If your vet has told you that your horse needs box rest, the chances are that your heart has sunk! Keeping a horse confined to his stable for days, never mind weeks or months, is never a pleasant task.Yet if box rest is a must for your horse's recovery all you can do is make the process as pleasant as possible for your horse.
It is suprising that many horses do actually adapt quite well - and there is a reasonable amount you can do to make the experience okay for your horse.
Here are a few tips:
* It helps if your horse can see other horses from his stable - and if some of them are within reach so he can touch them if necessary, so much the better. Stables which have grilles built into the walls or those that have bars for the top half of the walls, come into their own on these occasions. When looking around livery yards or considering building your own stables, it's worth thinking about worse case scenarios such as having horses on box rest, and deciding how you can find or build the best possible solution.
* It's also useful if your horse can see other activity - all the human comings and goings for example will keep him interested.
* You should ensure your horse always has plenty of water and forage (although the latter will depend on veterinary advice, depending on the reason for the box rest). * Try to break up your visits to him during the day so you see him more often - and if you cannot get along frequently ask other owners on your yard to call in and give him some carrots or hay etc you have left ready.
* When you do visit, apart from doing all the necessary jobs, do just spend time with your horse, giving him a gentle massage if you know how, or taking the time to give him a thorough grooming, if possible.
* Not all horses use toys but you could try them for your horse. Sometimes simple things like swedes suspended from a beam will keep him occupied as he tries to take hold of the swede and bite a piece off.
* You could try feed balls, which when rolled around on a clear floor, will release horse nuts.
* You can also split the horse's hay into three nets and spread these around the stable so he does move around a little to get hay.
* Some horses like a radio on as background noise but others can get a little stressed.
For more veterinary advice and tips read more