If you’ve ever seen a cast horse, it’s an image that you’re not likely to forget. And if you’ve never seen a cast horse, then you should arm yourself with knowledge so that you’re prepared in case the situation should ever occur. Knowing what to do when a horse is cast can help to keep both yourself and the horse safe.
A horse can become “cast” when he lies down, rolls over, or otherwise puts himself in a position where his legs are so close to the stall wall that he cannot move or get up. Without the aid of his legs, the horse will be powerless, and many horses panic in this situation, thrashing about and kicking at the stall wall.
If you come across a cast horse, the best thing that you can do is to get the help of at least one additional person and calm the horse until the help arrives. Unless you’re working with a very small pony, you won’t be able to move a cast horse on your own. It can be a good idea to have a list of people you can call on for help in emergencies like this one posted in your tack room.
You’ll need to use extreme caution when entering a stall where a horse is cast; remember that the horse will often panic, so he might not register your presence right away. Stay clear of his hooves and attempt to calm him with your voice. If you can safely pat his neck to reassure him, then do so.
Once you have additional help, you will need to set about moving the cast horse. Stay away from the horse’s hooves; a good safety rule is to keep yourself behind the horse’s back so that you cannot be accidentally kicked if the horse should start thrashing again. If possible, try to grab onto the horse’s mane to pull the front portion of his body forward into the center of the stall. As soon as you have moved the horse, you and your helper will need to stand back out of kicking range, as he’ll likely thrash about in attempting to get to his feet.
If the horse is on his back or side with his legs pressed up into the wall, then you will need to get a rope around his feet to help pull him over so that his legs are in the center of the stall. You and a helper will need to each carefully toss a length of the rope over the hooves that are closest to the wall. Once you’ve hooked the rope over the hooves, pull steadily at the same time to help flip the horse so that he can get his legs under him again. Be ready to move out of the way the instant that the horse is positioned in a way that he can get up.
After you’ve freed the horse, check him over thoroughly for signs of injury. Monitor him for the next few days to make sure that he hasn’t sustained any injuries from the ordeal.
Seeing a cast horse is a frightening experience, but if you stay calm and use caution then you can free him safely.
Image Source: www.flickr.com/photos/22280677@N07
Original Source: http://blog.classic-equine.com/2014/03/freeing-a-cast-horse