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Helping a cast horse

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  • Helping a cast horse

    So I did a search and didn't really find anything super useful.

    We have banked walls but no anti-cast strips in our 12x12 stalls. I had a pony get cast the other day. She was REALLY stuck. I was able to get in there and move her neck to where she could get herself up, but she was quiet (not really thrashing) and fairly small. And yes, I do know that trying to help can be dangerous, but I don't want to risk leaving them and having them get hurt.

    I was thinking that I honestly don't know what I'd do if it was a bigger horse or one who was really thrashing. Any helpful tips from the great minds of COTH on how to un-cast a horse?
    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
    My equine soulmate
    Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

  • #2
    IF they are really thrashing you are better off staying out of the stall. But they are relatively still you can get in there with a heavy cotton rope. Get a loop around a leg and pull the horse back over. You might need two people and loop a front and a back leg if the horse is really stuck.


    • #3
      Loop the leg

      Put a loop around the away leg....the leg on the opposite side from where you are trying to roll them to. You may need to have someone else control where the head and neck are, if they are into a corner the head and neck folded or bent back can keep them from rolling over. You may need to lift the neck and head toward the ceiling to straighten the back to get them over. The last cast I saw was a youngster into the corner with legs under the wall because te stable didn't fill holes. Fill your holes people. Don't let holes be under doors even. FOrtunately the horse was a small arabian and men were able to slid it over, but it was not calm and very dangerous. My Irish Draughts are over 1500lbs sometimes. Fortunately they tend to think instead of panic. PatO


      • #4
        It's usually better to have two people if possible, especially for a larger horse. In the last 2 months, I have helped barn manager at barn where I board uncast two 16+ h horses. The first one we were able to get to both "away" legs(front and hind) and looped a long cotton lead around each and he flipped pretty easy. He was also very quiet about the whole deal. Just about a week ago I helped her uncast a horse who was on stall rest in a double size stall. He had managed to roll himself right up and had his butt up in a corner. This horse can tend to be an a** at times plus complicating the process was the "away" hind leg was the injured leg. We really didn't want to put anything around that leg, plus it would be a bit of an issue to reach it. I have found in my past experience if you can get the front end clear, they can usually get out of it. So basically she held the lead attached to his halter and I grabbed the shoulder of his blanket and we started tugging on him. We were able to slide him away from the wall enough that he could get his front feet against the wall and push away and stand up. Luckily, he was quiet enough and even though he did knock both of us down in the process, he didn't tromp on us.


        • #5
          Originally posted by dani0303 View Post
          So I did a search and didn't really find anything super useful.

          We have banked walls but no anti-cast strips in our 12x12 stalls. I had a pony get cast the other day. She was REALLY stuck. I was able to get in there and move her neck to where she could get herself up, but she was quiet (not really thrashing) and fairly small. And yes, I do know that trying to help can be dangerous, but I don't want to risk leaving them and having them get hurt.

          I was thinking that I honestly don't know what I'd do if it was a bigger horse or one who was really thrashing. Any helpful tips from the great minds of COTH on how to un-cast a horse?
          how big is the horse or pony a 12 x 12 is upto 15hish abigger box would be needed for a bigger horse also deep beds not just bank the sides but deep bank the sides like as in 2ft wide 2ft deep x 1ft bed this will help the horse

          some people think a little bank side or sides is enough its not - the horse need thick banked sides and if the horse is to small for it stable and goes to lay down then it might get cast as there no room to get up also cehck the height of stable roof agai horse wont get up if it thinks it can hit his head

          time to look at your stable and see what the horse sees


          • #6
            Last year my horse was on layup for a fractured pelvis (!) and got cast. I was terrified this would happen again so banked the crap out of my stall (with straw). I banked it so that there was just a valley, or channel, in the middle and there was far less chance of him getting near a wall. The banks were a good 4' high and 3' wide in a 12x12 stall. I used 4-5 bales of straw to achieve this, then put down shavings in the middle for good grip.

            You can install your own anti cast strips along the wall at approx 36" high. Use 2 2x4s and lag bolt them into the wall. You can also cut strips of rubber matting the same size and bolt these to the wall. Two strips about 4" wide, 6" apart and set at 36" high.

            I'd never even seen a horse cast until last year and it was the most terrifying few moments of my life. I could not go into the stall because the horse was thrashing so violently. Awful.


            • #7
              Back to that perfect world...in the real world, most stalls at boarding and training barns max at 12x12 here in the states. At the shows they are 10x10. If you are building from scratch, fine go bigger. But most of us have to use what we got and what is available.

              I have known a few chronic casters that were put in double sized stalls, banked shavings and anti cast pads on the walls and they STILL managed to put themselves against the wall and roll onto it, getting stuck. Vetted to death, too, not a thing amiss, just kind of stupid about that. They both went and lived outside.

              Other then a couple of big guys and some rope, there is not much you can do once they are down, only try to keep them from doing it.
              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


              • #8
                My horse got cast in the indoor arena a couple of months ago. He rolled too close to the wall and got stuck good. He was really thrashing to get up and then just laid there. I felt so bad, no one was around to help and he's big and young to boot. After a few minutes or so he started thrashing again and finally managed to wiggle out enough to be able to climb the wall and flip back over. He scratched up his legs good in the process. Oh and the arena is 80' x 160' why he chose to roll where he did is beyond me.


                • #9
                  It happened twice to my gelding. The first time was shortly after we purchased him, and he got himself cast in the 12x12 stall in our brand new barn. My mother was on the phone with the vet at 11pm, while we were watching my beautiful big 17h Irish TB thrashing for all he was worth. There was nothing we could do, it wasn't safe for us to go in with him. He finally managed to get himself up, but not before he dislodged one shoe and banged himself up. (And thank goodness he did get up, because my father was getting ready to tear down the stall to get him out.) It was one of the scariest things I've ever seen.

                  The second time, same horse, was about 8 years later. My barn manager at the time went out to do a late night check one winter evening, and she found him completely cast. She had an uncanny ability to connect with him, however, and he lay perfectly still while she - a tiny little thing - got ropes around his hind legs. She and her husband flipped him, the horse got up, everybody was fine.

                  This was about the time that I started drinking.
                  In memory of Rebuff (1974-2009)

                  Rest in peace, my sweet man


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fourmares View Post
                    IF they are really thrashing you are better off staying out of the stall. But they are relatively still you can get in there with a heavy cotton rope. Get a loop around a leg and pull the horse back over. You might need two people and loop a front and a back leg if the horse is really stuck.
                    This is what I used to do with my old mare when she would get cast. She wasn't too big--15 h, but she was heavy, so I usually had to call in some back up to help get her over. She was pretty cooperative with the whole thing.


                    • #11
                      The largest stall in the world wouldn't have prevented our mustang boarder from casting himself. He managed to cast himself in the paddock (200 x 200) up against the barn. He did manage to right himself in a few minutes. Good thing because he panics big time.


                      • #12
                        speak soothingly and remove any buckets, etc you can that the horse may bang into on getting up. Leave the door open if it'll help give you an escape route.

                        Assuming the horse is cast on its RIGHT side, so their head is by your right hand:

                        Take a lead rope or rope in general, loop it around the left hind or left fore, whichever you can safely work with. If it IS a lead rope, watch that snap, oK? Rock and roll the horse toward you, keeping that rope pulled toward their belly, so you aren't pulling it away from their body. Be ready to drop the rope and get out of their way when they do flip on over toward you to get up.

                        Assess dehydration with a skin pinch test, sooth horse, top off their water, offer some hay, call it done.

                        It can happen to any old horse, it is not always something wrong with the barn itself.


                        • #13
                          My 16.2 hand mare got cast in her 12X10 stall a few weeks ago. She was on her back, hind legs up in the air against the wall, head facing the front of the stall. She thrashed around, which is why I came running. But was relatively calm when she saw that I arrived. I was completely panicked and totally alone. She still had her halter on and I just reached down, grabbed the halter dragged her front end into the middle of the stall and jumped back out of the stall while she scrambled up. I think I actually did this with only one hand. I'm 50 years old. I still don't quite know how I did it . . .


                          • #14
                            my old ottb mare Calie was always very careful how she lay down in her stalls, whereever we boarded whatever the size, she lay down in the middle. My portly wb has always been even more careful, in small stalls he would lie with his back up against the side of the stall. Both always have the legs away from the walls.

                            I boarded where the BO's horse and her friend's horse both got cast, and the BO went in and beat the horses to get them up!

                            Then I boarded where on the first day that a new boarder arrived, never been in a stall before, first time middle age owners, BO wouldn't come to barn because there was a lightning storm, and the guy put his 3 yoa tall skinny horse in a stall and the horse ate his whole corn the owner brought with him after a long hot trailer ride from ALabama, over my protestations, and then lay down to roll in his nice shavings and immediately got his long legs cast. Owner and his wife did nothing, so I ran into stall, yelled for my friend and her husband (first time horse owners) and her husband came in and held the horse's head while I carefully, since the horse had all 4 hooves up against the side of the stall, reached under his lower hind leg and got my lead rope around it. Horse was nice and quiet for me, so I did not get kicked in the head. Next time I'll stop to put on my helmet. Then Tom and I pulled the horse over and he stood up. Didn't even get a thanks for that, but I thanked Tom, my friend's husband, for being the best help ever.

                            I had read many years ago about how to get a rope around a leg to pull them away from the wall or to try to flip them over.


                            • #15
                              I boarded where the BO's horse and her friend's horse both got cast, and the BO went in and beat the horses to get them up!
                              90% of the time they will manage to get themselves up if you poke them with the bristle ends of the broom a few times. I didn't believe it either, but a trainer told me years ago to never, ever attempt to pull one over because it was too dangerous. And he was right. Every single horse I've had or seen cast since then managed to get themselves up with just a little encouragement with the broom. The only one I've pulled over was one stuck under the fence in the field, which obviously had to be pulled out from under the fence rail.


                              • #16
                                My horse has got cast twice. She is large at l7 h and a big girl at that. Once, she made the big effort as soon as the lights went on and got up, the other time we were ging to use the leg/rope method with a long rope, not a little lead line thing. But first we put a bit of burlap under her neck and were somehow superhuman enough to pull her out a little bit - enough for her to heave-ho herself up.

                                My friend tried to do a horse by herself and had several teeth kicked out. Stay far enough away and don't be in there by yourself (easy for me to say.) She could have been killed.
                                Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique