What to do with door kicker?

littlen

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Hi everyone.

Any ideas to stop a horse smashing his door to pieces every time he is in?

He has kicked chunks from the bottom and even gouged bits out of the inside by rearing at the door and scraping his hooves down it. It's only a matter of time before he comes over the door or gets injured. We have increased the height of the door but it makes no difference and carpet wouldn't be strong enough to withstand him I don't think?
I thought of grille but he rears full height and might get stuck?

I have also thought of a water squirt device but finances won't allow it.

Any ideas before our yard owner asks me to leave due to damage caused!?
 

xgemmax

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2 trugs of water against the door, will kick the buckets instead and get splashed with water and put him off
 

littlen

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He can't be our 24/7 due to an injury and laminitis.

He hates being in a stable when people/horses are around as he wants to be out.However when it's quiet, he's quiet. He can't cope with horses going past his stable without an explosion of rearing at door.

I think it's a stress/ attention seeking behaviour more than anything?

Eta- I wish I could turn him out 24/7 but due to injury/ lack of grass livery in area it would be impossible!
 

The Fuzzy Furry

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Will he stay behind a door chain or bar?
Have cured 1 I had in the past by pinning back the door, another by fitting a rail a foot inside the stable. Others with a grill, carpet, water pistol, broom attached to the bottom of the door, and in 1 case with electric tape. ..
lots if solutions, just need to find 1 that suits :)
 

Tinypony

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It isn't attention seeking in the way we'd refer to it in human beings. He's just doing what a horse might do when it finds itself in a stressful situation that it can't deal with. You can do what you like to try to stop him door kicking, but the stress will come out somewhere. In this sort of situation if you start using punishing devices like water squirting, or restricting his view out over his door, you stand the chance of making him worse.
I would be looking for somewhere else for him to live, where the situations he finds unbearable won't happen. A stable with a pen outside and other horses that he can see quietly grazing nearby (really nearby, like other side of a fence) might do it.
Some horses can learn to "box rest" fine, but others can't and quite honestly who can blame them?
 

dollymix

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I'd do the suggestion of putting water trugs in front of door

Easier said than done, as its worlds most annoying habit, but you have to 100% ignore and only go to him when he is quiet. Otherwise the attention (even negative attention yelling to shut up) reinforces the behaviour.

Good luck.
 

Tinypony

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Honesty, some of the ideas people are coming up with are cruelty in a situation like this.
Would you consider speaking to a proper equine behaviourist? I'm sure we could find someone recommended if you say your rough location.
 

be positive

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It isn't attention seeking in the way we'd refer to it in human beings. He's just doing what a horse might do when it finds itself in a stressful situation that it can't deal with. You can do what you like to try to stop him door kicking, but the stress will come out somewhere. In this sort of situation if you start using punishing devices like water squirting, or restricting his view out over his door, you stand the chance of making him worse.
I would be looking for somewhere else for him to live, where the situations he finds unbearable won't happen. A stable with a pen outside and other horses that he can see quietly grazing nearby (really nearby, like other side of a fence) might do it.
Some horses can learn to "box rest" fine, but others can't and quite honestly who can blame them?

This^^^ he is stressed and not able to cope with his situation, he needs to find a safe place where he can accept that he has to be in, it may be moving to a different box, yard, a stable mirror can work, a pen etc but not resorting to water sprays or the like it will make his situation worse.
 

YasandCrystal

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Why/when does he do it?

This. I don't think there is an easy answer. A friend of mine bought the perfect horse and then found it wouldn't be stabled, it stressed and jumped out. She just had to sell him quickly via a dealer as her YO insisted on stabling. It sounds like anxiety so anything you can do to calm him may help. I would put up an acrylic mirror, hang a likit. I assume he has neighbouring horses. You could also buy some lavender aromatherapy oil and infuse some rags with drops and hang them around the stable. You can also offer lavender oil directly via the hand for your horse to smell - it has a good calming effect.
I feel for you OP it must be really stressful for you. Really you need a sympathetic YO who will allow you just to build up the horses time in the stable slowly. I don't suppose the yard gave any stables with talk grills in the walls?
 

littlen

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Thanks for advice everybody.

I have already emailed a behaviouralist who may be able to help and also have spoken to my vet but he needs restricted grazing for life and this means for part of it he is going to have to come in, as I can't leave a muzzle on 24/7.
Also he suffers from a number of conditions which means a stable is inevitable at points during the day. He is turned out in a stable herd for most of the day so he isn't stuck alone for long periods.

I have already contacted 20+ livery yards in my area and not one does 24/67 turnout or offers any alternatives.

He is stabled right next to a field and it makes no difference if horses are in or out. I would say he is worse if horses are in paddocks next to him while he is stabled as he can't get to them.

I wanted to try a desensitisation type thing but have no idea how to start and also I have tried bringing him in for x period of time per day but he never improves.

He can be stressy outside also and will fence walk so I think it's just in his nature?

I would love to sedate him so he didn't hurt himself- but I can't do it on a daily basis?
 

YasandCrystal

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OP if he is so stressy could it be that he has a mineral imbalance. Have you tried a calmer supplement or even straight magnesium oxide to see if you get an improvement in behaviour/ demeanour?
 

flirtygerty

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Just a thought, if your YO would work with you, could you not arrange a field shelter with a small fenced off area attached senario, your horse wouldn't be confined as such, I had a 3 legged horse on box rest, but was lucky enough to be able to contain him in an area of approx 24x24 ft, stable and barn area included, it gave him the choice to leave his stable, he could see the others and he wasn't stressed, good luck, not an easy situation to be in
 

Fides

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Agree with the others that you do need to get to the bottom of it, rtaher than masking it but in the mean time (to prevent injury) could you nail some carpet or rubber matting to the door to act as a cushion (and muffler)?

Is there any possibility of turnout on a bare paddock/yard overnight rather than a stable?

Edit - just out of interest as I have never muzzled before. Is there any reason why a horse can't wear a muzzle 24/7? I thought they could still nibble through them?
 

STRIKER

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Piece of carpet or eva rubber hammered to the inside of the door, soaked hay 24/7, door slides inside the door with pins and you could put on a bit higher incase he rears, agree needs some type of turnout would you like to be housed 24/7 in a 12x12 box, i go made sitting in the house.

The stress would cause the laminitis to be worse and then there is the concussion laminitis from hammeing on the floor with his feet.
 

littlen

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Thanks everyone, going to reinforce door this weekend.

He isn't in 24:7, he is turned out for most of the day and comes in at night...
 

MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

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This is a difficult one OP.

Coz as someone else has said, if he's got lammi then its not going to do him any good at all being inside, being stressed, and hammering against the door all the time is the last thing he needs to be doing TBH.

I am not clear exactly what the problem is with the YO as regards restricted turnout??? Because as a YO myself I'd far rather fix up some restricted turnout, and even have to juggle things around, then have a horse shut inside who doesn't want to be there, banging b@ggery out of the stable door!!! Anyone who's been a YO will have had to have a situation where something is on box rest, and all the issues that come with it, like door banging, damage to the inside of the stable, stable vices developing etc etc., and if I was the YO in this situation I'd be looking to try and sort this out in consultation with the owner (and vet if necessary). Tho' appreciate that its easy to look at a situation from the outside in and make judgement.

Any YO will be unfortunately all too familiar with the situation (who hasn't!) where something was on vet prescribed box rest and was inside going crazy knocking the place to pieces and the door was rapidly deteriorating! This happened here a few years ago now and it all got very unpleasant because the owner then refused to pay for the extensive damage to the door and stable generally that their horse had caused during its unfortunate incarceration. So I would have thought the YO in this situation would be committed to finding a longer-term solution for this reason alone; also IME if one horse starts banging the stable door, you can bet your bottom dollar than another will start it just for the sheer hell of it.

OP...... what I'm saying is that you may have to look for another yard if something suitable can't be achieved at your present yard. Don't think TBH that "reinforcing the door" is the answer, long-term. Your horse needs correct management and as laminitis and cushings are all tied up together, and cortisol (i.e. stress hormone) is connected with cushings, then you really may have to look for somewhere else in order to adequately manage the situation for the future TBH.

(Sorry, have just re-read OP's post where she says she's tried all other yards in the area)............ OP, I'm so sorry to have to say this, BUT, if all else fails and your horse continues to be unhappy and massively stressed - then you may have to consider other options which you may find unthinkable, but nevertheless may have to give thought to.......... like the PTS option for instance. I'm sorry, this isn't what you wanted to hear, but it may be an option you nevertheless have to consider in a situation like this.
 
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GeorgeyGal

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Would you be allowed to buy your own leci fencing (you can find a cheap kit off ebay) and section off a bit if you do it yourself?
 

Tinypony

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I hope the behaviourist can help you Op.
Ideas... Could he move to a quieter area of the yard where he wouldn't have people and horses passing by in front of his stable?
Is there another suitably lammi or fat pony who could become his companion and be in a stable next to him? Maybe with a grill between them, or a lower stable wall.
Would you consider going "off piste" and asking your vet for a referral to a holistic vet? I use Tim Couzens and he's been amazing help with some difficult horses in difficult situations. He's a qualified vet and that is what I personally think you should look for, so you can get a proper referral.
If there are others on the yard that need restricted grazing is there any way they can be grouped together for turnout and stabling?

Problem with box rest is that it's a bit misleading isn't it? Box is about right, but "rest" very much depends on the horse.
 

STRIKER

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Sorry didnt realise he is turned out part of the day, agree mins and vits, maybe not enough mag, vit e and selenium, i take it he doesnt get any hard feed and just soaked hay, carrots are actually mor fibre and water and have less sugar than apples, pears, grapes so do mix a few carrots in his haynet to keep him occupied. Hang a jolly ball right outside stable head high so he can try and bite it etc keep him occupied.

I would say he had a buddy in the field who is still out when he is brought in because most horses once having been out get into a routine and are happy to be stabled.
 

angel7

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Can you buy and fit a top door for his stable?
Simply have his fibre based feed outside the door and ask folk to give it to the horse and close the top door over before they put theirs out. He wont see the horses passing by and could be happy to munch in peace without the stresses of a busy yard. Sometimes allowing horses a view out can cause them more stress.
He won't die for lack of a view! If he's getting turnout I don't thinks is cruel at all to shut the top door for periods.
 

RobinHood

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Could you section off part of the field as a fatty paddock and give him another pony as a companion?

We've got 4 ponies that can't tolerate much grass so they have a bald paddock with ad lib scattered hay and an adjoining track system around 2 acres of woodland on a slope. They are much happier than previous years when they had just 2hr of grass turn out or muzzles.
 

Prince33Sp4rkle

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We have a tie ring each side inside the door recess, and clip a piece of thick rubber matting to them. Stops him bring able to kick the wood.

But if he's rearing over the top you need a grill really.
 

jhoward

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I worked for a guy... we had a sod of a colt that reared, lunged and banged the door all night. I arrived one morning... a line of electric fencing had been erected across the front of the stable just below the top of the door... the colt learnt to stand nicely and watch the world go by...
 

StarcatcherWilliam

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Is he the on his own when he's stabled? Can he see other horses when he's in his stable? Sorry if this is already discussed in replies, but it sounds like separation anxiety. Stable mirrors can help, but he needs a buddy stabled next to him that he can see at ALL times I would say.
 

Tinypony

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I suppose there are a couple of ways to look at this. Either the horse is being an inconvenience and needs to stop being an inconvenience whatever it takes. Displace the obvious behaviour, and with a bit of luck what they do next will be less obvious and less distressing to humans. If they stand quiet and still in the stable that's great, no suggestion that they might have been flooded and shut down (namby pamby ethology-speak), they've learned the lesson. After all, they only do it to get attention and piss us off don't they? And some horses are just awkward creatures by nature and need the sort of firm sorting out that only a no-nonsense expert horse person can devise.
On the other hand, you could decide that you've got a distressed animal in need of your help. Look for the cause and see if you can do anything about that.
Whenever I read about electric tape in stables etc I wonder - how would people react if similar punitive measures were applied to zoo animals that were showing distress at their confinement.
In zoo animals these stress behaviours are called zoochosis. http://www.bornfree.org.uk/campaigns/zoo-check/captive-wildlife-issues/abnormal-behaviours/
I'm no bunny hugger but for goodness sake, they are animals and supposedly we're quite fond of them...
 
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