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Getting the Cast Horse Up Alone

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  • Getting the Cast Horse Up Alone

    My young and thankfully easygoing horse got cast this morning while I was alone in the barn. He rolled and ended up with his legs up against the wall. No panic (oh his part -- I, on the other hand, was freaking out!), just lay there calmly. I tried using a rope on his leg to pull him over but I couldn't budge him. I'm just not strong enough to do it.

    In the end, he got up on his own while I went to get help, but I am wondering what else I could have done? I've seen others flip them right over, so I thought it was going to be easy, and now I'm thinking I need a better plan for the future. Hopefully by planning, I won't deal with it ever again!

  • #2
    I've always done it by looping a rope around legs and pulling. If you aren't strong enough, call a neighbor. I keep a list in the barn beside the phone just in case.


    • #3
      Looping, not tying anywhere, ropes to the legs against the wall and pull.

      Sometimes the hind leg, other times front leg, at times both.

      Snap two leadropes together if you don't have a longer rope.

      Since you and the horse are in a tight spot there, please be careful and have someone notified, so if you don't report back, they come see if you are ok.
      Some horses are fine, some may colic or tie up after being cast.
      Some get up and stagger around a little bit, so stay clear of them for a little bit, before getting close to look them over.

      Glad your horse was ok.


      • #4
        A halter and shank to balance his head so he can maneuver his body, bracing against you ...

        be cautious pulling on legs to not injure joints, stifles, etc... most often with a bit of head balance and pressure to lean on, they can get their legs around.

        suggest a bit of walking afterward to just get muscles uncramped, or see if there is stiffness anywhere.

        Never pull on a horses tail.
        OTTB's ready to show/event/jumpers. Track ponies for perfect trail partners.


        • #5
          I also know people who put anti-cast boards on their stall walls. It's essentially just 2x4s nailed to the wall where they can get purchase with their feet and flip themselves over. Glad everyone is ok!!
          When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.


          • #6
            This !

            Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
            I've always done it by looping a rope around legs and pulling. If you aren't strong enough, call a neighbor. I keep a list in the barn beside the phone just in case.
            This exactly ! Glad your horse is ok ~ be careful. Jingles !
            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


            • #7
              Sometimes its easiest to move the legs, sometimes its easiest to move the heaqd, it all depends upon how they are laying. Usually just getting something to move a little bit is enough to allow them to free themselves.
              McDowell Racing Stables

              Home Away From Home


              • #8
                Any horses becoming 'stuck' in the snow?

                Speaking of being 'cast', anyone's horses getting stuck in 3' of snow? My one guy goes out to roll and can't get over, therefore becoming stuck, legs sticking up. He looks dead. It's happened 2x, I'm not sure if he's ok so I go out in the snow with a halter. When I get there he manages to scramble and get up but he's exhausted. Is this happening to anyone else?


                • #9
                  Poke it with a broom to encourage it to get up on its own. It works 98% of the time, and anything else is way too dangerous to attempt alone. If you need to pull it over you need help, period, because things can go wrong quickly even if you are strong enough to move the horse yourself.


                  • #10
                    Be careful - my friend got kicked in the mouth and lost teeth trying to pull a pony over. I could never, ever get my horse over alone. She is far too heavy. It is amazing how they can make a super effort and get up. Happened last month - as soon as the lights went on he heaved himself up.
                    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                      I've always done it by looping a rope around legs and pulling. If you aren't strong enough, call a neighbor. I keep a list in the barn beside the phone just in case.
                      Exactly - It's amazing what adrenaline will do for your strength!
                      "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CBoylen View Post
                        Poke it with a broom to encourage it to get up on its own. It works 98% of the time, and anything else is way too dangerous to attempt alone. If you need to pull it over you need help, period, because things can go wrong quickly even if you are strong enough to move the horse yourself.
                        I'm sorry Chandra but this just made me laugh so hard.. poke it w/a broom.. what would we do without brooms in a barn?
                        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                        • #13
                          I recently (as in 10 days ago) had to do this and hope to God I never have to do it again. It is a scary job with help, it was 100 times scarier by myself (with the added stress factor that the mare had been colicking since the day before and all night long. Had been up and bright when her owner left her about an hour before I arrived. She was in a lot of pain and UPSIDE DOWN when I got there!).

                          Thankfully, she was quiet and grateful to hear my voice (nickered to me in that "Oh my God! Can you help me?!?!" kind of way). I grabbed two ropes with the intention to loop one around her front leg and one around her hind. Got the one around her front, but every time I went near her hind, she fired out, so, in an effort to not end up dead in the stall with her, I left the hind end out of the equation. I stepped into her doorway and rocked her as hard as I could. I think I rocked her thee times before I got enough power to bring her over. She's just a little thing...I'm not sure what I'd have done if it had been our 1400 lb draft cross!


                          • #14
                            Amanda, that's quite a story and I am really glad you didn't get hurt! Cast horses scare the bejeepers out of me too. I think the leg flipping deal works if they are balancing on or near their spine, but if they are wedged on the wrong side and folded up against the wall that is when I just don't think I would have enough strength. My SO got a nice hernia uncasting a horse once. We have actually dis-assembled stall walls to get horses unstuck. Sometimes it's easier. I have also seen bales of straw used but that is dangerous (you have to roll the bale between their neck and the wall so they can push away, hard to explain but dangerous because you have to lift the bale and throw it over ther heads next to the wall; only big strong guys can do it.) I had one get stuck in the snow the first day out and fortunately by the time I ran screaming back into the barn to get a rope, he wiggled about and flailed his legs making a horsey snow angel enough to get them on the ground. I got to thinking if he laid there long enough wouldn't he MELT the snow under him and just end up on the ground?
                            Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                            Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                            • #15
                              I've known of one horse that got stuck in the snow when he was rolling. He worked himself up into quite the sweat trying to get up before someone noticed he was down. Poor guy. Once someone noticed, a few people went out and sort of shifted him around using his blanket. He then scrambled up and looked at everyone with disgust as if to say, "took you long enough, idiots."


                              • #16
                                Which leg were you looped around? I find that using the down leg is easier. With the larger horses when I'm alone I loop around down leg +/-neck/shoulder and pull them just far enough away from the wall that they can get their legs underneath them. I should also note that I leave the stall door wide open so I can get out and I drop the rope and GTFO as soon as they start to rise. None of that waiting in the stall for them to get up

                                Alternately, you can get them their own pony to help them get up.
                                Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                                Sam: A job? Does it pay?
                                Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
                                Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.


                                • #17
                                  I'm not sure I've ever had anyone around to help me when a horse was cast. Lucky timing...

                                  I worked at a barn that had a freaking enormous halter mare (had to weigh at least 1600lbs) that cast herself quite often; I looped a rope around the floor side front pastern to flip her over. That was a lot of work! At least she stayed calm while putting the rope in place, and stayed down once you flipped her over until you scrambled up against the wall (she always cast herself on her left side with her head by the door, so you couldn't get out until she was up). In a 12x12 with a 16.2 hand beefy brick-sh**house mare, there seemed precious little space when she was hauled over and scrambling up!

                                  Another option is to loop the rope over the neck down deep by the chest and withers, and do your best to pull them a little farther away from the wall, to give them more space to push off or scramble up on their own.

                                  You may be able to use the leverage of the stall front/side if the top isn't solid and you have a long enough rope...

                                  Another barn I know went the opposite of banking the stalls and in fact leaves a two foot or so boarder around the edge devoid of bedding. Horses tend to not roll all the way over in the stall, stay on the "bed" in the center for sleeping, and if they do flip over near the walls, their legs are often lower than their body and can get them out to push against the wall.
                                  I'm not really at the top of my game today. I'm not even exactly sure what game I'm supposed to be playing, in fact... or where it's being held...

                                  My horse's antics iamboyfriend.com


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Thanks for all the responses...I will definitely remember these, esp the broom poking, for the next time. I was looping the rope on the topside hind (first try) and the floor side hind (second try). He was butt to the door, so I only tried the hinds, as the fronts were far from my escape hatch. My horsey neighbor was out of town and my SO was up there feeding, so that was my "help" that I ran to fetch. And our phone hookup in the barn (that has been sitting there wired and just lacking a jack since we built the d#mn thing 3 years ago...) is getting DONE this week (no cell phone service there).

                                    Horse is a bit of a slow guy, so I'm sure he didn't learn anything. But he does seem physically none the worse for wear other than some scuffed knees.


                                    • #19
                                      Best to go with fronts if you're by yourself-that way if you can't roll them over you can at least wiggle them enough that they can get up on their own.

                                      (is it obvious that Trever gets cast, well, EVERY DAY. Multiple times per day? And frequently I'm by myself (why, oh why, do I stop in on the way by the barn to check on him at odd hours of the night?))
                                      Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                                      Sam: A job? Does it pay?
                                      Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
                                      Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.


                                      • #20
                                        I've had a couple of cast horses lately. Our (incredibly strange) indoor arena, which is really a stripped-out huge old cow barn, has a center divider that supports the roof. How's that for handy? Guess we are lucky to have indoor space at all, but still -- a center divider? Not only a riding nuisance (one can do figure 8s but not circles), but also a nuisance in other ways.

                                        Why oh why do horses tend to roll so darn CLOSE to things? At least 50% of the floor space in the arena is not near any wall or the silly divider, but I can't tell you how many times the horses lie down near one or the other.

                                        Yesterday my yearling colt got wedged against the divider. He was quiet until I touched his hind legs, at which point he began flailing. He got himself up but he left some hair and skin.

                                        Is this the type of thing that hobble training might help? I sure would like to be more confident going for that hind end! The way he was lying and the way the divider is constructed, the hinds were definitely the legs to go for, but he was having none of it. Hate hate HATE when they get cast!
                                        Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.