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Box Clever – coping with box rest

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Box Clever coping with box rest
BY JULIET PENWARDEN ON 01 DECEMBER 2021
Box Clever coping with box rest
The words every horse owner dreads BOX REST!
If you and your horse find yourselves in this situation dont panic because with careful planning and management most horses will adapt well to a few weeks of confinement.
Some of the most common reasons for box rest are musculoskeletal problems laminitis or postsurgical recovery. The most important things to ensure a successful outcome are good communication between the owner vet farrier and yard manager and a good routine Horses thrive on routine so spend some time working out a suitable pattern of care for your horse that you will be able to stick to.
Stable Environment
Where you stable your horse within the yard can have a big impact on how well he copes with box rest. Knowing your individual horse is key some may love being in a busy part of the yard with lots going on keep them interested whereas others may settle much better in a quieter area. In both cases remember that horses are herd animals though and appreciate being able to see other horses. Some may even accept the company of a goat or a sheep!



Another point to consider is that whilst a lovely view of the fields may seem a nice option for us some horses may become frustrated if they can see their friends running around the field while they are confined.
Bedding
The type of bedding you use may depend on the reason for the box rest and its best to follow your vets advice. In most cases a bedding that will limit dust is preferable as it will help prevent respiratory problems. A laminitic is likely to require a thick shavings bed.
Feeding
The horse on box rest will usually need a high fibre and low starch diet but some conditions such as laminitis or post colic surgery will require a very specific feeding regime. Speak to your vet or an equine nutritionist for advice.
As a rule feeding a good quality meadow hay or high fibre haylage together with a balancer or the recommended ration of a high fibre feed to provide daily vitamins and minerals is a sensible option.
Colic may be a risk for some horses on box rest. Soaking hay and feeding wet feeds can help to reduce the likelihood of impaction. Feeding something