Stall Weaving & Fence Pacing

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Little Wolf Ranch

Well-Known Member
Dec 3, 2008
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Roebuck, SC
First of all, I want to say that I have never dealt with a stall weaver or fence pacer, but now that I have acquired one - I now know how difficult owning one is! So please be patient with me, as I literally know nothing about handling this type of situation.

Three weeks ago I was given a stallion whom I dearly love and cherish - he is a Magic Man son and I just adore him. He is loving, kind and super easy to handle on the lead and has been shown in his younger years. He is 16 years old and I already know that placing him in another home is not an option - he will live with us until the day God calls him home. The only problem with him is that he is a HORRIBLE fence pacer and stall weaver, and his weight reflects that. He has been a pasture-only breeding stallion for several years now and the previous owners say he has been at this weight for quite some time now, over a year. You can see his spine, hip bones, ribs, tail bone, etc. but still has some muscle and is about a 3 on the 1-10 scale.

I tried keeping him separate from my girls for about a week, which only escalated the problem as he could still hear them so he now has one mare he lives with 24/7 in the pasture and are stalled next to each other where he can see and smell her. This reduced the pacing and weaving by about 50% but is by no means gone. There are no other stallions on the property - only geldings and mares.

He is kept in his stall during the day with free access hay and a fan on him so he does not overheat. He is 31" tall and is fed 4 cups of 13% protein and 8% fat pelleted grain and 2 cups Calf Manna twice a day, sometimes he eats it all and other times he doesn't. He is turned out at night for some turnout so he wont be as hot. I have not seen an improvement in his weight at all, so I am starting to lean towards him needing a good floating (no teeth problems that I can see while eating or chewing, but that doesn't mean he doesn't need it) and I am assuming by his high stress level he most likely has ulcers. He is by no means lethargic - he makes me tired just watching him.

I have already ordered the ulcer meds and they should be here in the next day or two, he has already been dewormed with Panacur for 1 week when he first arrived and Zymectrin Gold this morning, and I am in the process of finding an equine dentist that will do miniatures in my area. I used to have one that would do minis but apparently she has moved away since I used her last summer.

I realize that this is a chronic and "learned" habit and from what I have read, there really isn't a way to "stop" them from doing it but is there anything more that I can do for him that may help? I would love to get him looking good and feeling better.

If someone would like to see pictures please PM me, but out of respect for his previous owners (it was a very sad situation) I won't make this a public bashing session.
Perhaps one of the calming supplements. My stallion when I got him was very nervous, I know different situation from yours, but perhaps this will still be helpful. I didn't want to try anything that would interfere with fertility, so I tried vitamin B-1 supplementation; and while it didn't turn him into a slug, it brought him far enough out of the clouds to realize I'm not a pony eating monster and he has settled nicely into our routine (he's no longer on the B-1, but was for about 5-6 months, one container).

The ulcer meds sound like a really good idea, but will take a bit of time to work, so be sure to give it time to show it's working. Does he get any alfalfa hay? It's known to be soothing to the stomach, so may help with ulcer issues as well as his weight issues (any form will do, you might just have to experiment and see what form he likes best).

I have no idea if it'll work in your case, but I've heard of people putting hay piles along the fence their stallion paces, so he can just grab and go and is more likely to eat than if he had to go to a specific feeding area.

I'll post again, if I think of anything else.
Will any B1 supplement do? Do you have any recommendations?

I will see if I can get him eating some alfalfa.

The good news is I have found an equine dentist that will float his teeth so hopefully I can get that done soon....they are supposed to be calling me to schedule him in.
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I think I just used the B-1 from Smartpak, since if I was going to keep him on it, I could just get it in smartpaks if needed. I'm sure I can grab you a link... believe I picked it also because it's pelleted, and can more easily be hidden in pelleted feed (compared to powder) and I didn't want any other active ingredients (didn't want a standard calming product). I'm sure any brand would work about the same.
Katie, sent you a PM earlier, just in case you didn't see your notice
I have a stallion who behaves this way during the breeding season. Before I got him, he only pasture bred and always had a herd or mares to keep him company. At my house, stallions are kept individually and he stresses out about it. Since turning him out with mares is not an option, I put him out with some steers. Perhaps a large goat would make him feel more at ease? Are you planning on using him for breeding? If not, maybe consider gelding him. At his age it will not completely calm him down, but it may allow you to let him out with the herd and that may help him a lot. Good luck.
You have already received some good advice. You have only had him for three short weeks - stallions, especially those being pasture bred and changing homes during the breeding season, often take longer to settle to a new place and routine. He has left behind his girls, girls that he is 'responsible' for in his eyes, he will be worrying about where they are and what has happened to them. But apart that that, many stallions run the fences and ramp around their stalls during the breeding season - all mine fence trot during the summer months although they are quiet in their stalls, I just up their feed intake and let them work off their winter fat! You may well find that he calms down completely during the winter months but I dont think there is much more that you can do to change his habit at this time of year, giving him a mare for company was a good idea and, as you have said, has already helped.

Bless you for giving this little fella a good home - wishing you the best of luck.
I wanted to check in with yall and give you an update on the little man.

I am happy to report that he has virtually STOPPED pacing the fence and has started to get better about weaving in his stall. He has been on the ulcer meds & stomach soother for about 4 days now and we have switched him over to eating just hay and soaked alfalfa cubes. He is still in with his mare Peaches and every time I check on them throughout the day, I find them both standing and relaxing at the hay bale feeder.

I have moved him to a paddock where he can see every horse on the property and I believe that has helped a lot as well.

Thanks everyone so much for your advice I really do appreciate it!!
Just now reading this thread. It sounds like you've done a good job of helping this horse calm down; the best thing, I believe, is letting him live with a mare, but the other steps you've taken all seem like ones that would/should contribute to improving his behavior. Good job!
Okay I wanted to do an update on my boy as well as ask for some advice.

First of all, he is still improving on the stall weaving and pacing. I moved him to my other barn that has 95% visibility between stalls as well as a mesh wire covered window so he can still see outside of the barn and that has reduced his tall weaving by 95%. He now only weaves when the mares are coming in or going out. His fence pacing is down by about 60% and I find him relaxed a large majority of the time.

My question:

The vet has given me instructions to put him on Triple Crown Senior because he wasn't gaining weight, only maintaining it, on the alfalfa cubes and he felt he needed more calories. Now he isn't a feisty eater, it takes him about 2 to 3 hours to eat his meal of 4 cups (i gradually worked him up) of the TCS. He is getting this twice per day, is this enough for him? A feed representative from TC told me to feed him 0.05 of his desired body weight daily to get his weight up, does this sound right?

Also, I was assured by my vet and the feed representative that the senior formula won't aggravate or cause ulcers, so it should be fine to feed to him correct?
TC senior is an excellent senior feed, good protein and fat content with a low sugar and starch content (lowest or nearly the lowest senior on the market for sugar and starch).

8 cups of TCS should be nearly 3# (about 3 cups per pound), so whether it's enough will depend on how much he should weigh. Ok, finally found that he is 31". My 31" stallion weighs about 175# at a good weight, and gets 1.75# senior daily plus some alf/tim pellets and free choice grass hay, in the winter he'll eat more, but right now it's a struggle to get him to eat this amount (he's getting better, he had a fit when I turned the other stallion out with some mares, despite the fact that he lives with a mare and jenny). [if he were to only be getting senior, then he'd need around 2.75# minimum.]

You might find that the 4 cups 2x daily is a bit too much for him once he is of normal weight for his size, but for now, since he takes awhile to eat it, it sounds like a good amount. [The 1.75# my boy is eating, is about 4 cups daily, I give it to him at night, as he won't eat it during the day as he'd prefer to go out on pasture, he grazes on it for quite awhile.]
I know of a little stallion who had been shown almost since birth and lived exclusively in a stable and tiny yard. His new owners were devastated by his behaviour in his new bigger but still small yard walking the fence line constantly. In desperation one day they let him out into a huge paddock and he ran and ran and ran until his little legs couldn't run any more.......heart in the mouth stuff when he came to corners, apparently.

Anyway after that he never walked a fence line again.
Thanks Chandab, at least I know I am not feeding him too little of the feed. I wanted to be 100% sure on the amount.

Helicopter, I don't think that is the issue since he has pretty much always been out at pasture with mares as a breeding stallion except for as a yearling when he was shown.

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