The owner of a horse who became cast and whose recovery was hampered by the banks aimed to prevent him getting stuck at all has sworn never to use them again.
Like many others, Gill Fuller had always banked up the sides of beds, having been told they would help stop horses becoming stuck against stable walls.
But when her part-bred Irish draught gelding Malley had a badly placed roll on 6 January, she found otherwise.
“Luckily, I was still there when he did it,” Gill told H&H. “I’d put fresh straw in and he decided it looked inviting.
“He flipped right over and that was it; he was wedged against the wall.”
Not only had the banks not prevented Malley’s plight, they made things worse when it came to getting him upright.
“I was lucky there were a couple of other people around, and that he just lay there grunting quietly,” Gill said. “We got lunge reins round his legs but couldn’t roll him over, and even when we managed to move him away from the wall, because of the banks, his legs were still angled upwards, and he couldn’t get them underneath to get up. I think without the banks, he would have been able to.”
‘They are almost entirely decorative, and may be making things worse’
‘It was a freak accident but one that was probably waiting to happen’
After a lot more heaving, Malley was manoeuvred into a position in which he could get to his feet, and Gill said she will never bank a bed again.
“He was fine; I put him on the school and he had another roll to prove he was fine, and that was it,” she said. “But no more banks.
“I put a post on Facebook because it had changed my view, and it was interesting how many people said they knew it was a risk but still did banks because it looked good,” she said.
“But so many other people have said they’d always been taught to have banks; it was a real eye-opener.”
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade to access our H&H Plus online service which brings you breaking news as it happens as well as other benefits.