Believe it or not, horses can be silly enough to get themselves stuck laying down in their stalls. This is called “being cast”. Most horses, when they find themselves in this position, go into panic mode and can be a real danger to rescue. NEVER try to free your horse alone! If you get hurt, she certainly won’t call for help!


If you have a horse that keeps doing this and you cannot keep her without her being stalled, you can take steps to prevent the incident. Bank bedding in a steep slope all along the stall walls. The banks have to be quite large but this is VERY effective. I personally had an orphan who kept getting cast until I stumbled upon this trick!

You can also spend some money and install strips of rubber or boards about 2-3 feet up from the bottom of your stall. This gives your horse something for his feet to get purchase against and push himself away from the wall.


Always stay behind the horse’s back, never on the same side as her legs/feet. If the horse is positioned up against the side of the stall where the door is located, open the door and talk to the horse, making sure you have her attention. Once you think the horse is paying attention to you, stroke her lightly to make sure she really does realize you are there, and to see if she’s going to react violently to your touch.

The first thing to try is to move the front end of the horse more toward the center of the area. The best way to accomplish this without damaging your horse, is to have a couple people grab big chunks of mane, and try to pull her diagonally away from the wall. Some articles recommend haltering the horse, and pulling from the halter. This often causes nerve or spinal cord injury and really is not a method that should be used.

If necessary, after pulling the head of the horse away from the wall (often this alone will do the trick), several people can also grab the tail and pull the butt away. DO NOT grab the tail on the tail bone. Also, you must keep the tail aligned with the horse’s spine. You CANNOT try to lift the horse or pull upward on the tail.

If these do not work, you will have to try the more dangerous method.

1. Loop two longe lines or other long, soft ropes around the fore and rear fetlocks on the side opposite the direction of the roll. (these would be the limbs closest to the stall floor if the horse’s legs are toward the wall)

2. Standing in the stall doorway or other avenue of escape, pull evenly on both the longe lines to bring the legs simultaneously over his trunk.

3. As the horse begins to roll past his withers, drop the lines and leave the stall, as she’s liable to leap to her feet, and you don’t want to be in her way.