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Anti cast rollers --- do they work? What works to limit casting?

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  • Anti cast rollers --- do they work? What works to limit casting?

    My horse Ridge is on stall rest due to a fractured pelvis. He's doing well but rolled in his 12x12 stall the other day, getting cast.

    I've now got the walls seriously banked.
    Does an anti cast roller help?
    How high should I install anti cast strips, and can I use 2x4s for them?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    Last edited by Watermark Farm; Dec. 27, 2008, 04:15 PM.

  • #2
    I've never dealt with a cast horse personally (knocking on wood) but I have seen people who made anti-cast strips. They just put up 2x4s all around the stall. They were probably 18"-24" up the wall, but don't quote me on that

    You could probably also wrap something around the 2x4 to make it grippy, I don't know what the material is called, but I'm thinking thin stall mat or one of those floor mats designed for people who stand all day at work.


    • #3
      Yes, if you get the good leather ones with the high "handle", they do work.


      • #4

        I did put in the 2 x4s and the horse has not been cast since.

        I didn't put any grippy material on the 2 x 4s and they are screwed in about 36 inches from the ground. The 2 x 4s go all the way around the perimeter of the stall except for under the feed and water buckets.

        Our stalls are 14 x 14, they're pretty large. The horses usually sleep in the middle so under the feed and water buckets is not necessary for us.
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        • #5
          The roll bars do work very well.

          I had a friend that had a TB who got cast regularly... caused a lot of drama and vet bills. She put a rollbar on and he never got cast again. You need a high quality, all leather one, as someone else mentioned, but I think it is the safest and most sure way to go... especially when you're already dealing with a serious injury. With a rollbar, he simply will not be able to get on his back... and then he can't get cast.
          Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


          • #6
            Are you able to tell us where your friend purchased their's?


            • #7
              I know hers was made by Kincade and she ordered it from the UK (her mom owned a tack shop and got it directly from the supplier) but if you google "Kincade Anti Cast Roller" you will find several websites that sell it... there has to be somewhere in the US that has them though...

              She chose that one because he had really sensitive skin, and the cloth sides didn't rub him, but it still had the stiff leather top pieces. She used that thing for 10 years, until he was retired and turned out... and didn't need one anymore
              Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for the tip on the Kincade Roller. I googled it as you said and found it in the UK. If anyone knows of a good roller available here in the US, please let me know. If not, I'll order it from a UK supplier...have never done that before!

                Please keep your ideas coming. Thanks!


                • #9
                  Dover: http://www.doversaddlery.com/product...cd2=1230556135

                  Leather version: http://www.freedomrider.com/vaultiFR3.html

                  I am sure the web ones work just fine as long as the anti-roll piece is high. The Dover one looks fine. Be sure to put a folded towel or pad of some sort under it to avoid rubs, and keep it SNUG so it doesn't twist. If it moves, it can't do the job.


                  • #10
                    Yes they work. My friend has a giant yearling who was getting cast and beating herself up when she had to be in for an extended period because of icy conditions. The anticast roller has worked but he has also installed the strips in the stall as described above.

                    He got the anti cast roller from Apple saddlery in Canada.


                    • #11
                      sorry to hear about the fractured pelvis - isn't it typical of horses to have a great big space and then jam themselves up against a wall.

                      The good news is surely that the fracture is now stable enough for him to feel able to lie down/get up.

                      Did you actually find him cast or with scars on the wall - or did he just lie down and not have the strength to get himself back up?

                      I've known a couple of horses with pelvis fractures (all of whom have recovered 100% btw) and the muscle wastage even within the first few days was really significant. One was a fracture XC at at 3DE and the mare went from being in peak fitness to as weak as a newborn in a very short space of time - but she was back up and running by the next season.

                      My only reservation about using anti-cast rollers is that they effectively stop the horse lying 'flat out' on his side - the only way they can lie is with their legs folded - which encourages a twist in the pelvis area as they can't lie like dogs with a back leg on either side. IMO banking and anti cast rails (here in the UK we put two levels up one at 2'6" ish the other about 3' from floor height) would be preferable so that he has the option to maintain a level pelvis when lying down.

                      If (heaven forbid) you find him cast again, cover his head with a blanket asap - be quick, calm and confident and it's OK to kneel on his neck if you need to. Once head is covered and panicking reduced, get (long) ropes around lower (if you can reach safely, upper if not) limbs - Do not tie, just wrap around so when horse is righted he doesn't have ropes tied to him. Then to reduce stress on pelvis make sure front and back pulled as evenly as possible. Head covering will have come off by this point and he should be able to stand OK and ropes will fall away.

                      Good luck and if you do need an anti-cast roller from the UK let me know and I can help source a good and cost effective one over here for you.


                      • #12
                        I am looking at the Kincade (http://www.derbyhouse.co.uk/prodshow...=2&scats=49,96) and I see nothing in its design that would prevent the horse from laying on its side .... especially in a nicely bedded stall.


                        • #13
                          The horse we had that wore that rollbar had no problems laying flat on his side. The leather pieces were about 6 inches on either side of the withers, and didn't get in his way when sleeping in a bedded stall.
                          Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


                          • Original Poster

                            Doodlebug1, great advice about dealing with a cast horse! I could have used that when I was standing there trying to figure out what to do. The horse got cast right before my eyes (he broke his pelvis falling in pasture, we think).

                            I've ordered a heavy leather one and am hoping it arrives soon.

                            How snug do you have to keep it, and can I use it over the Rambo blanket the horse wears at night?


                            • #15
                              Yes, it can definitely go over any rug with cross surcingles. It does need to be fairly tight so that it doesn't move. I think a leather roller is a good call (opposed to webbing). Assuming that you are talking about a horse that is older and has been ridden then one hole looser than if you were going to go for a ride. If this is a youngster who has not been saddled then work up to this gradually and while it is looser use roller in conjunction with a breast girth (most rollers have the fittings) so that if it moves it does not slide backwards.

                              As someone has already said, you may need additional padding.

                              Please do keep an eye on him though and check how he is lying. I do know of horses that do lie flat out in their roller, but equally I know of some who then never layed flat. Maybe this is to do with the confirmation/width of the horse relative to the size of the arch or maybe it is horses that gave themselves a fright trying to roll with the arch and decided it was better to stay upright.

                              I also should have said that many people here use full bales (straw or shavings) around the stall to act as banks (as in reality, however big the 'traditional' banks are they only act as a visual guide as they compress too much under a ton of horse). Personally I wouldn't do this with a bored horse on box rest as they'd be too tempted to mess around with it - but I thought I'd mention it in case there's some way you can adapt this idea without the dangers of rollable bales/bits of string etc - or if you had enough confidence that your horse is a saint.

                              Good luck for a speedy recovery...
                              Last edited by Doodlebug1; Jan. 5, 2009, 05:05 AM. Reason: random and atrocious spelling!


                              • #16
                                As far as fit, it needs to be snug, but should not be as tight as a saddle. If it's too tight, he isn't going to lay down at all. You should be able to slide your hand underneath it easily. And it can definitely be put on right over his blankets. In the warmer weather when he isn't wearing a blanket, fleece pads underneath are a good idea, so he doesn't get sore or rubbed. (which was already mentioned)
                                Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


                                • #17
                                  We have a baby that casts himself whenever new bedding is put down. I read the posts thinking the anti cast rollers went on the wall. (36" high was one post)
                                  LOL when I saw it was fitted to the HORSE, not the walls! What a dip!


                                  • #18
                                    TikiSoo - you are right on both counts

                                    Watermark farm's original posting was about a roller that has a high arch over the withers preventing the horse from rolling over and getting stuck however, for times the horse isn't wearing the roller and/or as an interim measure, another thing you can do is put bars up around the stable so that the horse finds it easier to find enough purchase to roll himself back to a position he can stand up from. The thread then went on to talk about both without necessarily making it clear which solution the poster was talking about...

                                    I think FindersKeepers and I are on the same wavelength re the tightness of the roller. 'Snug, but not as tight as a saddle'; 'one hole looser than a saddle' (assuming you aren't one of those people who believe the girth has to be as tight as physically possible when riding gets to pretty much the same place - assuming you ride with a comfortably secure girth and aren't someone who squeezes all air out of their horse when saddling up).


                                    • #19
                                      Hopefully your horse doesn't do what mine did with the cast roller on and get himself stuck with it on! Little guy must have been a violent roller as he got stuck with the anti cast roller on which ended up acting like a kick stand, couldn't get him rolled back over, and he was of course on the buckle side so couldn't get it off either. Good thing he didn't really care when he was cast as he just layed there until we got the tractor and attached it to that top loop and pulled him away from the wall. Stupid Pony!


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Thanks again for all the great advice.

                                        My husband (non horsey engineer type) had an interesting idea: to strip the stall and then bank it with compacted baserock gravel all around the sides, and then go ahead and bank the straw on top of that to create a more "firm" support for the straw banks.

                                        Does that make sense? What do you think? Strange idea, but it makes some sense.

                                        This idea came last night when we stood in the barn, watching this horse lying down in his stall. He sleeps upright, but lays flat and rolls a bit before getting up. I have tons of straw banked against the walls, and he still managed to get dangerously close to a wall even with that. It seems like no matter how big the stall is, horses can end up against a wall.