Cast horse

What is a cast horse?

When a horse lays down in the stable, tries to roll over, and gets himself stuck.

The upside down horse is unable to move.



Why does this happen?

If the stable is too small for the horse, or if he’s to close to the stable wall, when he lies down; he is likely to get cast.


What do I do if my horse is cast?

Some horses manage to free themselves as they start to panic and struggle.

You will notice the bedding has been disturbed and scratch marks on the wall where the horse has been struggling to get up.

Other horses remain calm and lay quietly until someone arrives.

If the horse has become cast, make sure you check him all over, then walk and trot him in hand, while someone else looks at the horse checking for any signs of lameness.

Some horses struggle for a long time, kicking out at the wall, before they finally free themselves.

Depending on the size and weight of the horse, you may need one person, two or three people to help.

If you are on your own, and the horse is a manageable size, approach quietly, reassuring him all the time.

If the horse starts to panic, restrain him by kneeling or sitting on his neck not far away from the head.

This sounds like an awful thing to do, but it’s the only way to stop him kicking out and doing more damage to himself.

Place a towel under the horse’s head to help prevent damage to the eye.

Think about the situation the horse has put himself into!

If the horse remains calm for a few minutes, he might be able to correct himself.

If the horse does not manage to get up himself, then release his head and stand up.

You need to remove the bedding that has built up around his back and shoulders then taking hold of his tail pull his quarters round.


The horse will shuffle slightly and this should give him enough room to stand up.

How to can I prevent my horse from being cast?

Some horses regularly get cast in the stable. For this type of horse, I would use an anti-cast roller or arch roller.

The roller is like a padded belt; with an iron arch to prevent a cast horse, so it stops the horse from rolling completely over.


The down side to this roller is it can have a pitching effect on either side of the withers; so that’s something for you to be aware of.

Most horses like to roll when they have fresh bedding, or when put into the stable after work, or during the onset of a colic attack.

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Horse Problems


Cast horse > > Home

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Why does a horse spook or shy?

What should I do when my horse spooks?

Why does my horse bolt?

Boltin advice

Why is my horse afraid?

Nervous horse advice

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Why does my horse buck?

Bucking advice

Why does my horse rear?

Rearing – Is your horse trying to tell you something?

Rearing advice

Rearing in hand

Horse biting

Why is my horse hard to catch?

Catching a horse

How to catch a difficult horse

Horse choke

Pawing the floor and biting wood

Kicking and banging the stable door

Biting and ripping rugs


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Remedies for stable vices

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What is crib biting?

What is a box walker?



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