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by Downunder Horsemanship

Learn How to Handle a Horse That Stops and Rolls on the Ground During a Ride

A horse that lies down and rolls while you’re riding him is very dangerous. “If you’re not quick enough to get out of the saddle, he can crush you and seriously injure you,” Clinton warns.

Horses most often lie down during rides when they get hot and sweaty and want to roll in the sand to itch themselves and cool down. Or, you’ll be guiding your horse through a water crossing on the trail and he’ll decide to take a quick dunk in the water to cool off.

“The biggest mistake people make with horses that roll is to let the horse think it’s OK. For example, they’ll be riding the horse and he’ll be feeling hot and sweaty and will drop to the ground and roll. Rather than making him feel wrong for rolling, people step back and let him roll all he wants and then patiently wait for him to get to his feet. So in the horse’s mind, he thinks it’s OK to drop to the ground anytime he feels like it,” Clinton says. “Teach your horse that rolling is unacceptable by making the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult.”

In the training guide, “Lying Down on the Trail,” Clinton explains how to safely handle the situation and how to prevent it from happening in the future. Read the article on the Downunder Horsemanship website.