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sadiescreek 01-18-2013 09:18 AM

Bored in the stall?
I have a 10 year old Appaloosa/ Thoroughbred cross. In his stall, (he is brought in every night and let out every morning.) he walks around and is destructive. There is a window and a ball in his stall but neither seem to make him less bored. He will tear boards off the side of his stall and also walk in circles. (easy to see because his manure is squished to the point you cant tell what is wet sawdust or poop)
I just was wondering if there was any possible way for me to help keep him entertained in the stall and prevent any bad habits that may arise from bordem.
Thanks to all that help:)

RATHER BE RIDING 01-18-2013 10:03 AM

If he is already to the point of tearing boards off of walls, his frustration level is very high and bad habits have already been learned. Is there a reason that he cannot stay out all night? It is just not natural to a horse to be cooped up for that many hours. Some horses tolerate it just fine, but your horse does not seem to be at all happy with the situation and he could end up really hurting himself. There are lots of stall "toys" that you could try, but none of them will override his natural tendency to want to move while awake. If you don't want him out in a large field at night, maybe a small paddock would work better then a stall.

SlideStop 01-18-2013 10:43 AM

Lock yourself in the box for 12 + hours, see how you like it! ;o)

If he was slightly bored, like chewing the walls or messing with his buckets, then I would say toys will totally help him. I also think this not a case of "boredom", its a case of anxiety. Horses are naturally not supposed to be confined in a little box. Pacing, weaving and cribbing are ways to relieve anxiety, not entertain themselves. Ideally I would leave him outside 24/7. If that can't be done maybe he can have a stall with a small attached turn out.
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sadiescreek 01-18-2013 11:17 AM

Both your suggestions where really great but unfortunatly he can not be left out all night. The weather here is far to cold at nights and even with his blanket, its just too cold. I know in the wild horse do this all the time but where he is demestic, going from a warm cozy barn during the night to -30+ might come as a shock. Also all the horses he are boarded with come in at night. I don't feel confortable leaving him out all night without the companionship of a fellow herd member which he is used to. In the summer time though this will defiantly been a great option for him. He has been boarded at places his whole life, all which have done different things. (My aunt had him before me since he was a baby. I just got him in Septemeber.) Do you think he may be bored because of his last place? They left him out most nights. Could it be possible that he is just having issues getting back into the rythem of being inside? Before his last place he was inside at nights thats why I'm asking.
Again thank you so much for the help.:)

SlideStop 01-18-2013 12:17 PM

He is not bored. He is anxious. If you keep him in that's your decision. BUT I think you should be informed that it will, without a doubt, lead to pacing, stall weaving, and cribbing.

Instead of stall toys you need to get him used to staying in for shorter increments. Feeding time only, leaving him in before and after, a few hours, etc. Make it a happy place filled with food and things he likes.
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PaintHorseMares 01-18-2013 12:36 PM

Does he have enough hay to keep him busy all night?
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kenda 01-18-2013 12:40 PM

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Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares (Post 1850149)
Does he have enough hay to keep him busy all night?
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Was my first thought as well. Also, if he eats his hay quickly maybe try a small mesh hay net so that it'll last longer and its more of a challenge for him to get it out, may keep his interest longer.

Another thought, even if its not all night, your barn may be willing to leave him outside longer with a buddy if that helps with the issue of him tearing their stalls apart. Doesn't hurt to ask.

Chevaux 01-18-2013 01:45 PM

What happens with him during the day? If he's not getting enough space or activity during the day to blow off steam then he will be worse at night. If he's out in a big field and has a chance to romp with pasture mates during the day, he's likely going to be tired and relaxed thereby more likely to enjoy quiet time in his stall. Also, as other posters mentioned, having hay to keep him occupied longer is useful as well. Hope it works out for him.

sadiescreek 01-19-2013 12:33 PM

These suggestions are actually really helpful. He does get plenty of hay where it is winter so he doesn't get grass, but he does eat quickly. A hay net defiantly wouldn't hurt. I'd love to try it. Also I could also start leaving him out longer so he isn't in as long in the nights. He hasn't been ridden in a whole do to the weather but he is in a large pasture and has plenty of buddy's to play with;) You guys have been the most helpful and I really appreciate it. I want to help him as much as I can and you helping me do that:)
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Thunderspark 01-19-2013 01:20 PM

I live in Canada also, our horses are out 24/7, they have a run in shelter/bush they go in to get out of the wind. They do fine and are happy out there......myself personally I wouldn't keep a horse stalled unless it's for stall rest because of sickness/injury but that's just my opinion....

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