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Pen Rest for Scottie

Scottie has the all clear to start pen rest

After 6 weeks box rest, Scottie is looking a lot more comfortable and the vet has said we can start introducing pen rest. This of course all depends on whether Scottie can be fairly sensible in the pen or not!

We are starting for an hour a day in a 6x6m (roughly double his stable) pen. I’ve got enough oral sedation left to help him be sensible for the first 2 days. After that time I home the novelty will have worn off slightly. As silly as Scottie can be in the field, this is usually when you first turn him out. He quickly settles down and eats. I’m hoping the tiny space and the really green grass will be enough to keep him sane once he starts going out without sedation.

I’m also going to be walking him in and out in a chiffney. I have never used one on him as I’ve never felt like I needed one. But I know he is going to be excited going out to get grass for the next few weeks and I want to do everything I can to stop him from being too silly and reinjuring his leg. Being an exracehorse, I know he will have worn one while he was racing and a few of the girls have used one on him when they have got him in from the field when they are all on their toes. It seems like a sensible decision to use one to keep us both safe.

All being well, we will slowly increase the size of his pen and how long he is out for over the next month. At which point we will reassess him with the vet. I am currently planning on these increases:

  • Week 1: 6x6m for 1 hour per day
  • Week 2: 9x9m for 2 hours per day
  • Week 3: 12x12m for 3 hours per day
  • Week 4: 15x15m for 3 hours per day

I’ve built 2 pens side by side to start with. I don’t think he will be able to eat too much grass in 7 hours over the week. But I thought if I have 2 ready, then he can swap halfway through, so he has enough grass to keep him occupied. I’m also hoping that I can just extend the pens each week, giving him 3m of fresh grass each week. But if he eats it down quicker than I thought, then I probably will have to move them somewhere else. As I know he will think about escaping if there’s not enough grass in there for him.

Fingers crossed I can keep him as sensible as possible in his pen for the next month. Or it will be back to box rest while we consider our options. But I would love for him to stay on pen rest as he will be much happier and it is also much better for him.

If you have any tips on how to keep him occupied I would love to hear them!

Last Updated on 18/08/2023

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