View Full Version : Why does my horse Kick at night?

Diane G
30-03-10, 05:46 PM
I was unsure whether to post this under veterinary or stable management. My husband's horse kicks the wall at night. He started when he was barn stabled with bars between so he could see the horse next door. We moved him to another barn with solid wood walls between him and the next horse. Since he moved he hasn't kicked (we don't think, the yard owner hasn't heard him) Sunday night he started kicking again! His Teeth have been done last week, his back checked two weeks ago, he is sound, he doesn't have mites, he is well fed. and ridden 5 times a week and goes out most days (in Summer they are out all day) He isn't thirsty, hungry, hot or cold., He never does it during the day or when anyone is on the yard. Does anyone have any ideas?

31-03-10, 07:06 PM
Could it be there are mice or rats in the stables? I have known of this and horses will kick out at their goings ons. Also mine will kick the door (pawing) in the middle of night if they have eaten all their hay and are a bit bored (joys of being in earshot).

Is there any noise that might be amplified from phone masts or the such like at night?

Bit of a puzzle but start with a vermin check especially if he is on straw.

Diane G
03-04-10, 01:44 PM
Thanks for that, Am almost sure it is not mice and definately not rats. Have just spent a couple of ours putting matting up on the walls as we think it is just boredum, and he likes the noise, we might also try a quiet radio and we have put a lick in to try and keep him occupied!

He was kicking last night and the yo crept up on him to see if he was distressed or trying to lie down or something and she said he was standing quietly with his head over the door just kicking out rythmically! both the other horses in his barn were lying down asleep!

03-04-10, 03:33 PM
Thats interesting what the yard owner saw. I have known of two horse do this and the main differentials are aortoiliac thrombosis which reduces blood flow to the hind legs or pinching of the spinal nerves as they exit the lumbosacral vertebrae. Both cases were put down to the later cause and were middle aged (teens) and kicked alternatively with both back legs. Age suggests an arthritic compotent. Very difficult to diagnose and therefore hard to treat. I would get a vet out to check his back and pelvis. It may seem more obvious to go straight for a chiro/osteopath/physiotherapist but if it is caused by nerve damage there is a high risk that trying to help him with body work could make it worse. This behaviour is occasionaly seen in horses with genuine spinal disease/pain after body workers correct the soft tissue damage and unfortunately remove the stifness in these tissues that support the damaged spine which then gets less stable/more painful/damages nerves. I'm not saying for a second that body workers shouldn't work on such horses- I think they do an amazing job- but as we cannot know exactly what is going on there is always a risk of making it worse. Of the two cases I know one has continued with moderate symptoms (seen most when eating) for over 18 months and seems quite stable. The other had had a lot of body work and was known to have serious back problems. He suffered intermitently but then suddenly got so bad he was kicking contiuously and obviously in a lot of pain and very distressed. It dissapeared when he had bute but came back with avengance in a coule of hours so he had to be PTS.

10-04-10, 01:48 PM
My KWPN does it when stabled. He has chronic SI pain and kissing spine.

Diane G
12-04-10, 07:39 AM
Does you horse show any signs of the conditions other than the kicking i.e. Unlevel, Lame etc, Boris doesn't show any other symptons at all

12-04-10, 05:41 PM
No signs of being unlevel or lame, just when you get on him he EXPLODES intermittently so is not ridden and on sachet of bute a day. Violently shakes head when ridden, disunited canter, bucks, bronchs, rears and does the kicking out. SI is the main contributor.

Diane G
15-04-10, 04:53 PM
Boris shows no other symptoms at all, Did a sponsored ride (10 miles) at the weekend and is absolutley fine. Maybe being out in the summer 24/7 will sort it out.