Do you like to watch horses roll? I find it amazing and amusing. Think how strong you have to be to be able to get up, get down and flip sides over your back when you are around 1,000 pounds. As I marvel as a horse’s physical prowess, I find the antics just plain fun to watch. All the wriggling, shaking, facial expressions, grunts and more.
In addition to the enjoyment factor, I like to watch my horses roll to help me assess their physical condition. For example, I was clued into Bear’s arthritis several years go when I saw him limping one time right after rising. Interestingly, when I first saw this behavior, I had not yet noticed a difference in his performance under saddle or elsewhere. I had no idea that he was struggling with the development of a hind-limb lameness until I saw him take those stilted steps after getting up. On a similar note, I had a pony named Pumpkin Spice who would roll, but not flip from side to side over his back. He would go down, wriggle around on one side, get up and then wriggle around on the other side. Turned out he had some back issues that improved with regular chiropractic work, and eventually allowed him to apparently roll over comfortably.
May 1st was a wonderful weather day where I live. Perfect for spending time with a horse. So I tacked up Shiloh and off we went for a little ride. I know that post-ride, Shiloh almost always likes to take a roll once he is untacked, rubbed down and released back to his own devices (with his fly mask on for bug protection). I had my phone handy so I could capture this rolling sequence shown below.
What do you like most about watching a horse roll?