There’s an obvious, real mental component to the healing of horses. For example, the horse has a need for companionship, movement, and an outdoor life. These are all important aspects of keeping a horse happy, translating to faster healing times and hopefully, recovery without the formation of bad habits such as weaving and cribbing.
JMO but all animals are at risk of depression and despair when dealing with a long term illness or recovery. Perhaps even more so then humans once these moods set in, they can start a dangerous downward spiral that results in the animal giving up and ends in a sudden, perhaps even unexpected, death.
Making a horse content with companions, movement etc.. also carry the risk of further injury. A horse playing with another even through a fence could do harm to himself. It’s a balance that sometimes we simply can’t provide… or when provided, in retrospect, we realize was a mistake.
With Big Guy still on stall/paddock rest, it’s becoming obvious how fed up with this situation he is getting. Trying to balance his new level of Feel-Good (but really you aren’t good) with rest is going to need my intervention.
When we got to the barn, it was obvious that Big Guy was restless. He ate his 2# of carrots but kept following us about while we mucked out his stall and paddock. Even during his quick groom he was just wanted to move about in a curious, “I’m so bored” way.
I decided to try to take him out and see how well he did… At first he pulled me along and I was afraid his enthusiasm was getting the best of him, but then he settled down and we ended up circling his shed for a 15 minute, hand grazing walk. AWESOME!
Afterwards, I put out some hay for him and allowed Little Girl to come over to his side of the pasture and share. They both were happy to see each other but overall quiet in their interaction. I was very pleased that LG behaved herself and didn’t try to get him all excited.
He’s coming along…