Having trouble with your horse chewing on wood? Depending on where the problem is, there may be some things you can try.

In the stall, consider adding a ball or a jug hung from the ceiling. He may be bored. Sometimes a solution of cayenne pepper diluted in water on the offending areas can serve as a deterrent.

If your horses are tearing down fence board faster than you can replace it, a hot wire will get his attention away from the vice. Don’t be afraid to run a second string of electric fence on bottom boards if the creative critters move to lower targets.

Check with your vet too, as sometimes this behavior is due to a nutrient deficiency.

Mending Fences
If you’re trying to hang board alone it’s always a challenge to hold a board while trying to get the first end started. Try securing a screw just under where you want the board to sit on the opposite post. Rest one side on top of the screw while you work on fastening the first end. This becomes the easy second pair of hands you crave – without the attitude.

Run in sheds
Are the doorways and corners of your run in shed turning to splinters because of equine beavers? Try buying some 1 ½ – 2-inch PVC pipe (depending on the width of the wood you are covering) and cutting a slit to form a wrap around the wood. It’s an inexpensive and easy way to preserve building investments. This works for barn corners and surfaces too.

Want to encourage your horses to leave the run in shed to relieve themselves? Keep it clean. Often, if you spend the first few weeks removing manure several times a day, horses will naturally choose to follow your lead and maintain a neat environment. Of course, if you don’t maintain a cleanly area for shelter, you can ruin a horse for life with resulting feet problems, so there’s more good reason to commit to proper care regimens.

4 Responses

    1. Thanks for checking us out, Holly. We’re going to try to feature quick tips each Wednesday on a variety of horse care, handling and housing issues.

  1. Sorry, I must disagree with you on the keeping it clean tip. We have a run-in and keep in very clean. It is cleaned first thing in the morning before the horses are fed, and before every feeding – even if we are not feeding in the run-ins. It is cleaned before we go to bed at night. Our cleaning procedure is pick up the manure and sweep out any dirt. They are lined with rubber mats – no shavings.
    If the night was nice, there will be minimal piles in the run-ins. If the night was bad, certain ones will be filled. The same during the day. If they are in because of flies or heat, we have piles.
    On the other hand, we have one mare who has been sick and is confined to a stall/run-in with a limited fenced area. Her manure is as far away from the stall/run-in as possible. Perhaps she’s our only “clean” one?

    1. Thanks for your comment, Linda. It certainly depends on the horses in the mix. We’ve found the boys are pretty good about stepping outside if you set the tone, even with the bugs as bad as they’ve been this year. We do have one mare that camps out in there no matter what we do. Of course, keeping it clean is the objective and to do so you need to inspect daily anyway. How do you keep the mats from getting slippery?

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