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jumpingrules92 11-13-2011 09:52 PM

Boredom or bad habit?
 
My friend has a four year old oldenburg mare who is the sweetest thing- but she has a really nasty habit of EATING her shelter. Literally.

It is made out of wood and she ate through the whole side of it and the fencing. We had to board up and put 2x4's along her entire shelter so she wouldn't eat more. However, she just ate that wood and the fencing along the bottom of her pasture to her boyfriend. We tried the no chew stuff and she just ate more.

She is getting plenty to eat and has a balanced diet, gets out a LOT- gets ridden, goes to lessons, on trail rides and other fun stuff- and does different things everyday, she is in a VERY large paddock (1/4 acre) and has tons of toys. We are very worried what it's doing to her internally and cannot lock her in a stall. Last time we locked her in a stall she dug up the mats, kicked a dent in the wall, broke the feeder and got kicked out...

No ideas on what to do. Any ideas/help would be good :)

Tianimalz 11-13-2011 10:13 PM

Could be a bunch of things. I'm sure other members of this forum would give better replies than I can. Until you figure out what the problem is, have you thought about putting a grazing muzzle on her to keep her from chewing until you can resolve the problem?

jumpingrules92 11-13-2011 10:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tianimalz (Post 1232176)
Could be a bunch of things. I'm sure other members of this forum would give better replies than I can. Until you figure out what the problem is, have you thought about putting a grazing muzzle on her to keep her from chewing until you can resolve the problem?

Haven't thought about that, but then again, it's not my horse. Plus those would be rather difficult with on/off for feedings.

bubba13 11-13-2011 10:18 PM

I would't really call 1/4 acre "VERY large." But I'm guessing that pasture turnout and other-horse interaction isn't an option?

jumpingrules92 11-13-2011 10:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bubba13 (Post 1232184)
I would't really call 1/4 acre "VERY large." But I'm guessing that pasture turnout and other-horse interaction isn't an option?

I would consider it large considering the only other options at barns in my area are 12x12 stalls with 12x12 runs. Its large to me. They don't offer pasture boarding at her barn- only large paddock and stall. She has horses next door to her and she socializes with them as need be.

Beauseant 11-13-2011 10:46 PM

I would be interested in hearing any input or advice, also.

I have been blessed with a wood chewer also.:-(

Our guy is a young OTTB, and he gets free choice hay, a very specific and comprehensive diet.... and daily pasture turnout... but the minute he is anywhere near wood....he chews it.

faye 11-13-2011 11:06 PM

generaly if a horse is chewing wood and not cribbing or wind sucking then i find they are mineral deficient.

If you watch a horse in a pasture that has trees, horses that are mineral defficient will strip bark from trees even if there is plenty of grass around. I've had it with one of my show horses, he had fee choice haylege, good grazing and a good feed regime so when he started stripping trees we got worried. One blood test later we found he was defficient in some obscure mineral. then we found that the cattle farmers in this area all knew that the soil round her was defficient in that mineral and fed thier stock suppliments.
One suppliment later, happy horse who stopped chewing and went back to grazing

1/4acre is not enough for a horse I would class 1 acre as an absolute minimum for the first horse and half an acre there after

My horse is in what I call a small paddock, he shares approx 2 acres with 2 other horses and TBH it isnt realy enough because the grass can't support it.

A large paddock is when a horse has more then 2 acres per horse!#

Given the Op's situation i would say it will be a combination of stress, frustration and not being in company causing her to crib

jumpingrules92 11-13-2011 11:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by faye (Post 1232247)
1/4acre is not enough for a horse I would class 1 acre as an absolute minimum for the first horse and half an acre there after

A large paddock is when a horse has more then 2 acres per horse!#

I highly disagree. A 1/4 acre is fine for a horse as long as they get out adequately and don't go stir crazy. She has tons of room to run around and roll and go crazy. The "one acre per horse" rule is textbook. If you think 1/4 acre is too small for one horse to live alone, I don't even want to know what you think about me stalling me horse in a 24 x 12.

And no, a pasture is when a horse has more than 2 acres per horse...

faye 11-13-2011 11:48 PM

My horse goes in a 12ft by 12 ft stable every night and is perfectly fine with it, however he does have adequate space to play when he is out in the field.

It does sound as though your horse is going stir crazy. 1/4 of an acre is no where near enough, she is also on her own and thus lacking horsey contact.

I would say you have a case of one very very bored and frustrated horse on your hands. a few hours a day being ridden is not enough for a horse, it needs company and space. 1/4 of an acre, even if the paddock is very thin is not enough for a horse to let off steam adequately. they cant even get up a decent gallop.

~*~anebel~*~ 11-14-2011 12:06 AM

In some places a 1/4 acre is really all that is available per horse for turnout and the ones in those paddocks are the lucky ones.
My horse is in probably a little over an acre with 2 other horses and that is a good size turnout for the place I'm at. He's been on about 6-7 acres with one other horse and that was ideal, but I have to live with where I'm at for now. Some horses barely even get a 12x12 run in some places in the world. They adapt although it is not ideal.

Anyways. I agree with faye in that the horse should get blood work done to test for a mineral deficiency. All horses should have free choice minerals and/or a ration balancer with added minerals regardless. If that doesn't quell the chewing then I would get a muzzle that still allows her to eat and offer her hay free choice when she has it on outside.
Good luck!
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