possibly have the option of a 15 x 20 pen, but vets think thats too big atm. Dont have a walker...not sure i could trust him in one anyway.

Tips, tricks, drugs, suppliments....any other ideas to keep his feet more on the floor and not by my head?

Or anyone whos had to give up...and what alternatives you used?

Thanks in advance...will try anything to keep my head attached! And would love if he would settle enough to let me hand graze him...but i cant even do that atm. :(
 

Bigginge

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Have you tried sedalin or the other sedative you syringe (sorry can't remember name off top of my head), you have to give it time to work, at least 30 minutes ime, before trying to do anything but it may work better than ACP. Other than that, I've no great advice, when my "idiot on the ground" horse was instructed to have short in-hand walks, I'm afraid I just stuck him in a stable-sized turn out pen instead for all of our safety!
 

be positive

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The last 2 I had to do the same with were only able to be walked on the concrete part of my yard, if either touched anything soft they went into orbit, 1 was given daily sedalin to even get out of his box, the other was ok in a chifney, like yours both were fine once back inside, I only walked when the yard was completely quiet being my own place made that easier, walking up and down on a limited area was boring and there was no way they would have picked grass without the risk of a major explosion which would have put me at risk so they had some picked by me given in their stables.
 

Auslander

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Agree with AA - there are better drugs out there, and it's not worth him getting reinjured, or you getting hurt. I've got one aat the same stage at the moment, and he's being the devil incarnate, both in and out of the stable. I walk him in a be nice headcollar, and a chifney (with a separate slip rope, in case I lose him, and carry a bit of blue pipe to poke him with, because he is intent on jumping on me (and this weekend he's been striking out at me as well!). I make sure I stay extremely calm, and try to ignore the craziness, as he feeds off my body language. If he gets any worse, I'll be getting a helper in so he can be walked with a person on each side.
He's being xrayed and scanned again on Thursday, and if he isn't fixed, I shall be asking for better drugs! He's having Sedalin (which IS ACP, btw), but even the max dose doesn't do a thing if he sees/hears something - he just snaps out of it
 

meleeka

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Agree with Sedalin.

My experience of hand walking was not a good one. My boy had surgery to his annular ligament and had box rest with hand walking. He is a cob and normally such a dope on a rope and was fine in his stable. The walking out was just too exciting. I don't have facilities so it was just my driveway and field. I tried to persevere with a bridle, and only asked the vet when he became dangerous. When he didn't come sound, further scans showed a bone chip which the vet thinks happened in the first few days when he was doing his acrobatics and may have stood on himself. The other thing that worked apart from Sedalin was a leadrein with a chain, under his chin. He only tried the once and didn't really even test it but it must have been a shock as he never tried again. Far more effective than a bridle.

Good luck. If we have to do it again I'd send mine off somewhere i think, or get the Sedalin in first.
 

twiggy2

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I agree speak to vet, over the years I have had many who are better under saddle than in-hand, also I have built many many small 14x14 pens on grass as close to the stable as possible- fences have always been electric and live, always 6ft high, always with another very quiet horse next door. Often I have built 6 of these in a row so they can go out on a fresh bit with grass every day, poo pick every day and turn out fir 30 mind 3 or 4 times a day. I will move the horseevery day and keep building pens.
I have also dealt with horses who box rest just does not work for and we have had to source good grazing, sedate them ( for first time out) and chuck them out for 6-12 months then pull them in a start old fashioned fitness work from the field.
The reason I like my vet so much is he has his own horses and appreciates horses don't read the rule book on behaviour so sometimes what is ideal for rehab is not always possible and the best/safest outcome can sometimes be reached by unorthodox methods.
It not worth getting a serious injury to walk a horse in hand
 

pippixox

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Any chance he'd be calmer walked with another horse? A bit like how some horses are better riding in company.

I've been lucky that my old boy who has had numerous box rest stints is very good walked in hand. However I sometimes wonder if he would of been better just turned away to recover. When he was in a turn out pen after tendon injury he was stressed and paced and bronked, put him out in company in 8 acre field- barely moved!
 

Micropony

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You could talk to your vet about Domosedan gel perhaps? Did the trick with my chap when he went from box rest to limited turnout in a tiny paddock, which I unfortunately had to walk him through two fields to get to. Full tube the first day, half the second, quarter the third day etc. Also used one of those Dually headcollar things.

The in hand walking is the worst part of the rehab process, I feel much safer once I can get on board and walk them from on top! Is that a definite no-no with your horse at the moment?
 

rara007

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What does your vet suggest? It's absolutely crucial you are safe, and also a pointless exercise if it's not 'controlled' exercise as that's defeating the point! They'll be keen to help you come up with a plan B.
 

Orangehorse

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Speak with vet. I had similar situation. Tried Sedalin at home but became less effective. In desperation I took to a livery yard, someone who knew the horse really well. He frightened YO with his behaviour, so she contacted vet who suggested Bromide - cheap, very small dose that leaves the system in 24 hours and is apparently used when breaking young TB racehorses.

Beware - can also slow down digestion = risk of colic.

It worked perfectly, just took the edge off him and he was on it for over a month until he was in enough work to come home.

Mind, I did think that if it fell into unscrupulous hands ........................................
 

Red-1

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For this type of "controlled" (ha ha) exercise I always use 2 people. I have a bit with cheeks, and a lunge rein either under or over one at each side. That way the horse stays between the two of you, and each person protects the other (as in the horse cannot get to strike at either).

With this technique I have been able to avoid sedation so far for the walking in hand part, although if it did not work, then I would do it.

First turnout is another matter, small pen, 6ft fences and a vet prescribed sedative all the way!
 

gunnergundog

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Relaquine from your vet - takes about 45 mins to kick in.

Also, I would add a roller and high side reins and a lunging cavesson as well as the bridle. Alternatively, a chiffney and cavesson with the side reins on to the cavesson may be an option - depends on precisely what he does.

Final suggestion is paying someone or getting a friend to walk with you such that there is one person either side. Six foot plus ex-army guys are ideal for this - even if non-horsey - as my 720kg ID can attest to!
 

Goldenstar

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Sedalin will help when you find out how much you need .
I lead from another horse when in this situation my horses are used to this and just seem to click into walk beside friend mode .
 

turnbuckle

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Agree with improved sedatives (perhaps even off licence ones if your vet will agree), burly lads may help but it's probably going to be a no-contest. When mine was as bad, referral hospital had him on stoopid (as in vast) doses of ACP/Sedalin - didn't put him in a good place mentally so not ideal but DID keep him and everyone around physically safe. A horrible solution but perhaps the only practical one....and he did come out the other side fine.
 

TheHairyOne

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Thanks for the suggestions. Burly lads probably wont help as he really doesnt even pull. Just explodes on the spot which is actually worse as he is right on top of me!! He walks nicely when hes not doing this, and its only like 20 seconds of crazy each time, but limbs flying everywhere is just a nightmare.

Did wonder about side reins...least one on his offside to stop the head snaking around in front of me and to keep him straighter. Did also wonder if the confinement feeling might mean he wouldnt stop. Its so hard! Why cant you just explain it to them...

The acp was the first vet suggestion from last week. The under the tounge stuff i think ive used before for another horse and a dentist. Might ask for some of that as i recall it being quite effective quickly.

He could be ridden...not sure i want to sit on it on concrete though!!

Another horse might work. Other problem is hes not actually at the yard where the other boys are as our stables arent built there yet and everyone where he is has only seen his antics now, not how nice he normally is so not sure i would get any volunteers! Might ask though.

And 6' fencing is not going to be enough...we had to build 2 layers of 6' fencing with a 2m gap to keep him in the field at the last yard. Might try and rent some of that metal builders fencing to put him in...

He is recovering from a bone chip and surgery to remove it, so if i can get him through this he should be right as rain and can forget he's ever done it, so i just want to do the absolute best i can for him. Had him 6 years and just want him to come right.
 

gunnergundog

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Relaquine is just another name for sedalin, which is just ACP
Relaquine is stronger than Sedalin - yes, both based on ACP.

Sedalin: Each ml contains acepromazine (as acepromazine maleate) 35.0 mg and methyl-4-hydroxybenzoate 0.65 mg and propyl-4-hydroxybenzoate 0.35 mg as preservatives. (Taken from V**Vet - goodness knows why H&H starred out the full name first time round!)

Relaquine: Each ml contains acepromazine (as acepromazine maleate) 47.5 mg and methyl-4-hydroxybenzoate 0.65 mg and propyl-4-hydroxybenzoate 0.35 mg as preservatives. (Taken from the tube of Relaquine in front of me).
 
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twiggy2

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Heras fencing would be a good idea if you run electric on the inside so he can't rub/ push on it. Usually 6 ft fencing is his enough on a 14 ft square area as they cannot run up at it. We used to tape a short electric post to a long one to give us the height and make it easier to move
 

Tiddlypom

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Good luck. ACP made mine more dangerous, he still exploded but was not in control of his body so could have seriously injured me, whereas normally he would have done his utmost to avoid me.

I would not do 'controlled exercise' again after extended box rest, it was too bl00dy dangerous, I'd do tiny turnout area adjacent to a stable, but that would the subject of another thread.
 

Pinkvboots

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sedalin worked for mine started with 5ml for the first week of in hand walking, I wont ride a horse on any type of sedative have seen a horse go down before with a rider on and it was not nice, and then I just rode him instead of walking to be honest it was safer he was so much calmer, the in hand walking just seemed to make him worse, I think most horses are better behaved when you start riding after a long time off, the first few half hour walk only hacks I did were interesting he was fine until I turned for home then we got sideways jogging and bunny hops, a few times I couldn't get him down the track at the back of my house I think it just blew his brain but after about 4th day he was fine just very lively.

good luck with the rehab it's not the easiest thing but worth it when you end up with a fixed horse:)
 
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AdorableAlice

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It is worth remembering that acp in any form is an unpredictable drug. If the horse is even slightly aroused or tense before being given it the chances are it won't work well enough to keep you or the horse safe and it has such a varied effect on different horses.

I gave a 700kg horse 10mg on bonfire night, he was 3 at the time and a stress head. He was calm before he had it and stabled. Within 45 minutes he was down and asleep. He remained zonked for most of the next day wandering aimlessly around his paddock. Yet another much older horse can be given 100mg plus and still tries to crush the person pulling its mane and is dangerous to handle.
 

claracanter

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I feel your pain. I had to rehab mine beginning of last year and he was very tricky but did respond to ACP. Speak to your vet and see if you can get Sedalin. Please keep yourself safe. Turnout will be the same. I hated seeing my boy woosie but it was in both our interests to do so.
 

LHIS

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I feel your pain, my gelding had a month of box rest earlier this year and was an idiot for the majority of it, with two break outs. I nearly resorted to a sedative but I was able to walk him out and hand graze him for about an hour a day which helped. I don't have much productive to add, but you absolutely don't want a set back so if a sedative is the only option then use it. Good luck x
 

SusieT

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Have to say I often think people doing rehab are slightly mad.. For me the stress to the horse that leads to it exhibiting these beahviours is massive, its mental health is a big concern and the risk to handler is massive. I often wonder how many vets would stick to it if they had to do the work! There aren't that many problems that being in a 'big' stable wouldn't be better for and majority of horses in a small barn style set up are actually quite calm in my experience. obviously dont go against vet advice but ask them why he can't have a bigge pen
 

PorkChop

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I would certainly try increasing the ACP, I used 30 tablets a day on one horse, though she was on complete box rest.

It is not funny having a half ton of horse bouncing on you, I would also try side reins.
 
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