Rolling Over

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?

9 thoughts on “Rolling Over

    1. Thank you, Nancy. Shiloh really puts his all into his post-ride rolls so he is especially fun to watch.

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  1. I definitely can see how watching your horse roll is a great way to access him physically. However, I had an old horse named Charles, who was too weak to get up after he rolled and he never did get up even with help. You can read my post here: https://horsesoftheozarkhills.com/a-special-place-in-my-heart/ Now whenever I see my horse rolling I get a little fright, but that’s my personal experience and I do agree that the whole process is quite amusing! I enjoy watching my horses “sniff” the ground for a place to roll!!

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    1. I can certainly understand your apprehension given your experience, Reese. I am sorry you had to go through that situation. Taking care of old horses is not for the feight of heart, for sure. When a horse is able to fully enjoy a good roll, I always take it as a good sign and something to appreciate.

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  2. When I was a kid they used to say that for every time the horse rolled over it was worth $100. So over three times was $300 . My horse loves to roll and usually gets back and forth at least 4 times. So he’s worth $400!🤣

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    1. LOL. Well after seeing your horse ride through the forest on that recent video clip shown on your blog, I am guessing your horse is worth more than $400! I had never heard that saying before- funny!

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      1. Yes he is worth more than $400. He has 3 good gaits and he is trained to an advanced level. He is 15 now so I guess he could be considered a school master. And to me he is PRICELESS 😄

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  3. You got some great pictures! I love watching horses roll over. It looks like it brings them so much happiness! It is pretty amazing since they weigh so much. I can barely roll over and get myself back up!

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