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!!