Box Rest Boredom Busters
Whether your horse is spending more time indoors due to limited winter turnout, or it’s an enforced period of staying sedentary in the stable, in this blog we bring together top tips for box rest boredom busting. We asked Harry Hall One Club members and #twittereventing fans to give us their snippets of knowledge to keep your horse sane when stabled for long periods.
"My horse is on box rest – SEND HELP!"
8 top tips on keeping a happy horse during box rest:
1) One Club member Lorna recommends hanging vegetable kebabs in the stable. This could include carrots, parsnip and cabbage. It’s cheap to make and is a good exercise for their jaw.
2) Pippa from the Facebook group #twittereventing recommends four small feeds a day and ad-lib hay or haylage.
3) “Footballs on the floor - use an old football that’s been in your garden for years,” says One Club member Sandra. "Make sure it’s a bit deflated and pop it in your horse’s stable to see what they do. Some horses might ignore it, others will get to grips with the idea and move it around their stable with their muzzle."
4) Apples in water buckets – apple bobbing isn’t just for Halloween! Cut up an apple and put the slices in water. If your horse can be a fussy drinker this may encourage them to drink more water – what’s more delicious than apple flavoured water? Thank you to Andrew from #twittereventing for this top tip.
5) Hannah responded on #twittereventing to say she tries to be there as much as possible for her horse, “I’ve been known to sit in the stable with my laptop and do some work in there!”
6) One Club member Zara uses old liquid containers, two or five litres in size, with small holes cut in and filled halfway with high fibre cubes.
7) Karen, also a One Club member, is a fan of playing music and putting hay nets in different positions around the stable, or hay in piles on the floor to keep them moving around.
8) #twittereventing fan Abby’s horse has just finished eight months of box rest, Abby recommends chopping up fruit and vegetables in an old ice cream tub, filling it with water and freezing it before tipping it into a bowl for your horse, and voila you have homemade horse-friendly ice cream!
Keeping you entertained when your horse is on box rest
A horse on box rest can be a testing time for the rider too. Your daily routine has been thrown out the window, you miss hanging out with friends at the yard, laughing on long rides and you crave being able to compete.
1) Use the time to see friends you keep meaning to see but never do, because naturally, the horse always takes over.
2) Get into a box set. Is there a TV program you’ve heard about but never have time to watch? Use the time you have to tick off that “must-watch” show. Harry Hall highly recommends The Crown!
3) Clean your tack – sorry we said it! This is the perfect chance to give your tack a thorough clean. Let’s face it, it’s a job we should do more often…
4) Plan the comeback. And we mean physically write a plan of structured training to bring your horse slowly back into work, target long rides, your first schooling session and jump, then pencil in your first competition. It will make you feel more positive about the current lack of riding.