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Helping Your Horse Regain Their Footing

If you see your horse cast in a stall the likely reaction is to panic. However, doing this will only cause your horse to become frantic along with you which increase their risk of injury.
Getting cast in a stall isnít something that happens everyday, but it may happen sometimes. A horse may lie down too close to a wall or they may roll in such a way that they end up in a position where they canít get their legs under them to stand up again.

In cases of colic a horse may get cast more easily. In these cases a horse may not watch where they are going since they just want to lie down and roll in order to get rid of the pain so it often ends up in such a position. A horse may just end up at a disadvantage if they are itchy and
rolling. A horse will typically roll in the middle of the stall and nothing will happen but there are always the exceptions.

Pulling the horses head away from the wall with the halter will generally allow them to free their feet enough to get them back under themselves. If you must, you can pull the tail to help drag the hind feet away from the wall. If the animal is thrashing and you canít get to the tail easily then you may be able to use a lead shank for assistance. Dropping the lead shank onto the ground should help the horse get to their feet or at least allow you to grab the other end and pull outward.

There may be situations where a horse is so tight that their backs are against the wall literally. A calm horse is easy in these situations since all you have to do is grab the leg that is closest to the wall and roll the horse over to help them regain their footing. Although looping a shank over the leg to accomplish the same thing can be done if you have a horse that isnít calm.

You may have to go up in the hayloft and down the hay drop if your horse is cast against the door with prevents you from opening it. A horse will want to get up immediately once they are free and they may act exuberantly by bucking and kicking. Therefore you should make sure you are on the right side of the stall for a quick exit after the horse is free. A colicky horse may not want to move even after being freed so you may have to give them a few taps of encouragement on their rear. Check for abrasions once the horse is on their feet and calm again. To make sure the horse hasnít injured themselves you should walk them around a bit.

Read the next horse care article on Painless Weaning Practices for Foals and Mares.
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