Stall Trouble ugh - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 06-06-2012, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Stall Trouble ugh

Ok so I have had my new mare a month now. When I first got her she was just entering a founder and I was not able to turn her out in my pasture so I put her in a dry lot next door (my parents house) She had her own stall (10x10)and was side by side to another dry lot and stall where I had put my gelding while I did some cross fencing on my place to accomodate the new mare. A week ago tomorrow I moved them both to my pasture which is split down the middle. My barn is half on one side and half on the other so they each have a 10x12 stall on their side that if they go in, faces each other. That is the is the problem. My new mare will NOT go in the stall. Period. The odd thing is she went in the stall at my parents house no problem? She did come from a ranch on hundreds of acres and had not had a barn or stall previously but at my parents she loved it! Hung out in there all day. Ate EVERY bite of hay from her manger, never left a drop. She entered and exited it with no issue she had been doing it all her life. I am just perplexed. I have tried everything to get her to go in...enticing with the best of treats, leading, bringing my gelding (she is terribly bonded to him) in to the breezeway, leaving the interior stall door open, etc. I have left her hay in the stall on the floor and she is NOT going in to eat. (Granted she has some pasture to graze but it is pretty sparse this time of year) She will leave all four feet out and lean in to try and grab what she can but will NOT go in. She got two feet in once and panicked and bolted backwards out. I will mention that my parents do not have stall mats (concrete floor) I do have the entire stalls matted. I thought that might be it so a few days ago I removed all the mats from her stall to see if that would work...still a no go. the other thing I will mention is that my barn is brand new. We just recently built it. The stall mats I just took out of her stall are also brand new. So kudos to anyone who gets thru this long post and serious thanks to anyone who might have any ideas? Should I just keep leaving her hay in there and when she decides she is hungry enough she will go in? Has anyone else had this type of issue? What would be a normal amount of time to give to allow her to figure it out? Looking forward to hearing your opinions.
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post #2 of 24 Old 06-06-2012, 11:59 PM
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How tall is the ceiling compared to your parents place?
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post #3 of 24 Old 06-07-2012, 12:10 AM
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How is her new stall different from her old one?

One thing that has worked for me on trailering is to either leave, or place, poop from her buddy in her stall. Just toss a couple of piles in there and leave them. It might make it smell less foreign to her and encourage her to enter. Otherwise, just keep working on getting her to relax about it and enter. I'd halter her and lead her up as close as she'd go without tension. Then stop and wait til she is totally relaxed, then ask for 1 or 2 steps and stop once you get them. Pet her and go away. Come back in a couple of hours and do it again. It will take what it takes, you're on horse time, not human time.

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post #4 of 24 Old 06-07-2012, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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It is a hair higher than the ceiling in their stalls. The door opening widths and heights are the same. I modeled my barn after theirs. I am wondering if the stall mats freaked a deep dark hole?? or the smell of them?? and then even though I have taken out she still recalls them? I just cant figure it out but am worried that she isnt going in to eat but didnt want to feed her outside cause I was hoping she would eventually figure it out.
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post #5 of 24 Old 06-07-2012, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies....the only difference, aside from being brand new versus old would be that it is slightly bigger and had the stall mats. Other than that same design, same set up and materials etc. Yes i have been trying to gently encourage her each day but she she is terrified to put a foot in. I will for sure try the poop idea! That makes good sense. I have a feeling it might be smell related so that may help. I will keep yu posted but thank you for the tip!
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post #6 of 24 Old 06-07-2012, 12:39 AM
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It's gotta be the mats. Is there a way you could use dirt in there instead of the mats? Or take the mats and lay them in her paddock area so she can explore on her own?

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post #7 of 24 Old 06-07-2012, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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That is also a great idea! I love you guys! I was going to reinstroduce slowly one at a time after I got her used to it but that is a much better idea! I have them stacked in barn right now but will put out in her pasture in the grass/dirt area so she can smell and check out without the confines of the stall etc :)
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post #8 of 24 Old 06-07-2012, 07:49 AM
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Every time you change something about the stall, it becomes a scary, new place. She is an outdoor horse. Mine are all raised out in pasture and severl have absolutely hated stalls when they had to be in. Other than leaving it the same and locking her in for a while (and yes- a dirt floor and horse poop would probably help) I would ask if there is a reason she HAS to go into the stall. Unless a person is fitting one for show or a big sale, they are better living outside. When my horses have a choice, they almost always stay outside anyway.

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post #9 of 24 Old 06-07-2012, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Well I prefer to feed in the manger in the stall as in bad weather I would not have another dry place to place her food. The other situation is that the way I have my barn set up they must go thru their stall to enter my breezeway where I tie, groom, tack etc. I need to be able to walk her thru the stall. My stalls do not have exterior doors, they would never be locked in. It is a free will situation for getting away from flies, bad weather, and of course eating their meals. I do agree they prefer outdoors as well but at least need her to be willing to walk into the stall. She had zero hesitation from day one when I moved her into my parents barn. It is a mystery but I am thinking must have something to do with the "new" smells so this morning I am planning on trying some of the able tips and seeing if we get any better response. Fingers crossed.
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post #10 of 24 Old 06-07-2012, 09:22 AM
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have you covered the mats with bedding or straw? Mats shouldn't be an issue if they have bedding on them.
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