Helping the Cast Horse

Last Updated on February 21, 2022 by Allison Price

Cast horses are horses that have fallen too close to a wall or fence and become stuck in a difficult position. Cast horses can panic or struggle and some may simply stay in the cast until help arrives. Do not approach a horse that is so distressed you are unable to get close enough to him. You may be able help if the horse is calm and there is enough space for you to work.

Helpful humans are at risk of serious injury if they work around cast horses. Avoid working with a cast horse indoors. As soon as the horse starts to move, get out of his stall quickly and away from him.

Helping the Cast Horse

Horses must be able to raise their front legs and get under them to stand. Rolling him over is possible if he has fallen against a fence or stall wall. Talk to your horse slowly and place a soft rope around his hind fetlock. Then, pull the rope to turn the horse. You don’t want to tie the rope as you want it drop off as soon as the horse begins to rise.

Horses in an awkward position may not need to be rolled, but they might need to be moved a few inches so that they can get up. A handler might be able grab the horse’s tail, slide his legs just enough to allow him to move his hind legs. Another option is to pull the horse’s shoulders away from the wall and wrap a soft rope around his neck. The soft rope should be tied behind his ears and jaw. Thick muscle mass protect the trachea. You should not pull on the horse’s spine with a lead shank attached.

These methods won’t allow you to move your horse more than a few inches. If the horse doesn’t get up after your efforts, you should call a veterinarian. You shouldn’t use excessive force or try to pull the horse by pulling it with a vehicle. Human safety is paramount, but you don’t want the horse to be injured by applying excessive pressure at the wrong angle.