Would these marks be caused by a chain? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 01-21-2020, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Would these marks be caused by a chain?

So Hawk has always had scar tissue on his nose that doesn’t grow hair where his nose and would sit. This is normal for him and it’s just black skin where there normally would be hair.

Tonight I found him in his stall with small scrapes on the scar. I think it was caused by a chain shank. He has no other marks on his face aside from these fresh ones right over the bridge of his nose where his halter would sit. The marks were not there yesterday. And he was definitely weary of me putting on and taking off a halter tonight. No one was at the barn for me to ask either. Barn manager is very absentee, and doesn’t answer texts or calls often.

He’s not turned out with a halter on, and I found no splinters or anything stuck to the noseband that would’ve cut him while being led in or out. I feel like if he did this scratching on a fence post or something he would’ve scraped his entire face and not a small horizontal stripe where his scar is.

He can be a bit of a handful at times being led, but is not dangerous and the barn staff has not reached out to me about any issues. However the manager has said to me in the past that he “can be very naughty, but it’s no big deal.” I have nothing against discipline, but he is normally not handled with a chain, and I feel like I should’ve been informed if one was necessary. Especially if he’s been bad enough that someone needed to go out of their way to find one.

Over the summer I did remove the stud shank from his stall door because I suspected it might’ve been getting misused. I found him in his paddock with similar marks on his face. I had left one on his door previously for when the farrier came to the barn. But for day to day handling it wasn’t necessary. I do have an issue with how one of the barn staff handles horses, she is rather rough and loud with them for minor infractions.

I’m attaching pictures for you guys to review. Unfortunately they are not the best quality. Do you think this might’ve been caused by someone yanking on a chain shank? Or am I just overthinking this?



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post #2 of 21 Old 01-21-2020, 11:44 PM
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Its possible...
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post #3 of 21 Old 01-22-2020, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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I’d really like to believe it wasn’t a chain, but I can’t wrap my mind around anything else that could’ve caused this. There’s no wire or tape in his turnout, it’s only wood. Nothing has really changed in the 3 years he’s been boarded there, so there shouldn’t be any new hazards to cut himself on. Something would’ve had to have conformed to his face similar to a halter or bridle IMO since it wraps around the bridge of his nose.

I’m also not going to go run over there accusing the barn staff, but I will ask if there’s been any issues lately with his behavior and go from there. They absolutely deserve to be safe and have permission to discipline him, but breaking skin seems too much.

Another boarder had similar issues with her horse (who was difficult) around the same time hawk did last summer. Taking the chain leads off the halters and taking with barn staff seemed to end the issue, which leads me to believe that it’s the same problem this time. I’m hoping this is not the case and am open to ideas what else this could be so I can go remove the hazard.
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post #4 of 21 Old 01-22-2020, 01:00 AM
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It could be a chain or it could be a rub on the fence rail or something. The rest of his nose would have hair for padding and not be affected. Probably the best thing for preventing someone feeling the need to use a chain on him would be some training for him so he isn't even a little bit naughty.
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post #5 of 21 Old 01-22-2020, 04:27 AM
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It's hard to tell from the pics, because they're so close up it's hard to tell perspective. BUT, from looking at the locations of the scuffs and being able to clearly see where his halter rested on his nose, those scuffs seem to be too high to have been caused by a chain. If someone DID use a chain that high, then they don't know what they're doing with it and I would have an issue with that. Based solely on location, I would suspect he found something to scuff his face on though rather than thinking it was a chain shank.
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post #6 of 21 Old 01-22-2020, 04:57 AM
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It does seem very high up... I'd be concerned as well. My mare had two marks above her eyes and I was really confused by the symmetry. She apparently decided to stick her head beyond the fence line and between barbed wire behind it on the opposite side (big horse, further reach than the ponies). I really wouldn't put off someone used gear incorrectly as well though. Mines a big girl and in the beginning they used a headcollar with an extra loop, not a chain... just realised IDK the name of this... but anyway she definitely rubbed but went away once they soon realised she is was well behaved. It could also just be that they used it once and a single abrasion made him itch it like mad. It's all just speculation but I agree on maybe even asking to observe the turnout. Even observe them putting on the headcollar etc... watching how other people handle behaviour is more insightful to their opinion than asking for the truth.

Last edited by jaydee; 01-22-2020 at 10:50 AM. Reason: spelling mistake
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post #7 of 21 Old 01-23-2020, 12:19 AM
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Does Hawk use any kind of slow feeder, or manger? he may have inserted his face into an opening, and the removed it quickly (perhaps frightened) and caused that injury.

I've seen that with some kinds of slow feeder that cause rubs on teh sides/tops of horse's faces.
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-23-2020, 06:31 AM
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They do not look like chain marks to me....
That said, if it has been mentioned by staff to you that the horse is ... a handful, well, then to me...it is their right to handle your horse getting from point A to B safely, quickly and efficiently as possible.
If that means he gets a chain so they have control, so be it.
Because you removed your chain from his stall does not mean chain shanks are not easily available when needed.
The fact your horse needs a chain shank for the farrier also speaks volumes to me.

I worked in the barns....a chain is another tool when used properly, not abusive.
It can save the handler from a real ordeal reminding a horse to keep their manners in check while in their care.
What you as the owner put up with is one thing. What the barn workers will or need to put up with from, how many horses are on property{?} is something totally different.
You probably would say I was rough and loud, but my tone of voice and a determined mannerism in working around the horse also dictated to them I was in charge, not them.
Not loud or rough but "authoritative", absolutely.
Good, professional handlers and workers don't use undue force or actions not appropriate on the animals in their charge...
Workers though will not tolerate, allow a horse to not be respectful for their safety and that then means your horses safety while under their care, they can't..
But a chain...no, looks more to me he rubbed it against something like a bucket, fence rail, a tree, even their own leg if they use the chestnut for a scratching post.

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post #9 of 21 Old 01-23-2020, 03:13 PM
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I missed the part where you said he was difficult for the farrier. Perhaps you could try the Duct Tape Trick on him . . . .

also, while 'shanking ' a horse is not a great training action, it can work when leading , and is just about as affective in a rope halter as in a chained halter.
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post #10 of 21 Old 01-23-2020, 03:31 PM
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I wanted to read more about that duct tape trick. This article references a study that suggests that, at least in a small sample, it does work:


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