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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay. So, Zeus, my wonderful well mannered boy has started kicking his stall. Never done it before and the last barn he was at had concrete walls. He never kicked there. He's not a kicker. The stall he's in used to have opening where the horses could see each other through the wall when they were in their stall. Zeus hated this so we figure if we boarded it up and he couldn't see his neighbor anymore the problem would stop. It did a for a day, and then he started kicking again. He's kicked out a board and just cracked the one we replaced. We're worried that he'll hurt himself, and honestly, the boards are expensive, and I don't want to keep paying for new ones.

He is not in his stall a lot. He's out all day unless the weather's too bad and only comes in for dinner and for the night. Otherwise he's out all day. He doesn't kick when people are there or around him, he's smart and he knows not to do it when we're around.

I'm thinking we need to get some kind of mats to put up in his stall to hopefully stop his kicking or at least protect him, and the stall from getting torn up. Any ideas? I'd prefer not to spend a lot of money, but if I have to I will. Better than an extra $80 on my board every month for the damage he's doing to his stall.

I considered that he *might* be bored, since he's still kicking even though we solved what made him do it in the first place. But, like I said. He's never been a kicker and doesn't mind being in his stall. He quite likes it most of the time, or used to at least. He's in a big 14 x 14 stall, and can look over the door into the aisle and out at the pastures through his window. Thinking about getting something to keep him occupied while he's in there. Suggests for that would be good too.

Thanks! And sorry if this is rushed and scrambled. My internet's been acting up and could crash at any moment, ha ha.
 

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My horse is the exact same way! It's usually when he get's excited or wants to be let out when the other horses are out. - We let them wander the barn. Perhaps this is the case?
 

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I know there are tons of "anti-kicking" methods that more or less result in a stick stabbing him in the butt every time he kicks out, but they are all pretty much a waste of time, lol.

It could be boredom, or maybe his food is too rich. If there's been a change in hay or even a better quality hay or a better load, he could be "feeling his oats" a little more. If you aren't riding/working him as often or as hard as you used to, that could also be part of the problem.

As far as mats on the walls, I'm not terribly sure that helps. Mats are ridiculously expensive, for one, and the one and only horse I know of that kicked walls had rubber mats on her walls and she still beat the walls up. Of course, that was only one horse, and she was kept inside a lot more often than any horse should ever be made to stay inside. o_O

And then you have Boredom Breakers. I LOVE Boredom Breakers. I think I like them more than my horses do, lol. There's the Lik-it, the Tongue Twister, Pas-a-fiers, hanging treat balls, Jolly Balls, treat dispensers [they have to roll it around to release treats or some kind of grass or alfalfa cube] and all sorts of great stuff. =] You can do a google search on anything you don't know what it is, they're all over the internet stores.

If you want to go the cheap [although not AS fun, lol] route, you can take empty milk or juice jugs and tie them up in his stall. If he likes noise, you can put marbles or something in a jug with a cap. You can also use soccer or basketballs on the floor. If he has a good-sized water tank, you can use a soccer ball as a buoy, much like bobbing for apples. I also tied an old lead rope up in a stall so my chewers have something to chew that won't result in my barn crashing down because it's no longer supported, lol.

That's all I can think of for now, but I'm sure it's enough. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your replies! He's in at night because that's the way my barn does it, and because he's always come in at night. Like I said. He actually likes his stall, and I'm not sure how he'd react to being out at night. I'm just afraid of what could happen while everyone asleep, you know? the pasture's big but not so big that I'd feel safe leaving him out. We're in a neighborhood, not out in a rural area either so if he got out... it would be bad. And no one would know!

Worry wart that I am. He's safer inside. And, we also live in Florida and storm's can suddenly roll in at any time. He doesn't like being left out in bad rain or thunderstorms either.

So is the consensus that mats really aren't worth it? Ricci, I was actually thinking that it might be because I'm not riding him as much. Lately I've only been able to get out to ride three times a week, sometimes two. I feel bad but that's all the time that school and work is allowing me right now. However, like I said, he IS out in the pasture all day. So he shouldn't be riled up or anything like it. I'll talk to my BO about maybe him getting less grain than he is. I don't want him to lsoe weight though, because he's doing well on what he's on, and can be kind of a hard keeper.

I'm just worried because he's going to hurt himself and he's going to injure his hocks or get his foot stuck when he breaks a board, and we need to find a solution pretty quickly. I'll try some kind of activity for him when he's in his stall to maybe get his attention away from kicking. We've already tried spreading out his hay more so that he has it for longer when he's inside. But it hasn't helped.
 

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^^If you're going to cut back on his grain, maybe add in an extra flake of hay somewhere to make up for it.

I'd say the mats might actually help, if at least to keep him from getting injured. He may break the board but his foot wouldn't go through them, you know? I would also maybe look and see if you can have someone else around the barn ride him for an a couple hours once a week. You can pay them 20 bucks or something similar and see if that cuts down on the kicking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
^ Thanks for the advice. It's a private barn and no one there could ride him. The one that rides has her own horse and my trainer can only get out where I have him about once a week. So that's when I have my lesson, so I can't ask her to ride either. I think I'm going to go through with getting mats, because at least he wouldn't be able to put a foot through or anything.

And yes if we cut back on grain, he'd get more hay.
:]
 

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I would ask the barn to put up mats. My 18 yr old OTTB kicks stalls A LOT (and trailers. ugh. Hence why she goes nowhere) and the mats definitely help to stop the damage to the stall and the actual kicking itself.
 
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