Drop and Roll

Drop and Roll

This is a time of year when Zelda gets hot and itchy. Always one to enjoy a roll after a ride, she sometimes barely waits until I get her saddle off.

This is what happened on Saturday. After a vigorous and exciting hunt on a warm November day, I dismounted in the host’s sand arena. Another horse, already untacked, dropped to the sand and rolled enthusiastically.

Great idea! Thought Zelda, who began to paw at the inviting sand, sniffing for the right place. Of course, she was still fully tacked!

Quickly I unfastened her five-point breast plate and pulled the saddle off before she could act on the impulse.

Seconds after the saddle left her back she was indulging in the best roll. Given the state of her saturated coat she managed to coat herself in sand. But she looked so pleased with herself!

I’d thought about updating her trace clip before the hunt, but since I’m unlikely to hunt again this season, I opted to leave her coat. It gives me a lot more flexibility on blanketing options if she can keep herself warm.

Zelda looking pleased with herself
Zelda looking very pleased with herself. I’m sure she felt much better!
Zelda is tired
Although she would never admit it when the hounds were running, Zelda was quite tired when we got back. Of course, not too tired to eat.
Covered in sand
You can imagine how good it felt when I took her home for a bath.

Does your horse roll? I’ve never had Zelda start to go down while I was still on her, but I’m sure she’s thought about it. She gave a couple of good shakes during the checks yesterday as she was quite steamy.

2 thoughts on “Drop and Roll

  1. First thing when I’d enter the barn to take Raven out of his stall is I’d take him into the covered arena and encourage him to roll. He almost always did. I trained him, too, to roll on command. Their body language is quite clear when they’re about to roll, so I when I’d see the preliminary pawing, I’d say, “roll” and make a circle in the air with a pointed finger. It took, what, maybe three incidents for him to catch on. From then on, all I’d have to do is cue him and say roll and he’d drop. I’d even do it on a lunge line, which came in handy when he’d been in a trailer for a long drive. We’d take him out, find a nice spot for him to roll and cue him to do so.
    This came in handy when we’d trailer for a while…being able to cue him to roll, even on a lunge line, made things a lot easier.
    I think, with a horse, any horse, if you’re going to keep him in a stall overnight, he needs to get unkinked from being cooped up. They’re big animals and being in a 12×12 box stall, even if they lay down in at night, isn’t big enough to allow a horse to stretch or move around. It must be like sitting in an airplane seat…not much room to do anything else but sit in a certain position.

    Raven would always take three tries before he went all the way over. And, unlike your girl Zelda, Raven would intentionally rub his poll in the sand, so he’d literally be covered with sand from ears to tail.
    The one thing I always, always waited and watched for was the good body shake after he got up. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d been told that a horse that doesn’t shake after a roll is rolling because he’s colicking.

    1. Zelda usually shakes but she was so pleased with herself after coating both sides of her body with sand, that she left it on. She rolled again after we got home and she got hosed off. No colic, thankfully.

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