Horses Love To Roll! Benefits galore!
By Clare Long
Rolling, for a horse, has many important benefits!
I let my horses-in-training roll, after every schooling session.
I teach my students and assistants to do the same.
Here are the reasons I believe that letting your horse roll after every ride is so beneficial:
1. Horses LOVE to roll!
It is extremely enjoyable for them, especially if they are wet or sweaty.
For this emotional and psychological reason alone, even if there were no other benefits, I let my horses roll after every session. It is a fantastic, instant reward, for any schooling session.
2. Rolling is an excellent way for a horse to naturally adjust themselves chiropractic chiropractically. Especially if they can roll all the way over, you know they are benefiting from a good, strenuous roll.
Please be sure that your horse does not lay down to roll, too close to the arena fence.
If you know that your horse does not roll all the way over, it is fine. However, if your horse regularly rolls over, they can get themselves "cast" in the fence.
This means that they do not have the ability to easily get up, because they do not have enough room to get their front feet out in front of them, which is necessary for them to rise.
This can be disastrous, and is best avoided at all costs. Usually, a horse can "wiggle" themselves around enough, to get far enough away from the fence, to get up. However, if they can not...eeek. Some panic. Some wait for a human to help them.
Sometimes, you can motivate them to wiggle, and get up, by clapping your hands, or motivating them verbally.
Sometimes, if you put a halter on, and pull on the lead rope, you can get them far enough away from the fence to get up.
Sometimes, in the worst of cases, you need a helper, to wrap a rope around the outside front end and hind end, to physically "flip" the horse over. Of course, all of these scenarios are dangerous to the horse and to yourself, and can be avoided by monitoring where your horse decides to position themselves for their post schooling session roll.
3. And that leads me to another benefit.
If you let your horse roll in the arena, right after you pull off their tack, you can better monitor where they roll. If instead you put them in a stall, they will roll there, and have a higher chance of getting cast or stuck. They are also very restricted in the stall or in an attached run, and therefore can not get the full benefits of a healthy, satisfying arena roll.
Side Note: I personally am NOT ok with horses living in stalls.
I feel extremely adamant about that, for many reasons, rolling being just one reason of many. Therefore, at our barn, the horses all live in giant paddocks with big walk in shelters. This way, when they choose to roll, they are much less unlikely to choose a spot close to the fenceline, and are less likely to get cast. I HIGHLY recommend that your horse lives in a large space, with plenty of room for movement, and always with an accessible shelter, to get out of the sun or rain. I believe that is all I can think of for now, regarding the benefits of rolling.
For more helpful hints please feel free to click on the link below.
Extra hug and a kiss from me to your horses!