Box Rest

Box Rest

Confinement of the horse

The horse is a running animal, evolved to live in wide open spaces. Even restricting this creature to fenced pastures is likely to introduce a source of biological stress. Twenty-four hour box rest (aka stable rest), on the other hand, is a complete anathema, which should only be reserved for extreme situations, such as a fractured leg. We always strive to find an alternative to this approach, more in keeping with the horse's dynamic nature.

Such enforced inactivity will cause problems for all the musculoskeletal structures, including skeleton, spine (back), ligaments, tendons and muscles. In young growing horses, it has on occasion led to the development of wobbler syndrome. It is also bad for the hooves, heart, lungs, liver, digestion and circulation. One can only imagine what it does to the mind.

Should box rest be deemed absolutely necessary, we can advise on herbs (herbal medicine) and homeopathy to help the horse to cope with the situation, in mind and body.

The AVMC can only recommend box rest on very rare and extreme occasions.

See also: Stabling