Coping with box rest is a tough job and unfortunately is sometimes unavoidable, you may like to try some of the options suggested below to relieve the boredom of a horse who is confined to their stable.
- Keeping your horses gut moving is vital during a period of box rest. Spread feeds through the day wherever possible, so your horse receives his or her food in a larger number of small wet feeds to break the day up. Small holed hay nets will slow down how quick they eat their forage therefore keeping them occupied for longer.
- Horses have evolved to eat for at least 16 hours a day so making sure they have enough to eat can be an excellent way to relieve boredom.
- Make sure your horse can see others nearby,if they are sociable consider adding a talk grill between them and their neighbour.
- Give them a football to play with.
- Add apples to there water buckets not only will this entertain them it will also encourage drinking.
- Give them some stable toys to play with – a wide variety are available, from those which you fill with feed or treats so the horse can push the toy round to get the food out, to those which you hang from the ceiling.
- Have a radio on in the background.
- Fit a stable mirror. Looking at himself can keep him entertained and be comforting.
- Bore a hole through a swede or turnip and hang it on a string from the ceiling.
- Provide a vitamin/mineral lick.
- Spend time grooming your horse. Regular grooming and massage sessions are a must. Keeping the contact with your horse is vital and grooming and massaging are ideal for this. A good grooming session will not only remove dust and dirt but also help to promote blood circulation and healthy skin and coat. Make sure you pay good attention to your horses feet to avoid thrush from setting in.
- Keep the stable well ventilated with plenty of fresh air flow, consider adding front or rear windows if possible and vents if you do not already have them.
We hope these few tips on coping with box rest help you and your horse.