Tips to Keep Your Horse Happy on Stall Rest


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At some point during his life, your horse may have to go on stall rest. Stall rest requires that your horse not leave his stall for a period of weeks or months, which can be challenging, especially for active horses. These tips will help you to keep your horse happy on stall rest.

Choose Stall Location Carefully

Stall rest is boring for horses, but if you carefully choose which stall in the horse stable you use, you can provide your horse with entertainment. For instance, choose a stall in a busy area of the stable which sees lots of activity, such as by the tack room or at an entranceway so that your horse can see out. If possible, choose a stall which has a window looking out so that your horse can see outside activity.

Reduce Your Horse’s Feed

When you put your horse on stall rest, you are probably going to be decreasing his daily activity. If you had been riding your horse regularly and now he needs to stay in his stall, he will no longer need those extra calories that he had been getting through his feed. Reducing your horse’s feed, particularly his grain, can help to reduce his energy level, too, leaving him better able to cope with being on stall rest.

Provide Entertainment

During his stall rest, your horse will need entertainment and socialization time. You can provide this in a number of ways. Consider giving your horse long grooming sessions, or learn to massage your horse for another bonding and entertainment opportunity. Just be sure to check with your vet first, though, to make sure that any activity you do will not set your horse back in his recovery.

Toys are another popular way to give your horse some entertainment in his stall and to help prevent boredom. There are countless horse toys for sale that you can add to your horse’s stall. Consider trying a few different types of toys to see which ones your horse likes the best.

Additionally, consider using a small hole hay net to feed your horse his hay. A small hole hay net slows down how quickly your horse is able to eat, making his hay last longer. For horses, eating suffices as entertainment, so the longer you can make your horse’s hay last during the day, the better.

Other horses can provide entertainment to your horse, too. If possible, keep a friendly buddy in the horse stable while your horse is on stall rest. Having a friend nearby can help to calm anxious horses.

Being on stall rest isn’t enjoyable for horse or owner, but with a little effort you can keep your horse happy on stall rest.

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