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AskHQ: Accident prone

Q: My gelding is constantly injuring himself. He is always covered in cuts, has stepped on his coronary band a couple of times, and cracked two teeth. Is he just accident-prone, or is there something wrong with him?

A: The first thing to suggest would be a good physical examination by your vet. This would include a focused look at his neurological system and his visual system. If he is having difficulties with his balance, is sore or cannot see properly, this can alter his gaits and interactions with the environment and may be the reason he is always hurting himself. Your vet will be able to put him through a variety of tests to see if there is an issue.

However, if your horse is otherwise healthy, he may be simply inquisitive, which can lead him to get into trouble through boredom. The best advice in this situation is to do what you can to make his environment safe, and maybe also add in some toys that can keep him occupied and provide a source of entertainment. Options included flavoured licks and treat balls. A regular exercise programme and plenty of turn-out may also help to use up a bit of his energy, causing him to be a little more tired and a little less inquisitive. Finally, making sure that he always has access to forage is important for keeping him busy and stimulated.