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What to do when a horse is cast

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  • What to do when a horse is cast

    Tonight I had a scary experience while at the barn. As I was coming in from a ride I heard loud kicking and discovered another boarder's horse cast in his stall. He was wedged in a corner in what looked a very painful position because as he kicked the wall, he pushed his head against the other wall. I called the BO right away and he headed down to the barn. However, before he got there, the horse was able to kick away from the wall and get himself up. Thankfully he seemed okay, but I'm sure he's very sore around his neck.

    I've never witnessed a cast horse before and for those few minutes I felt terrified and helpless. What do you do for a cast horse?

  • #2
    The few cast horses that I've dealt with were very similar to each other with stuck heads and legs.

    Both times, I've grabbed another person and several lead ropes to help pull a horse back far enough from the wall. They always got up after that.
    Semi Feral


    • #3
      Carefully loop a long lead rope around a leg and flip him over. Or you can sometimes pull them by the halter or tail to get them away from the wall. Just be careful not to get yourself in a bad spot.


      • #4
        When you flip them over, do it by looping a lunge line over the leg closer to the ground.
        The Evil Chem Prof


        • #5
          I asked a similar question here, with good responses. COTH Thread How To Get Cast Horse Up


          • #6
            What others have mentioned.. loop a leadrope around a couple of their legs and pull them away from the wall. My mare cast the other day after my sister turned her in for dinner, but by the time I got down to the barn (less than 60 seconds) she had freed herself.. they usually do!


            • #7
              And important to watch the horse carefully to see why he was cast. Could have just been a freak thing but could be the beginnings of colic or generalized illness or soreness. I never sleep well after that happens.
              Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!


              • #8
                Originally posted by Peggy View Post
                When you flip them over, do it by looping a lunge line over the leg closer to the ground.
                This It is very scary to watch, but sometimes the best thing to do is just watch. Horses generally get themselves out of it without assistance.


                • #9
                  Sometimes they can get out of it, but I've also had several horses cast that could not get themselves out of it without assistance. Two weekends ago at a show, a very big show horse got cast (the stalls were only 10 X 10 at this show). The horse struggled and was beating his head against a wall. I yelled for someone to help and grooms came running. The grooms were able to get him out of the corner with ropes, but first they had to get him calm and that took a bit of time.

                  You do not want to let them struggle too long as they can really do some damage to themselves, especially if they panic.
                  Susan N.

                  Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.


                  • #10
                    The one cast horse I've helped get up again was cast against the back wall of his stall, with his haunches directly across from the stall door (his head was wedged in the corner diagonally across from the door).

                    He had gotten himself wedged in there good; he didn't have enough room between his body and the wall to straighten out his legs, so it was harder for us to get leadlines around them to flip him over. I was a little about looping that leadline around his back leg though ... I didn't know the horse at all and was just praying he'd be sensible.

                    Trainer was at front end, I had the back end. She told me to pull just hard enough to start him over and then to scoot backward out the stall door.

                    Thankfully he was a quiet youngster and just lay there waiting for us to do something. We got him rolled, and he got up quickly but not in a panic.

                    IIRC he didn't seem to have any issues from being cast, but I believe he was diagnosed with EPM not long after that.

                    I'll be quite happy if I never have to right a cast horse again.
                    Full-time bargain hunter.


                    • #11
                      There are no hard and fast rules as it depends how the horse is situated. Sometimes flipping them over is the only way, other times you can just pull either their front end or back end away from the wall depending upon which end is more stuck.
                      McDowell Racing Stables

                      Home Away From Home


                      • #12
                        I have a mare who got cast up against the hay feeder this winter hay feeder isnt moveable. Found her down when i went out to take my daughter down the driveway to get the school bus. I had to call my hubby and have him come home i wasnt strong enough to pull her over. We took ropes and put them around her legs closest to the ground and pulled her over.She jumped right up but was very wobbly and shakey. We figured she had been down close to 4 hours had stuggled to get free but couldnt. Was also pretty cut up on her legs and one eye was swollen almost shut. Thank goodness it wasnt 20 below zero i know that out come wouldnt of been good. Shes 25 years old so youth isnt on her side.

                        After that i had many nights id go out to check on her i was getting up every two hours just couldnt sleep. Took me a long time to finally get to were i wasnt always checking on her all the time. She has gotten smart and now doesnt lay down next to hay feeder think she scared herself a bit.Shes a wise old lady and i just love her alot shes my heart horse.


                        • #13
                          Don't Forget to Call for Help if YOU NEED HELP ~ Fire Department ~

                          Don't forget to call for 'help' if you need aid in a horse 'cast' situation ```

                          The local fire department will be able to assist you and your horse .... just explain the 'process' and they will be your friends

                          And of course send a 'thank you note' and some tasty treat afterwards ...
                          Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                          • #14
                            DD's hony got himself cast with hind end wedged against the stall door and head wedged up behind him against the other wall. I had to scale the stall door and jump down next to him. We have a 4-5" opening under the stall door and he had one leg through kicking into the isle. DD's bf pushed his foot back under the door - I grabbed and pulled. Once he had a bit of momentum he freed himself while I huddled in the corner!!

                            Both of us made it out without a scrape!
                            Last edited by MoonWitch; Apr. 17, 2012, 09:05 AM. Reason: he's a hony - not a honey :)
                            "A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority." Rick Warren


                            • #15
                              One of the most important steps: Ensure the owner is notified afterward, whether you had to help the horse get up or not.

                              My horse cast himself a couple years ago, a few hours after my daily visit. Several grooms had to pull him along the ground to get his legs out of the pipe corrals, and no one notified me of this. It was about 20 hours after he was cast that I showed up for my morning ride and he had three stovepipe legs. He wasn't lame at all just terribly swollen - but it was alarming and upsetting that no one had notified me they had to make the effort to get him free! Apparently at the time he was so weak from struggling he could barely stand.

                              I've only had one horse I had to help when she got cast. It was my first horse, and she had total faith in humans. Any time she got herself in a bad situation she just froze and waited to be found - from getting loose, outside the barn area and into the fence storage area where she put her hoof through some livestock fencing rolls and waited for help to the time she rolled against a brick wall, to the time another horse in the trailer with her fell and rolled under her belly.
                              She had rolled and all four hooves were against a brick wall. We could only move her top legs at first, so we pulled her to directly on her back with lead ropes around the top legs. We were then able to get her bottom legs over. We got her to her side and she waited until we were out of her stall and calmly got up as if nothing had happened. There were scuff marks where her hooves hit the wall as she rolled over and no others, so she did just lie there and wait for us to show up and free her with no struggling - a rarity I wish all horses were like!
                              Originally posted by Silverbridge
                              If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.


                              • Original Poster

                                Thanks for all the responses! I am thankful that in this particular situation I did not have to do anything, but now at least I have a little more knowledge to help me in case there is a next time. And I will definitely not attempt anything unless there is someone there to help me. With this particular horse, the BO (who is also a vet) was suspicious that he may have been suffering from a little bit of gas, so he was given banamine after getting up (and of course checked on later in the evening!) A few days later he is a little stiff but otherwise fine. I think the owner is going to have his chiro out to help him out a little.


                                • #17
                                  I've had to flip one on my horses on my own.......I got two polo wraps and found the middle and wrapped it one and a half times around the pastern on the underside leg both front and back then I took a polo wrap in each hand and put myself somewhere in the middle and pulled as hard as I could.....luckily my guy was so calm, no struggling or movement from him until he was flipped and able to get up.

                                  I've also had a horse cast himself in an outside door to the paddock......the back end was hanging in the air as it as a bit of a slope out the door......my daughter and I did manage to flip him back in side at a bit of an angle......but boy he was stiff when he got up as he had cut off his circulation.......he did walk it off with no problems.

                                  Also had a youngster cast herself but she was able to get out of it on her own both times......some how she would rock or throw her body to increase the space enough to give her room to get up.