Better information makes for healthier horses,
Horseadvice.com is where equine science and horse sense intersect.

Discussion on Digging holes

Use the navigation bar above to access articles and more discussions on this topic.
Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Katie Ledergerber
New Member
Username: Katiel

Post Number: 1
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, Apr 4, 2004 - 8:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My 2 year old paint gelding has a very bad habit of digging holes just outside his stall. He seem to do this when he is bored. I am concerned about injury to his legs. Does anyone have any suggestions to deter or stop this behavior?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 10199
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Apr 5, 2004 - 6:16 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Katie,
Do you know why he might be bored?
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Katie Ledergerber
Member
Username: Katiel

Post Number: 2
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, Apr 5, 2004 - 7:33 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I just sent you a reply, but I don;t see it posted yet. How long does it take to show up?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Katie Ledergerber
Member
Username: Katiel

Post Number: 3
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, Apr 5, 2004 - 7:35 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

This 2 year old lives in a 12 x 12 box stall with 24/7 turnout into a large paddock. He has horses on either side of to interact with. He seems to know he is being"bad" when I catch him digging, because he stops and finds something else to do. He also gets daily exercise.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Liliana Velasco Ariza
Member
Username: Liliana

Post Number: 92
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Monday, Apr 5, 2004 - 9:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My yearling colt hates being locked up for more than 8hrs, I am not very clear in how long do you keep your youngster in the stable 24/7? Is he in the stable 24/7 or in the paddock 24/7? How long does he have in the paddock to get rid of all that energy?

One of my horsed does the miner bit when he is hungry. It seems to me that keeping a 2 year old stabled during the day is asking for trouble, he could develop other vices that you do not want!

Just interested...
Liliana


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Katie Ledergerber
Member
Username: Katiel

Post Number: 4
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 6, 2004 - 9:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think you may have misunderstood. My 2 year old is free to go from his stall to his paddock 24/7. He is rarely shut in his stall. He gets plenty of turnout, yet he still finds time to dig holes in front of his stall door. I'm lookig for suggestions on ways to stop or deter him from digging holes.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 10216
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 6, 2004 - 10:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Does he do this when he has hay in front of him?
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Alden Chamberlain
Member
Username: Alden

Post Number: 74
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 6, 2004 - 11:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Two of mine did this once; it was as if they are looking for something. They would dig then examine and smell their handy work and then dig some more. I watched and they didn’t eat the dirt, just examined it. This would go on a little every day for a few days, they ended up with a hole about 2’ across and maybe 10” deep, eventually they lost interest and haven’t done it since.

Not observing any adverse effects of their activities I chalked it up to “Bizarre and unexplained horse stuff”.

Good day,
Alden
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Katie Ledergerber
Member
Username: Katiel

Post Number: 5
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Apr 6, 2004 - 5:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O - when he is full of his hay and he's looking for something to do he digs. I really think it's a habit. Do you have any suggestions on how to deter him. I thought about buying stall mats with perferated holes in them and slightly burying them in the areas where he digs. They are heavy 80 lb rubber mats. I think once he hits them, he will stop. With them slightly covered with dirt, they seem safe. Can anyone see a flaw in this logic?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 10221
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 7, 2004 - 7:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

If you just want him to stop making holes "right there", I think the mats might help but he digs for a reason and if the mats keep him from digging it will probably displace the behavior to somewhere or something else. You have to get to the root cause to insure success and you don't describe habit above you describe boredom.
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ann Schrichte
Member
Username: Annes

Post Number: 34
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 7, 2004 - 10:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Katie, if he is bored how about trying one of those "jolly balls" that are advertised for horses to play with? From everything I have read, horses really like them and since your horse is a 2 year old he might really enjoy it. You could even hang it near his stall door to distract him if that works best. My two year old trys to push the wheel barrow around. It is never where I leave it. The only reason I haven't bought one for my horses is I have 6 dogs and I know I would forever be taking it away from the dogs to give back to the horses!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Liliana Velasco Ariza
Member
Username: Liliana

Post Number: 97
Registered: 5-2003
Posted on Thursday, Apr 8, 2004 - 1:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

They love playing, you can hang a turnip on a string so they can chew at it, bobbing apples in the water bucket, a stable with a view, lots of attention, and distraction works well with a young mind!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

cindy O'DELL
Member
Username: Zarr

Post Number: 8
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, Feb 27, 2006 - 5:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Have foxtrotter that is digging BIG DEEP holes all over her pasture.We fill them in she moves on and digs more holes.She eats grass hay 3 times a day and select one for vitamins/minerals and in know way thin HELP! Cindy
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Alden Chamberlain
Member
Username: Alden

Post Number: 272
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 - 8:52 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Cindy,

I have one that did that for awhile several years ago, then just quit. I never could stop her from digging, and I don't know why she did in the first place.

Doesn't help much but maybe yours will get tired of it and quit also :-)

Good day,
Alden
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Liliana Velasco Ariza
Member
Username: Liliana5

Post Number: 40
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 - 10:30 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Cindy, I used to know a camera man called Chris O'Dell and since I had not seen this name!

My mare starting the digging business when she was pregnant, female dogs do it while pregnant also, I just wondered is she a teen?

Dr.O Could it be a hormonal change?

Just wondered?
Liliana
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

cindy O'DELL
Member
Username: Zarr

Post Number: 9
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 - 11:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

tHIS ONE IS A PILL OUR VET RENAMED HER PEST AS SHE OFF LOADED HIS TRUCK WHILE WE WORKED WITH ANOTHER HORSE.GUESS i'LL HOPE FOR TIME IF SHE IS PG WE'LL REALLY NEED HELP!she also is a door opener gate releaser etc so maybe boredom ??but it is making a mess out of pasture!any other ideas feel free....Lillana husbands family from Kentucky and LARGE so could be! Thanks Cindy
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Liliana Velasco Ariza
Member
Username: Liliana5

Post Number: 41
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 - 12:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

She is obviously a smart one! Been there... My old mare Patch was a gate opener too and Tony undid sailor knots!

Once as I was driving in I spotted Patch on a bridge that led to lamb grassing area which joined with a lake, the gate was tied up with rope...she then proceeded to tell Tony who promptly undid the knot, and by the time I walked in the barn to get the head collars, they were already swimming in the lake!

Tony was a 17'2" Shire x TB so you can imagine the faces of the fishermen when they spotted the Lockness monster and his family swimming in the fishing lake! Patch 14'2" and little Bluebell a Welsh Section A

Only Prince my lovely Welsh Section B stayed in the paddock calling the three hooligans that went for a swim!

Horses! Drive us crazy but life would not be the same without them!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: Vickiann

Post Number: 180
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 - 6:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I agree with Dr. O about the mats -- he might start a worse behavior if you put mats down. It sounds to me like he has more energy than he is using up. One of mine would dig holes so deep when tied or penned when we went camping that I would get up in the morning and couldn't even see his front legs at all because they were so deep into the ground. The more I rode him the less he dug, and the behavior pretty much disappeared but will come back now and then if he is not taken out of the enclosure and exercised enough when camping. Sometimes he will also dig extremely deep holes in my pasture if he is on the opposite side of the cross fencing from the other horses. We have to use the tractor and bucket to fill those caverns! Before I put hot wire on my cross fencing he chewed the fence boards instead of digging and could make his way through a board in short order! The digging behavior seems to lessen with age and plenty of riding and is better than the chewing.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14956
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 1, 2006 - 8:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Cindy there are 3 reasons that I know horses paw:
1) To get at the dirt to eat
2) Painful belly
3) A sign of nervous or impatient demeanor
Which do you think fits your horse best?
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

cindy O'DELL
Member
Username: Zarr

Post Number: 10
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 1, 2006 - 11:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O I really think she is eating the dirt !? I use a supplement designed for horses on hay plus a little equine senior.With this one she not nervous at all nor scared of a thing. She is the coyote stomper.Our soil is sand and volcanic rock mix we are in the se part of washington state sagebrush and sand whoopeee ! Cindy
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Liliana Velasco Ariza
Member
Username: Liliana5

Post Number: 43
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 1, 2006 - 1:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Cindy.

I know this may seem a duh question but how often do you water her?

Horses can dig looking for water in extreme weathers, ie., Snow, sand etc., could it just be instinctive reaction.

Sometimes is the basics isn’t
Regards
Liliana
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

cindy O'DELL
Member
Username: Zarr

Post Number: 11
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 1, 2006 - 1:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

No question is dumb.we have large water tank with frost free faucet and a heater installed which gets refreshed 3 times a day.I think it maybe a "interesting" game she's not yet 4 but our mustang has started to join her, the arabs are horrified watching their pasture disappearing so we may all go to the dry lot??? or it could become a very LARGE dry lot! Cindy
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 1198
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 1, 2006 - 5:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Maybe she needs some toys to keep her busy. I give our young horses stuff to play with; hard plastic baseball bats (the oversized ones for little kids;) old bicycle tires (with the air stems cut off) old bleach bottles....stuff like that. I swap the toys around so they appear "new" and interesting.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Corinne Meadows
Member
Username: Corinne

Post Number: 228
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 1, 2006 - 6:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sara....looks like you got the idea rather quickly that they like those cheap and sometimes homemade toys better. I have spent at least $200 on stall toys and he likes his $6 orange traffic cone. He grabs it in his mouth then swings it in the air and the bottom heavy weight brings it back down...stands there swinging the cone for hours.
Good luck Katie and Cindy....
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 1200
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 1, 2006 - 7:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I caught on after I spent money for stall toys also. The all time favorite toy is the bicycle tire. One of our stallions had so much fun with it that it was banned from the trainer's barn. Seems he loved to pitch it into the neighbor's stall and scare the horse to death!

The horses put it around their necks and make it go like a hula hoop, and toss it in the air. When it lands on them the act scared and run, then come back and do it again.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14958
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Mar 2, 2006 - 8:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The toys are a good idea but I would try a salt block too. Watch that he doesn't eat the whole thing quickly.
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

cindy O'DELL
Member
Username: Zarr

Post Number: 12
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Thursday, Mar 2, 2006 - 11:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yup tried toys mustang stomps the balls flat! Gave her the Xmas tree that worked for awhile,carried it around terrorizing the arabs but that ended,chases chicken just to see them run!! walks thru water trough to get to pasture if locked up.But will try orange cones thats new!She has 2 different salt blocks so ????? Cindy
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Erika LIPTON
Member
Username: Erika

Post Number: 98
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, Mar 2, 2006 - 12:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hey Cindy, If she plays with things that vigorously, it sounds like she really does like the diversion. Maybe the old tire would be perfect!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Corinne Meadows
Member
Username: Corinne

Post Number: 231
Registered: 9-2005
Posted on Thursday, Mar 2, 2006 - 3:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Terrorizing the Arabs....that's funny....it is sometimes very easy to do with them. And yet mine always comes back to what ever has scared him....it's like he gets a high off the adrenaline rush!
Anyway, yes....we found out his love of traffic cones when we found that he dragged all of them out of the arena. Now I can throw one and he and goes and gets it like he is a puppy.
I would love to try the bike tire....right now Demetrius is trying to pick up the large feeder tire in his turnout....perhaps a bike one would be more manageable.
Good Luck in finding something that works Cindy...just seems like you have to think out of the box. Once you find what Mustang likes you will know.

Take care,
Corinne
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14964
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Mar 2, 2006 - 7:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Once you have done everything practical and beyond...you continue to fill the holes.
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

cindy O'DELL
Member
Username: Zarr

Post Number: 13
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, Mar 3, 2006 - 5:00 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you SO much Dr.O !A hole filling we will go! We had kinda come to that same conclusion, am also hoping she gets bored with that but God help us with what she does next.THANK YOU ONE AND ALL WILL GET ORANGE CONES THIS SAT. Cindy
Post a Message to this Discussion
Posting
Instructions:
Full Service Members may post to this discussion and should address the orignial poster's concerns or other information posted here. New questions about your horse should be started in a new discussion. Use the navigation bar at the top of this page to return to the parent article and review the article and existing discussions. If your question remains unanswered "Start a New Discussion", the link is under the list of discussions at the bottom of the article.
Post:
Bold text Italics Underline Create a hyperlink Insert a clipart image

Username:
Password:
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message
Action:
Home Page | Todays Discussions | Search | Top of Page Administration
  http://www.horseadvice.com
is The Horseman's Advisor
Helping Thousands of Equestrians, Farriers, and Veterinarians Every Day
All rights reserved, © 2013
Horseadvice.com is a BBB Accredited Business. Click for the BBB Business Review of this Horse Training in Stokesdale NC