How your horse rolls tells you things you need to know
Most people don’t want their horses to roll because they usually get really dirty from doing it. I certainly love seeing my horses looking clean and shiny after I’ve done all the work to get them that way, but I know it’s better for me to see them rolling.
WHY? There are a few reasons.
When a horse rolls he’s often doing his own chiropractic work by self-adjusting his body. He can only do that by the force of laying, twisting and rolling. If you’ve just finished riding (and your horse is completely dry) and as soon as you turn him out he rolls, he may be trying to adjust his own body. Hopefully he succeeds. They often do. Sometimes he’s trying to massage himself because he’s sore. OR, he could just like to roll after a ride.
When you see your horse roll, pay attention to the details.
- Is it effortless? It should be.
- Does he turn over on both sides? He should be able to and want to, and do it with no struggle. If he can’t, there may be an issue you need to look into.
- Does he stay on one side longer than the other? Take notice to see if he does that regularly and consider why.
- Does he lay down and roll on one side, then get up, then lay down and roll on the other side? This is probably an indication that he’s not comfortable enough or strong enough to roll over, which is not good.
- Does he shake really hard after he’s back up? I know this will depend upon what type of soil or ground he’s on, but does the shaking seem appropriate and normal for him?
- If your horse is in a pasture with other horses, does he roll fairly close to other horses? If so, that would indicate that he doesn’t feel threatened by the other horses, which is good!
- Keep in mind that most horses will roll if they are damp or wet. If your horse doesn’t roll after a workout or a bath/hosing and he’s damp or wet when you turn him loose, he may have some sort of pain issue that makes it too uncomfortable for him to roll.