October 9, 2010

Much adue about stall kicking

When we moved to our current barn, Rose immediately hurt herself and ended up on stall rest the first month. At some point in that period she picked up a new and bad habit, stall kicking. I haven't dealt with a stall kicker before, so this is all new to me. We made it until August when the barn owners couldn't take the 3AM wake up calls anymore, and I was persuaded to obtain a kick chain (although I was very concerned about putting it on her, I have to admit that in the end it has been relatively harmless). In addition to that, at the end of august turnout was cut to only every other day (and no turnout if it rains). Lack of turnout has abruptly made the problem worse. In fact, she's so bull headed that the kick chain helps, but hasn't stopped the problem all together. This, of course, makes me feel terrible. Certainly I hate the fact that there is a jingle whenever she walks around her stall, but I also hate that she is damaging her stall wall and the building siding in her run, and potentially hurting herself. After a good, albeit emotional, discussion with the barn owners I spent some time on DoverSaddlery.com ordering Rose some stall toys. Here is the roster of what's coming in the mail in my desperate attempt to keep her happy and less destructive in her stall...and to get rid of that kick chain. Basically, I want to get that kick chain off of her because I don't think it's fixing the problem, just masking (sort of) the symptom.
What has worked in the past and is a keeper: Last winter someone gave me a Likit tongue twister that Rose loved and used a lot, but it broke about a week before we left the old barn and I just never replaced it. It could be that it was keeping her from developing boredom issues in the first place. What didn't work: Back then I also got her a Jolly Stall Snack, but she managed to eat the entire thing in one night, so I'm not keen to bother with that again, although I do still have it somewhere, so I could hang it up in her stall and give it a go. I also got her a Jolly Ball which she could care less about, but my dog loves. New things we are trying out: I decided order the Paddock Likit which should help simulate grazing/turnout while she's in her stall...assuming she doesn't eat the whole thing overnight as well. I also picked up a Redmond Rock salt rock. She licks her current salt lick, but it's just the plain white salt, and I know that she prefers the more mineral laden salts. I also like that it is big and can just hang out on the floor of her stall under the hay feeder. In addition, I heard that a local trainer in the area uses Fetlock Rings instead of kick chains. Basically they stop the horse from being able to cock their foot the whole way and thus kick. I figured that it was worth a try, especially if it will get rid of the jingle jangle. However, what I'm really excited to try out is the Amazing Graze Treat Dispenser. If this works, I can see it being a great substitute for the lack of turnout! I think I might throw a nibble net in her stall too. Hopefully toys will give her something productive to do with her brain while confined to her stall/run. Pretty soon she won't know what to do with herself, she'll have so many options. Her stall is also going to be more decorated than a Christmas tree! Wish us luck in breaking this bad vice!

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails