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Major Horse Stall Hazards That Kill
 By Winniefield Park   •   8th Oct 2014   •   2,207 views   •   0 comments
Some Major Horse Stall Hazards

You would think that a stall would be safe for a horse to live in. For an average riding horse, a box stall should be about 12ft x 12ft. And in that small space, many horses seem to find a way to get into trouble.

Rolling
Some horses enjoy rolling in their stall and rolling close to a wall can cause them to become cast. A horse can lie down for a while without harm, but if they are down too long, something called reperfusion injuries happen. The weight of their own bodies can cause areas of restricted blood flow. When the horse regains its feet, the returning blood through those areas can cause swelling and pain. Blood can pool in areas the horse is lying on, and nerve damage can occur. And, if the horse struggles to get up, it can injure itself. These injuries can sometimes be fatal.

Anti-rolling surcingles can make it almost impossible for a horse to roll. These belly bands have large U shaped protrusions on both sides of the horseís back so they canít roll over. Bank bedding against the walls so the horse canít get close enough to get hung up. If your horse likes to paw or pace and dig hollows, level these often. Be sure blankets or rugs fit securely. Doors or walls shouldnít have gaps that a horse can fit a hoof or head through.

Hay Nets
Just say no to haynets in stalls (and anywhere else, for that matter). No matter how carefully tied, they are a tangling hazard. But getting tangled isnít the only hazard. Itís harmful for a horse to eat in a head-up position. Eating with its head up increases the possibility of choke, because the horse canít grind its food as properly. Its eyes are at the level of any dust or chaff which could be irritating. Horses who eat in a head up position have more dust and bacteria in their respiratory tract, because the mucous can not drain properly. Horses should eat in a head down position as much as possible.

Related: Should I Buy A Heynet or Haybag

Buckets and Feeders
Hang buckets or feeders with twine, so if the horse gets a foot in it, or through a handle, it will break free easily. Horses can get lips, ears and eyelids caught in exposed snaps. If you use snaps to attach buckets to a ring on the wall, be sure the snap opening faces the wall.

Stall Door Guards
Guards made of webbing to block a stall door are great for light and ventilation while youíre working around the stable. But when you leave, remove them, and the stall door closed. Any gaps between the bands of webbing should be small enough a horse canít put a hoof through.

These are just a few ways a horse can be harmed in a stall. The best place for your horse is a roomy pasture. But horses can be ingenious about finding ways to injure themselves, so try to look at every living space with this in mind.

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ref: Eating in Head UP Position: Eating in Head UP Position (pdf)
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