Week 10 of boxrest (and it is not quite so hellish anymore!)

Mary Poppins

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Oct 10, 2004
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Ben and I are now into week 9 of strict box rest. He has 7 more weeks until the vet comes back to look at him but realistically we are looking at Easter time before he can be turned out. My old regime was really starting to take it's toll so I have made some changes.

He is now in a 12ft by 12ft outdoor stable (he was previously in an indoor barn). This is on a main corridor through the yard so he can see much more of what is going on. The stable has much better ventilation with a window on the opposite side so he can really see so much more. I have doubled the size of his bed so it is much bigger than before. He seems to be lying down more so this is working well.

I have stopped my 5:30am visits and instead the yard is putting hay in his stable when they feed the other horses at 7:30am. I then go down at lunchtime to muck out etc. and then again about 7pm. The bigger bed and stable mean that he doesn't need to by mucked out first thing, and I can balance the other responsibilities I have (kids, work, college) and get a better nights sleep.

He is much more settled now, but still kicks the door when he is waiting for me to get his feed. I think that being outside in the fresh air has given him a boost and he is almost back to his normal laid back self. He has two 5 minute walks per day and I do need dually to lead him otherwise he quite literally pulls me over to get grass. He can have more contact with his field mates as they walk past him everyday and stop for a few minutes so they can touch each other. He really enjoys this.

So overall, things are as good as they can be under the circumstances, he is much more settled and seems almost content. I am taking each day as it comes and trying to just enjoy looking after him and not think about our options for the future. Living in the moment is the best thing we can do right now.
 

domane

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Oh that all sounds much more "making good of a bad situation". Moving stables can make such a big difference. When Jack was stabled in our American barn he was much more settled (for Jack!!) in the one right by the exit because he could see a lot more.

Im glad you're getting more sleep- that definitely won't have been helping your stress levels!!
 

Mary Poppins

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Oh that all sounds much more "making good of a bad situation". Moving stables can make such a big difference. When Jack was stabled in our American barn he was much more settled (for Jack!!) in the one right by the exit because he could see a lot more.

Im glad you're getting more sleep- that definitely won't have been helping your stress levels!!
It was my vet who suggested moving stables when I was discussing how unhappy Ben had been. He said that the stable I was in previously wasn't big enough for him and there wasn't enough ventilation flowing through, or enough going on to stimulate him. As Ben has always lived out, he thought that he was probably missing the outside world and being in the fresh air. He didn't want him on any calmer or sedation and felt that a better stable would solve the problem. And he was right. I felt a bit foolish for not realising that myself to be honest. I thought that the indoor barn would suit him better because there are lots of other horses in there but it turns out Ben prefers being outside.
 

Mary Poppins

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Also, I have stopped soaking his hay and am trying him on dry hay. Soaking 4 haynets per day was such a big job and then having to take out anything he hadn't eaten was so heavy as well. He does have a dust allergy but I will monitor him and if he starts coughing I will either have to go back to soaking or give him haylege. He covers his bed in hay, so it's a mixture of shavings and hay now, but I don't really mind that because it isn't heavy and doesn't make his stable soaking wet. He likes the taste of unsoaked hay better as well.
 

Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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Glad to read this, all sounds very positive. Really do understand too, it's a balance that needs to be found between keeping him sane and you too! Good to hear you can have more sleep. Lots of vibes of encouragement for getting through it too.x
 
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bitsnpieces

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It sounds like you’ve got a good routine going, it’s such a fine balance and one that’s different for every horse and owner!
 

diplomaticandtactful

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I did six months with Rose when she had lamnitis, but I was lucky in that she was at home and we had a double stable looking out onto the field and she could see everything. In the end we put a fence up on the concrete outside the stable so she could come outdoors and stand in the sun, which made it easier for her to tolerate. We have rubber mats and they make it a lot easier. If I have to do it again, I would put in a deep litter and then just take out the poo and dig the whole lot out at the end of the process, I have done that for the donkeys if they have been ill and while it is a chore at the end it makes the day to day a bit quicker. Good luck, it's hard work. Carrying soaked hay it a bugger which is why I use haylage, plus we can't get decent hay locally.
 

Mary Poppins

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Thanks for all the support. We are taking each day as it comes. I really miss riding him and having fun with him. I try to keep him occupied but it’s hard when he is only allowed out of his stable for two 5 minute walks per day. I just hope he gets better.