HomeExpert AdviceTackling box rest

Tackling box rest

Posted in Management

Two small words that strike dread into the heart of almost every horse owner – box rest. But you can reduce stress for you and your horse with some careful planning. Horse&Rider shows you how

While most horses cope well with box rest, some struggle – at least in the early stages – and it can be hard to predict which type your horse will be. Some benefit hugely from maximising their time outside of their stable and it’s easier to do this from the get-go, rather than changing your regime further down the line.

If you have a secure, enclosed area, then consider whether you can tie him up outside (with a haynet to occupy him if necessary) while you do your usual chores. He’ll appreciate a change of scenery, and getting air and light to his coat and skin will benefit him, too. This has the added advantage of allowing his stable to air while he’s outside.

Hand grazing, if permitted by your vet, can help to break up the day. It’s important to find an enclosed space and to use the correct equipment. Put your horse’s headcollar on as normal, then either a chifney or bridle (just a slip-head works fine) over the top. Attach a coupling to the bit and a use a lunge line rather than a leadrope.This will give you greater security should he spook. Always wear a hat and gloves, and hold the lunge line with two hands to give you greater control.

Don’t graze him for too long in one session – it’s important that he doesn’t fill his stomach, because this is often when horses decide it’s time to make themselves some entertainment. Two 15-minute sessions are much better than one 30-minute one.

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January 2018

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