Pen turnout for boxrest horse

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5 March 2017
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My horse is currently on strict boxrest - which she has been since March, walked 2x daily in hand.

I am soon allowed to turn her out onto a stable-sized "pen" - however there is no way I will be able to do this at the yard she is currently box-resting at. I have therefore rented a field for her where she will have a pony friend for company. I am putting a double field shelter up for her and hoping to fence off the size of this again to give her a "pen" where she hopefully can not cause too much damage.

My question is - has anyone done this and can give me some ideas/point out anything I'm missing? :eek:

The shelter is obviously going straight onto grass (it is mobile but not sure practically how easy they are to move?!) and I'm hoping if the weather stays fine the base will stay fine. Should I put anything down tho including rubber mats? Or just put some straw onto grass?

Also fencing. This is absolutely her last chance at life, so she absolutely must not be able to get out. I'm thinking of banging in some wooden round posts and using electric tape? And then maybe another fence a foot or two behind this (maybe with just plastic posts pushed in) in case the first one fails.
The rental conditions of the field mean I'm not allowed to construct anything considered "permanent" - so no stabling/fixed shelters etc, no concreting. Everything has to be easily moveable.

Any advice greatly appreciated :eek: It's been a massive headache so far but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel so desperate for it not to go wrong now!
 

Red-1

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What a lucky horse to have such a thoughtful owner.

At this time of year you will probably be OK with some bedding straight on the ground in the shelter.

Yes, I would bang in wooden posts to support the electric fencing.

Your set up sounds well thought out.
 

wkiwi

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I have done it with just a pen made from electric fencing, but with a horse that respected the tape. If you're only on battery unit then best to link to a car battery so it lasts longer and less risk of it running out (and horse escaping). My mare was good enough to do with ordinary electric fence standards and one strand, but wooden posts and double stranded would be much safer. I had the companion horse in a separate elec fenced area to start with, then just in the paddock (within sight always) later on as the mare's area was increased.
I wouldn't use two fences so close together, as if the first one fails or the horse tries to jump then she ends up getting tangled between both fences and a bit of a mess. What about a horse-length or so apart?
Why not leave the base until you see whether it stays dry? Grass mats in shelter are an option (i know someone that has this in their turnout pens tho' they say it is a pain to pick up droppings), though i used straw bedding as my mare was recumbant a lot (fungal related myopathy rather than injury).
Decent heavy tubs for water are another thing to think about, as they do get bored and play with buckets etc. Also consider lots of enrichment, as even in a pen with 'views' they will still get fed up.
 

pixie

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Electric rope rather than tape. When they learn how easy the tape is to snap then it will not stand a chance at keeping them in. I also think that the rope gives a bigger zap! I'm presuming you don't have mains electric, so make sure you get decent leisure batteries (have two so that one is always charged and ready to go).

Some energisers have different power settings, so make sure you've set it as high as possible (at least to start with) and to send a current as often as possible (again this can be reduced once she respects it).

You need to have a decent earthing stake, preferably a good metre into the ground and if you can keep the ground around it damp, even better.

Make sure nothing is touching/earthing the electric rope, so keep grass along the fenceline short.

Have the top rope of the fence as high as possible (at least 4 ft, but preferably 5ft) and have the lowest line no higher than 2 ft.
 

Auslander

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Can you get hold of cattle hurdles? My permanent pens are fenced with them, and they are ideal. Nothing has ever considered jumping out, and they are very heavy, so won't move. I'd be dubious about electric as your sole method of containment - it's great, til it stops working, then all you have between your horse and freedom is a rather insubstantial rope/tape barrier.
This is my pen - ain't no-one getting out of it in a hurry!

 

cauda equina

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I had one box resting in a mobile field shelter (on metal skids, fine to move with a tractor) for 5 months.
There were rubber mats down anyway, otherwise I would just have put bedding on the grass. His mates were turned out behind him and I had a back window put in so he could see them.
He was fine with electric fencing. If yours is likely to escape, might a corral made of of gates be more secure?
 
Joined
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions, lots to think about!

I shall swap the electric tape for rope and move the second fence further away, therefore if she gets through the first she is just (hopefully) contained in another pen. She is generally quite respectful of fencing but there is no telling when she gets her first taste of "freedom", so will definitely hook it up to a car battery.

Auslander, I love your setup - looks awesome and just what I need! I shall have a look at some cattle hurdles, and also the heras panels, as would rather be safe than sorry. Not sure if I would be able to get them home tho as they look quite big and heavy :D

Thanks :)
 

BBP

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The thing I would warn on is paddock size. You need it to either be big enough that she can roll without getting caught up (especially if you use rope as it will not snap and can do all sorts of damage to a caught up leg) or small enough that she won’t even try. For my horse I have gone bigger than the Vet would recommend, but with the injury he has I’m willing to do that, your horse may be different.
 

pippixox

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I managed to borrow a turn out pen for my boy recovering from a tendon injury- so no risk of escaping. Heavy but just have to slot pieces together. Meant he could not escape but he wasn’t happy in there. In the long run we found a larger area with one calm companion was much better for him. He would pace and pick up amazing speed in the pen, despite the limited size and tempting grass.

I use wooden posts in the corner of my electric fence (horses on a track) with posts in between. Really helps the strength. I use car batteries and they last ages. Although I would buy a fence tester as sometimes the battery energiser may show there is still charge but it is low so the strength of zap is weak
 

muddy_grey

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My mare was on box rest all winter. Her pen was a bit of a mishmash. We had part of a stallion pen on one end, post and rail on 2 sides and then electric fence with the tall posts on the other end. She will not go near electric fencing so it wasn't even hooked up. I think the most important thing is ensuring there is enough grass. As long as she had grass she barely moved. We increased the size of the pen every week and she would just eat the new grass.
Make sure her companion can't go too far away. Mine couldn't touch any others from her pen, but could see all the horses. I hope it all goes well for you. Mine has been in a small field for a week now and it still scares me turning her out.
 

Nudibranch

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I've just bought a new solar energiser. It's all in one, very straightforward and it works very well. It holds a charge for 3 weeks so even in the UK I'm not remotely worried about it going flat. In your situation I'd think about heras panels then electric fencing a good 20ft behind. I hate heras fencing - it's ugly stuff - but there's no risk of getting caught up and it ought to be fairly escape proof.
 

MagicMelon

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When I had one on box rest (who was going loopy in the stable so I had to put him in a stable sized pen outside on grass before he killed himself), I used the big high steel mesh fencing (I think its called Haras or something similar...?) which builders use for putting round building sites. It was brilliant as super high meaning there was absolutely no risk of him trying to jump out (which he would have done with any normal electric type fencing). The other good thing about this fencing is that you can move it, so you could move it around every few days onto more grass (ok its heavy moving the big concrete blocks but doable). I could also make my pen attach to the stable and leave the door open in between so it effectively doubled the space but still not letting him mess about. Give a big pile of hay at all times and hopefully that'll also encourage him to stay still.
 

eggs

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My vet (same as Auslander) rents out their turn out pen. Might be worth checking with your vet if they do the same.
 

tamsinkb

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Whereabouts are you in the country? I have a 30ft round pen that I'm not using at the moment if you are in the SW - kept my 17.3hh safe when on strict 'box rest', though he did try to climb out of it at one point but failed!
 
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Thanks everyone for the tips, really appreciated :) have acquired a tractor battery for the fence so hopefully that should give a decent zap :D She is generally quite respectful of fencing (famous last words...) so will definitely make sure she has enough grass and try not to let her get too bored.
Her companion will stay very close as it's a pony that is looking like a laminitis risk, so starvation paddock required and hay etc... :eek:
I might have been able to get hold of some Heras fencing (just waiting to hear) so hopefully will make a pen with that and electric fencing!

Whereabouts are you in the country? I have a 30ft round pen that I'm not using at the moment if you are in the SW - kept my 17.3hh safe when on strict 'box rest', though he did try to climb out of it at one point but failed!
Thank you that is so kind! I am in East Anglia tho so fear would be a little too far away :(
 
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