Are you having to cope with a horse on box rest? Perhaps we can help. Here are some of our success stories testing
Laminitis… pedal bone rotation… box rest for months! Words no horse owner wants to hear.
When I moved my mare Cassie to Gryffeside Livery in Kilmacolm, she had had almost a year off work with collateral ligament damage to her front feet,
months and months and months of box rest, and she was fat and miserable.
Immediately, she was able to go into her hard-standing pen, and within days, she was happier, sound and started limited turnout. Unfortunately, she then developed laminitis with a 6 degree pedal bone rotation due to being overweight because of the extended box rest she had been on….cue another 3 or 4 months of box rest.
Instead, and with my vet’s agreement, once she was sound I opted to allow her to walk sedately to her pen for the day which meant she was less stressed and much less likely to do any more damage to her feet by box walking /spinning and getting upset. There couldn’t have been a better place for her to be! She was so happy with this routine, settled and calm, and enjoyed company and watching the world go by, outside in the fresh air and with soaked hay.
Within a few months, her pedal bone was almost back to normal, and she was given the go ahead to start work again. At Gryffeside, there is ample space and containers for soaking hay, making this so easy, which allowed me to get the weight off her. Cassie has now been back in work since the end of August. Cassie still goes to her hard-standing pen every morning, and has again started limited turnout with no ill effects.
I can honestly say that for horses who are in rehabilitation for whatever reason, these pens are a godsend. There is also the new hard standing paddock, where Cassie will be able to socialise with her herd and eat hay without the worry of sugary grass! Cassie has hacked more than ever before since coming back into work, because there are many and varied circular routes which offer a great variety of distances to allow a gradual build-up of work. We have even started hacking solo for the first time ever! I cannot recommend Gryffeside Livery enough to owners who have similar difficulties with their horses!
A wee update about Cassie……she developed colic twice, and then another bout of laminitis after introducing her very slowly to grass. Cue another pedal bone rotation of 7 degrees. I also have to admit that I took my eye off the ball and she put weight on too. She was again on box rest…….However, she was happy in her pen during day, able to watch the goings on of the farm and see her horsey friends. Karen and Willie were also very supportive, providing me with 2 year old hay which I soaked for her. I have to say the facilities for hay soaking at Gryffeside are excellent – a messy job made easy! Cassie started to lose weight, and I had the great news last week that her feet are normal and I can bring her back into work! I was so delighted, and so was Cassie – she enjoyed the round pen for a good roll and the school for some free schooling and then I got on board and she did not put a hoof wrong. She was so chilled and I am delighted with her demeanor, thanks to the hard-standing pens. She is still not allowed turnout to grass until a later date, but at Gryffeside, she has has her outdoor pen, and (thanks again to Karen and Willie), a grass free paddock where she can enjoy stretching her legs, grooming her friends and eating soaked hay – she is a happy, contented and sound horse!!
Box rest for possibly a year! If you own a horse, I reckon hearing this would be on and near the top of your list of worse nightmares! It is certainly near the top of mine and I know, from experience.
Extensive tear to ligament, totally lame horse to extent he can’t walk. Heard this from vet school and thought that was it, boy wasn’t coming home. However, a phone call with the owner of Gryffeside Livery (Kilmacolm) and suddenly there was a bit of light.
Nearly 7 months later and Joe is making progress and more importantly he is happy. The thought of trying to keep him in a stable for approx. a year terrified me however Gryffeside Livery is, without meaning to be, the best place to rehabilitate a horse with long term injuries. Why? When being planned/built, the owners strongly felt that horses should not be cooped up in stables for longer than necessary at any time of the year. No, they planned the yard so horses could be outside all day in winter, even in torrential rain. So each horse has its own individual hard standing pens when they are not out in field, where they have access to haylage and water and shelter from the elements.
Joe did 3 ½ months in his stable before starting to get bored, kicking his door with the bad leg!! and not eating which was one of my concerns when box rest was mentioned. We took the decision to then move him to his outdoor pen where he could eat his haylage, watch the world go by, see his friends in the fields next to pens and still have limited movement. He quickly went back to accepting being in his stable at night, without kicking door, and eating again and more importantly, making progress with his rehabilitation.
Gryffeside have therefore inadvertently provided a yard which is ideal for horses requiring limited movement and rehabilitation. Without having this setup and facilities to assist with Joe’s rehab, I am certain that my boy would not be here today. A full year of being stuck in a stable was never going to be an option. Joe being depressed and miserable would have broken my heart. Having him on long term box rest was hard enough to accept but being able to see him bright, alert and happy certainly makes “box rest” more bareable and gives Joe every chance to fully recover from his injury.