Horse Class Logo Image
Why Do Horse Roll Image

Have you ever finished grooming or bathing your horse, then turned them back out in their field only to watch in dismay as they choose the dirtiest area, drop down, and Roll!

A few moments later, they pop back up, shake off, and saunter away looking smug. Meanwhile all you can do is shake your head, think of the last thirty minutes you wasted cleaning them, and wonder “Why do they have to do that!”

There is a reason behind most behavior, and rolling is no exception. In this video, I will explain three physical reasons why horses roll and what rolling may do for the horse emotionally as well.

Click play to watch the video below and if you want to learn more about horse behavior, watch last week’s episode on Equine Self-Soothing Behaviors.

Clean your horse after the roll with All-Natural Grooming Products from Ecolicious – Click Here to Shop


Daily exercises for an immovable seat, steady hands, and a happier horse

Your information is safe with us, learn how we use and process data in our Privacy Policy.

Better riding in 7 days (FREE Mini Course)

Daily exercises for an immovable seat, steady hands, and a happier horse

Your information is safe with us, learn how we use and process data in our Privacy Policy.

Related Courses

Enrollment is now closed.
Instructed by: Callie King
A comprehensive program on horse behavior, training, and riding. Ride with balance and learn to communicate effectively with your horse. Learn riding in a completely new way!

Related Posts



134 Responses

  1. My horse rolls after he has been washed and always after a ride.

    His self soothing behaviour of choice is cribbing. Wilson lives on 12 acres of land, some trees and a shelter with 2 other geldings. I don’t show him and only ride in our small arena or outside, always close to his pasture mates. As soon as to turn him out he walks over to a post and cribs … he also cribs when I just come out to see how he is doing, give him a carrot or cookie and all away … he will go crib again. He doesn’t do it for a long time but he does do it all the time. My horse is exposed to none of the things that the experts say cause cribbing … I have just accept that he does it since the solutions are not anything kind. Any ideas?

    1. Janet, I have heard, although not scientifically proven, that there could be a genetic contributor to cribbing. We do have a horse here that cribs and unfortunately it is not controlled by a collar but they do help many horses stop cribbing!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  2. The lesson horse I ride always want to roll when he is got the saddle on, have to keep an eye on him and distract him before he rolls.
    I am wondering if he gets itchy, it also happens after we do kids pony rides, when we are leading him with a child on his back.

  3. Thanks for the interesting video! I have four horses and only one rolls after EVERY ride. I don’t think she’s stressed because our rides are quiet trail rides with other horses and riders she trusts. I’ve always thought she does it to re-groom herself after having tack removed and having been curried & brushed. She’s a funny girl, full of personality and I think she thinks she knows best how to complete her grooming!

  4. I let my horses roll. When we go out for a round pen lunge, and he wants to roll first, halter off, and it’s okay with me. When he’s done we get on with the lesson. I do believe that it is a stress release and important for the state of mind.
    So far mine hasn’t tried this, but I’ve seen horses drop and roll in a creek or lake. Poor rider has to jump off, why there?

    1. JoJo, I think horses in those situations go to roll because the water can feel really good – especially on a hot day!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  5. Hi Callie – really enjoy all your videos. I was interested to see my horse pushing out his top lip the other day when the farrier was shoeing him. I have only ever seen him doing this before when enjoying a good scratch but on this occasion I know he was uncomfortable at the time as he has arthritis and struggles when his hind leg is being lifted. Would he do this as a pain release?


    1. Bev, it is a little hard to say without knowing more…does he seem to have trouble standing when the farrier works on him?

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

    1. Heidi, first – do you think the behavior could be any discomfort? We just want to make sure they are enjoying the grooming and not feeling uncomfortable.

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

      1. No I do not think he is enjoying it. He does not like his belly brushed nor his lower legs ~~ especially with a curry. I have switched to a softer curry brush (years ago). He does not like his hooves done ~~ back. He does not like his saddle put on (close contact) which has been fitted for him by a trainer. His vet has assessed him (Spring) and found him healthy.

  6. My horse often rolls after getting sweaty from a ride. I have also noticed that there are 5 other horses where I board, and often when one horse rolls at least 2 or 3 of the other horses take turns rolling as well and often in almost the same spot. Why is that?

    1. Diane, rolling is also a social behavior – they have a specific order usually they will roll in!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  7. The horses I ride roll after they have been let out in the arena. It’s actully enjoyable watching 3 or 4 horses rolling at the same time!

    Another horse I ride will always roll after we hose them down after a ride, and I’ve had him roll during the hose off!

  8. Hi. Thanks for the video. In addition to the reasons for rolling you offered in your video, I also understand horses roll after a bath to remove the scent of soap in order to smell like the earth because, as prey animals, by smelling like the earth, they aren’t as easily detected by predators using their sense of smell. This seems to make sense to me.

  9. I always thought of it as a collaborative effort: The horse doesn’t roll to get muddy, but because of what happens when the mud dries and falls off. It takes with it loose hair, dead skin, chokes parasites, and binds old sweat. This is particularly apparent when there is a muddy spot (rather than mud everywhere): My horse should be dirty, but he looks pristine. First he rolls in the mud, then when it’s dried, he rolls in the grass to get it off.

    My duty is to use by brushes to hasten the falling-off of the dried mud. Teamwork! 🙂

  10. Thank you for your videos! I notice that McGraw ALWAYS rolls when I turn him loose in pasture. He is in a LARGE turn out (barnyard and adjoining dry lot 24/7, but when he gets to the pasture areas he always rolls right away. Also, he loves to roll in loose dirt (no surprise there) but will capitalize on any chance when he is on a lead.

  11. Every time I go out to see the horses. One horse in particular urinates. I have always wondered about that.

    1. Many horses that I know will urinate when they think they are going to be fed. Perhaps that horse is hoping you will produce some food.

  12. I don’t own a horse but I know the handler’s feelings. I have bathed several horses (several times per horse), after taking lessons, or after a trail ride (being retired I have lots of free time). I tend to think that it is just a way for them to express their happiness, while I/we look on in dismay. Also happens with pet dogs, and far more often. They just feel refreshed.

  13. My horse loves to roll when I let her run loose in our indoor arena. She also rolls when she starts out on the lunge line. She has 2 spots in the arena where she prefers to roll. It’s quite funny to watch!

  14. Agree with your observations:

    Fly , sand is abrasive natural cleanser

    Mine roll very exhuberantly daily …more so if missed
    A turnout & esp if just ridden

  15. Rolls after bath..ride and my colt at 2 years old likes to roll when someone was on him…
    Another behavior is pawing..
    All i can figure is he is saying lets go because he is tied at this pont

  16. For the past few months, my horse has been on stall rest with limited turnout. For exercise, I handwalk him in an outdoor arena with sandy footing. It has become my horse’s daily routine to start off our walking session with a nice roll. As soon as we enter the arena, I allow him to place his nose down close to the ground and walk until he has sniffed out the perfect location. He then rolls a few times, shakes off, and is ready to go to work 🙂 I think it really relaxes him, and I’m sure it feels great!

  17. My horses roll when they’re wet or damp, including from sweat. Also, if one rolls often another will roll in that spot as soon as it’s vacated so I expect it’s “contagious” like a yawn is to us. One behavior that puzzles me is that normally all four of my horses will poop or pee when they believe I am coming to feed them. I know that they expect to be fed because they will gather from their one acre dry lot to their “feed expectation” locations after they’ve relieved themselves (except one mare who generally proceeds to her feeding area then urinates).

  18. I would love to know why horses lick the stall walls, especially, Ive noticed, after a treat, like peppermints.

    Thanks Callie… your videos

  19. Hi
    I have noticed that one of my mares does a strange stretching routine when I appear with the breakfast buckets
    She stretches out her front legs and kind of bows down and stretches rather like a cat or some kind of salutation yoga move
    I have often wondered why
    Any ideas ?
    Hope it means she’s super happy

    1. I have one mare in my herd of three mares and a gelding that also does a cat stretch periodically. I haven’t been able to tie it to any triggers though.

    2. My Morgan does this bow also usually when I turn up after he has been standing around. Particularly when I’m doing the girth up, I now wait for him to bow before I commit to girthing. I know his muscle can get tight , so I like to do massage & facia release .

    3. Hi Tracy, I felt I had to comment on the fun way your mare stretches. My sister’s Arab does the same thing! (she calls it a yoga downward dog) He started randomly, but my sister encouraged it, so now he does it quite frequently. He had recent surgery away from home, and did his stretch the moment he saw her arrive. Also the chiropractor told her it was a good thing. Maybe your mare is appreciating her breakfast!

      1. It certainly looks like an appreciative stretch and I agree with the brilliant name but as Belle’s stretches are always associated with food it shall now be known as downward facing hog

    4. Yes mine does that as well, or used to. less so now. It was often accompanied by a yawn. I wondered if it was relaxation pre feed or stress related (is she going to ask me to work!)

    5. I love the name
      But as Belle always does it in association with food it shall now be know as downward facing hog ❤️

    6. My boy does the same stretch as soon as I pick up a brush to groom him before a ride. I have a video of him doing it but don’t know how to post it here.

    7. My horse was appearenty trained to do this in Spain. He has stopped that behaviour now. Sometimes horses are trained this trick to make it easy to mount.

      1. Great point here Raaga, we actually had a horse in our Training Journals program that Callie worked with and taught to lay down from using his urge to roll!

        -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

    8. Tracy, as long as it is part of her ‘normal’ range of behavior probably not something to be too concerned about! Certain stretches can be indicative of discomfort but if you aren’t having any behavioral issues I don’t think it should be a source of concern!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

      1. I think that sounds sensible Julia
        It seems to have become a little habit but as it doesn’t appear harmful in any way and is always in association with anticipation of being fed I don’t think I will worry
        I have had Belle since the day she was born and I haven’t meant to train her to do it but who knows maybe she did it once by chance then I fed her so she tried it again
        It would be ironic if she had trained to do it of her own volition …if only everything happened so easily

  20. I have often wondered if a horse rolls after a bath because his skin my feels a little irritated or tight? I know my dog used to roll around after a bath and never did it otherwise.. I agree that the rolling can mean several things. Thank you for the video

  21. My gelding rolls after a bath like most but I have also noticed his rug can be dusty if I’m a little late getting out to him in the mornings so I assume he has got a bit hot and rolling may relieve the heat until I remove them for the day – not sure if this is the case!

    Enjoy your videos and training tips Callie – come visit Australia one day! ☺️

  22. Normally mine will roll randomly. I’ve always thought it helped scratch an itch, or help with fly prevention if he chooses a muddy spot, or some other innocuous reason. Since we’ve had the colic issues (surgery 2 weeks ago followed by an impaction colic a couple of days ago) I’ve been reminded that it also can be an indicator of pain or discomfort. So, now I’m a little paranoid about rolling!

  23. My horses often roll when I take their covers off. They are padlocked 24 hours a day and are covered in the colder months.
    I take their covers off during in fine weather for the day..
    They will often paw the ground to create a director and it often triggers every horse to roll one after the other in the same spot.

  24. I started leasing my lovely lady last September and she would only roll in the arena if another horse was present. After about 2 months of spending time with her 3-5 days a week for about 3 hours each time I noticed we were developing a bond and all of a sudden she was rolling with just me in the arena. I know she rolls for sheer enjoyment! One day when we were just hanging out she actually laid down and allowed me to approach her and pet her. Now there are days that when I go to get her out of the field I actually can put her halter and lead rope on while she’s lying down. It didn’t take long to build that bond and now we have such a huge love and respect for each other. The roll was the first step to that trust.

  25. Our chestnut gelding had a long lesson today, in the hot humidity of Alabama on this first day of Summer. I bathed him down, squeegeed him, let him get almost dry, reapplied his fly spray, nose screen…..and he couldn’t wait to roll.
    It’s fine. I look at it as his being a horse. Every time I turn him out I tell him, “Good job, now go be a horse ……and he does!

  26. My pony rolls after being form or a bath and definitely when losing her winter coat.
    Another behaviour that’s just started is swinging her head at me to nip and grinding her teeth when I’m leading her round the school before getting on. She hasn’t done this quite so deliberately before, although she has always been sensitive when girthing.

    I’ve always understood teeth grinding to be pain related. She’s been checked recently by vet, physio and saddle fitter. Is it just she knows what’s coming and objecting before we start because it’s hard at the moment? We only do very short bursts of collection/flexion and then back to more relaxed movements and lots of long rein and stretching in between. She seems happy enough once I’m on board and we’re working!

  27. Hi my horse always rolls after taking his rug off. If he has a swim at the beach he loves to roll in the sand. He also yawns alot sometimes when we are sitting together in the paddock. He will yawn right into my face. Just wondered if this was a good thing or not. Thank you.

  28. I have never seen my mare lay down in the paddock, I know she does in her stall because of the shavings on her rug but never in the paddock

  29. Hello! My 3 yo connemara mare is a curious, social and quite laid back pony. Very steady temperament and unstressed. She loves to roll whenever she gets into a newely cleaned box, no matter If it’s her own box or a neighboirs. She immediately lies down and rolls. Every time…. Very funny and I’m still not sure why she does it.

  30. My horse rolls predominantly I. Warmer weather. Usually after a ride and or rinse. I always felt the dirt was a fly deterrent.

  31. thank you so much Callie for this video. you know it is rather funny that this is this weeks vlog, as i always get a great giggle out of my horse’s ‘rolling behavior’ after a ride.
    It is rather cute to say the least, and unlike the other horses in the herd, my ‘Dundee’s roll is different.
    1st of all, he will get down as most do, and then hen will roll and roll and then rather then get up and lay down on the other side to roll, he will sit on his badonkadonk and spin to the other side and then roll. We have had some great giggles at watching him roll, and this little butt spin to go to the other side.
    Thank you for all the information you provide.

  32. My horse likes to roll after a ride under the hot sun, understandable. Also, I notice, over the winter, he was very happy to roll right after his blanket was taken off, of course, in the indoor riding arena and followed by a little power snooze. In the spring, to relieve itches from shedding.

  33. I’ve never known a horse like my present boy to love rolling. He’s never stabled but does so at all typical times – after rug removal, after riding, after being hosed in hot Aussie weather and anytime in between for no apparent reason and even when rugged. He and his mate have made huge sand indents in both their paddocks and he adores mud especially. His deep joyful grunting while he rolls over and over can be heard from a great distance. Then often he takes off afterwards bucking and farting with glee. It’s hilarious and I love watching him so obviously enjoying it.

  34. My Pintabian gelding likes to roll, as you mentioned, after being ridden and after a bath.
    I have a question on another subject. My guy is very skittish on cloudy, windy days. I have been trying to work with him on this, but I just feel like I’m getting nowhere. Is this a common thing with horses and their flight instinct or is it more of a specific breed thing, as some of my friends have told me? What are some things I can do to help get him past this?

    1. Hi Sharon, many horses are very affected by the weather and although we can work on our relationship with our horses but it rarely will go away completely…The best way we can handle this to just to ride the horse that comes out of the barn that day and plan accordingly!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  35. One of the horses I look after rolls in his stall when he comes in for dinner. The shavings are always fresh and clean, so maybe it’s a mini massage!

  36. Hi Callie. Always enjoy your videos. Thank you. I notice a lot of owners at my barn let their horses roll in the arena after a ride- this is not my preference and I do not allow my mare to roll inside. She likes to roll sometimes when I turn her out after. She also has thing thing where she rolls her tongue and twists it, almost upside down and sometimes blinks and rolls here eyes too. I think this is her telling me she’s bored sometimes or a stress relief thing maybe. What do you think this could be?

  37. Two of my miniature horses roll immediately after eating their grain. Every time without fail. All four of them roll right after a bath. Regarding odd behavior that I have always wondered about, I have one who does the oddest thing when given a peppermint. These are the soft chewable peppermints. Rather than chewing it, she lowers her head to the ground (her chin is almost touching the ground), and she sucks on the peppermint. She did this with any type of treat as a baby, but now it is mostly just with the peppermint that she gets every night after her grain. I have asked several vets and trainers about this behavior and none of them have ever seen it before in other horses.

  38. Noticed my grey Arab rolling as normal after a bath, a sponge down and when he gets his rug off in winter. Also after the rain if he’s not rugged – winter and summer! The most interesting thing I have noticed is that my part Arab and ex stud will push my grey Arab out of the roll spot to roll over it. Wondered if it was similar to a dog peeing on top of the last dog pee to leave their own scent?

    1. I think the order of rolling in the herd is due to social logistics!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  39. Hi just a thought on rolling . I think rolling may be a way for a horse to hide his scent , since he is a pray animal . Just as a dog a relative of a wolf rolls in the stinkiest stuff to hide it’s scent from pray animals .

  40. I’ve often wondered why my 8 year old mare DOESN’T roll. I’ve had her 3 years.

    For the second point, self soothing behaviours. I was delighted yesterday when she started chewing wood instead of taking a snap at me when I did her girth up. She has previously drawn blood, I understand how horrible it must be -like a tight bra and all that so I do it up in several stages, she has no objection to the saddle being placed on her back.

    1. Yikes Georgie! Is she really girthy? Have you had your saddle fit evaluated recently? Or evaluated for the possibility of ulcers?

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

      1. Yes, and yes. SMS fitter (uk). Regarding ulcers, the vet was going to do her last winter but it was -8degrees C and I wasn’t happy at her being without feed for 16hours in that degree of cold. And shut in stable when she’s not used to that either. She has ad lib hay and 24/7 access to field grass /stable shelter with a companion/s. No grain just soaked beet+chaff with forage balancer. hay in trailer pre riding out. Which is pretty much the regime for keeping ulcers at bay? Thanks. . . . .
        (I really felt that all the lead up requirements for the gastric examination would bring in ulcers even if they weren’t there before – especially the extensive starvation when horses are trickle feeders partly because they need to protect the upper gastric lining)

        1. We’ve had horses like this at the barn. We just went ahead and treated for ulcers without the scope. And they got better and weren’t girth any more. 1 had a recurrence and we treated and then modified the diet.

          1. Interesting, worth considering. My hesitations would be around a) the big cost b) the damage to the digestive system of long term medication. Ditto humans where there is also a problem with digestive damage. Maybe VV a) and b)!

          2. Treatment doesn’t necessarily need to be long term. More damage done if it goes untreated.

        2. Hi Georgie, I agree with you about the preparation for scoping to see if there are ulcers. I would not put my horse through that. Also your feeding regime sounds fine. I would get a good osteopath to look at her. There are some specific points where they can press to determine the likelihood of ulcers. My boy was girthy just on one side and the osteopath pressed on a point in his chest, which released a tight muscle and he’s much better now. He will occasionally still bite the rail, though he knows not to bite me.

  41. Horses may also roll to cover their scent to confuse predators.

    Why do horses throw their head in a circular motion as an expression of something?

  42. There are a few situations that always cause my boy to roll.
    1. When I lead him onto the sand arena to lunge him.
    2. If I take him to the river or the beach he will roll in the water and on the sand.
    3. If he gets wet in the rain he will always roll, usually in the muddiest place.
    4. If I leave his night rug on too long and he gets hot, he will roll.
    5. When I put new shavings down, he will paw at them then roll.

  43. My 2 year old filly will roll after she has been disciple after doing a non desired behavior almost as if she is throwing herself on the ground like a toddler and throwing a “fit”. I laugh every time she does it because she consistently does it but she also rolls for the normal horse reasons, i. e. it feels good, to stretch, etc.

  44. Both horses roll after any type of workout. Also in the winter when I let them out of the barn in the morning, one horse always has a roll before going to the hay rack. One behaviour I’ve noticed over the years with my horses is a game they play together we’ve named the “lip game.” They often do it with the fence between them. They’ll try to grab the side of the the other’s lip and kind of stand like that holding it, and then one let’s go and tris to nip the other one’s front legs close to the hoof. It’s hilarious to watch and reminds me of a game we used to play as kids when we’d stand facing either other and one puts palms up and the other puts palms on top and one person tries to slap the back of the hand.

    1. I would be concerned if my horse continually rolled, especially if there was lots of pawing. I would put my ear to his belly to listen for gut sounds. I would call the vet if I couldn’t hear gut sounds. Other symptoms that would make me worried would be, a rapid pulse, loss of interest in food, restlessness, looking at his belly, tail swishing when there are no flies.

    2. Connie, yes it definitely can be! If you notice your horse is thrashing around and seems uncomfortable put a call into your vet immediately.

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  45. My horse rolls after a goo workout and after being in her stall for s day or 2. She has always been a roller.
    I have also heard that horses roll to mask their scent, as they are prey animals.
    My one habit my horse has is throwing her head up while she eats her grain, like she is downing a shot. Her teeth have been recently floated and is very healthy. She has always done this in the 7 yrs I have owned her. BTW, she is an Arab.

    1. Mary, I’ve never heard of that type of behavior – have you spoken with your vet about this?

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

    2. We have a horse at the barn who does this as well when eating grain (no matter the height of the bucket). He does not do this eating grass or hay.

  46. Hi Callie – I really enjoy your videos. The two horses that I ride, almost always roll after a ride, and I noticed that a number of people leaving comments also mentioned this. If we connect one of your previous videos about saddle fit with rolling after being ridden as a corrective effect or ‘yoga for horses’, I wonder if that tells us something important about the negative effects of 170+ lbs (person and tack) on the horses back? I am struggling with this issue of wanting to ride and wanting to not inflict pain on a horse.

    1. Hi Phyllis, it is important to take into consideration the fit of the saddle and equipment. Also, the balance of the rider is another important consideration. If we are balanced on the horse he can easier do his job!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

    2. What size is your horse? I am a similar weight, about 165 lbs, bigger horses are less likely to be affected by your weight. I ride a 550kg, 16.1hh thoroughbred, I don’t think my weight bothers him. However, I use a mounting block to get on as that reduces the strain on his back and I make sure I don’t just sit around on him for long periods of time. I rarely ride for more than 1 hour and would get off if I needed to stay in one place for a while.

  47. I don’t rug my horses and have noticed that they roll and cover themselves in mud when it’s particularly cold and feral weather. For warmth is my guess.

  48. I’m a new horse owner adopted my 9 yr old paint gelding from rescue shelter 10 days ago. I am boarding him he has a gelding on one side of him and a mare on the other side. For 2 days now he has been pacing up and down the fence relentlessly on the side where the mare is. I’m not sure if he is doing this because she might be in heat? The only time he stops is to eat and drink then he goes right back to pacing up and down ground is like sand from all this pacing. Don’t know how or if this behavior can or should be corrected? help please!!!!

    1. Beverly, it sounds like he hasn’t settled in yet. What was is management like before you brought him home? It could be that he just hasn’t settled in yet? Has he been around mares before?

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

    2. It is unusual that he is only pacing near the mare. You could get the vet to do a blood test to make sure he was gelded properly. I’m not sure how you would stop him though. It would be interesting to see how he would behave if they moved the mare and put another gelding on that side.

  49. Our Brumby rolls after a ride & hose down & a wash. I have also been told that a healthy horse will shake after a roll.

  50. My mare will roll with a rider if they are not quick to stop her in the process and she has gotten pretty good at dropping to roll with no warning. any ideas?

    1. Hi John, that behavior can get dangerous really fast. I would recommend only having experienced riders on her so that when she goes to roll they can tap with a whip to get her walking and going forward again.

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

    2. I’m not saying I would do it, because I think it’s a bit cruel, but I read a book about a pony that used to do that. The trainer tied the reins firmly to it’s tail when it dropped to roll and left it tied there, unable to get up, for over an hour. It was watched from a distance during this time, to ensure it didn’t injure itself and they claim it never dropped while being ridden ever again.

  51. Hi I’ve noticed quite often when my horse is tied up whilst I’m putting his saddle on, he kind of nods his head continuously like he’s trying to tell me something, he’s not distressed, it’s almost he’s telling me to hurry up , lol, he makes me laugh , thanks jackie

    1. Jackie, that could be a sign of boredom or if he is a little uncomfortable with his saddle!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  52. My horses roll after a ride, bath, and in the Winter after taking their blankets off. I believe it for self care and relaxation.

    1. Great observations Sandra! I think they can really itchy under those blankets so that might be a contributing factor too 🙂

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  53. Always after a bath or when he gets wet. I’ve always believed it was a way of drying himself off. The sand/dirt soaks up the water he can then shake and dry himself better.
    Secondly you ask about other traits. I’d love to know why my horse tilts his head opens his mouth so wide, (yawning) . Some say boredom, some say playful but would really like to know your opinion on this. My horse does it on all different occasions so not just a pinpoint reaction to one thing.
    Thanks Callie love watching your videos you explain everything so clearly .

    1. Often mistakes, heat overworking a bloodmare. Pivit on the right works best in a transition. My Working girls never bath or over heaet the Horse out of Song. Her diet was kept for a working uterious also her plant based diet which has been proven by a liecenced Vet by the groom handler, the only groom of the town of Bedford; from Bedfdord Hills She comes back to the Stable Correctly and always comes home to her post. Proven dialog. To many incorrect problems with an owners or boarded horse is unbareable. I couldn’d shave lady’s frogs down. Shen ate an entire roll.
      Is still doing lovely;
      but was shaved incorrectly
      It is a good transition for horses pivit can have riding styles when entering dressage from a country ring. Lassing to the lungline. Too much rain is to much rain. The degree of how low matters. Over worked horse are keep in there stalls in the summer the smallest box stall is my approval 9 by 10. And only let out in the evening in Florida. My horse my sleep on the hill with bent legs also grazing. Cool water is only thrown on once to blanket the horse. And graze of course. Bitting on the reins too hard is how your problem

  54. Hi guys,
    This was a good video, as usual! My horse and his paddock buddy roll a lot, pretty much every day. He usually does it after a swim or a paddle, or after getting sweaty, or after having the saddle off,nor any other time of day he wants to! The mare does it usually only to get really dirty And our clay ish soil sets like concrete, ugh! They always look soooo satisfied afterwards, too.

  55. I have never seen my horse roll, but I know she must roll once in awhile because she will have a little dirt on her withers. My husband’s horse, on the other hand, comes in almost daily from the field covered in dirt. It’s interesting that you mention chiropractic effect of rolling as the vet thinks my husband’s horse probably broke his withers at some point.
    We go camping on the beach at Assateague each Fall and all the horses love rolling in the sand. Also, when we had fresh sand in the ring a couple years ago the horses were all wanting to roll- this made for interesting lessons for a few weeks!

    As for interesting behaviors:
    My horse, Wildfire, was giving me a hard time cleaning her left front foot last year. Turned out she had an abscess in the right front, so we think she didn’t want to shift her weight onto the right to lift the left.
    There is no obvious issue in the right front foot since then, but she still gives me a hard time cleaning the left front. She will lean on the left and on me, then she will pick it up and seems to intentionally try to step on my foot. Eventually she will just pick it up like “no big deal!” I’m not sure if this is just a game for attention at this point-?
    A side note- a couple of years ago I had taught her to “shake” like a dog- she will lift the leg up and forward and hand it to me. She does this with the left leg- and does it willingly with no hesitation about putting more weight on her right. This is part of why I think her behavior while cleaning feet is either a bad habit, or a game for attention. I have started giving her an immediate treat (behind me over my back while I hold her foot) if I don’t have to fight with her over it and she just picks it up for me.
    (She is too smart for her own good sometimes, and can be ornery, and loves doing tricks for treats!)

  56. I wonder if rolling has something connected to their primitive instinct of disguising their smell from predators? great videos – the horse i ride, sometimes will raise his head and appears to be playing with his bit (we call this a teenager playing with his mobile phone) because it does seem to be when we are just plodding along so could he be bored? Also, he may do a little dance as we are going along, almost like he is inpatient and wants to get moving? He is a huge 17.2 ex police horse and a big softy but these little habits are peculiar to him.

    1. Hi Karen, it is a little difficult to say with out knowing him and knowing more, but I always recommend to rule out any physical issues with his teeth, back, or perhaps saddle fit!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  57. as many said after a bath but one of the behaviors that I always wondered about was at times. Just before feeding as I’m getting it ready my mare will open her mouth really wide. Almost like a yawn but not a yawn it looks more like she has something stuck in her throat and is trying to get it out. Of course that is not what is happening. Any clue on this behavior. ? Thanks Lori

  58. Thunder rolls to keep bugs off him, but also after he has a stressful situation. If he’s been running around like a crazy thing he’ll roll a couple of times, shake and then settle back to eating. Like a calming tool. Thank you

    1. Ellie, most likely it is nothing to worry about! Does the horse exhibit any undesirable behaviors during the lesson?

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  59. My pony rolls in her hay before eating it..shes such a weirdo. Any idea why she might do this. She lives outside in her paddock 24/7 and so her hay is given to her on the ground not in a hay net. She does this regardless of whether she has a rug on or not.

  60. My horse Shenandoah comes into his clean stall after being outside for over 12 hours and rolls. We have anti-cast strips on the walls and we bank the shavings to guard against his getting cast. He also has a sand pile in his paddock. He prefers the stall for rolling. It always makes us a bit nervous.

    1. Hi Sandy, that is always a fear when a horse enjoys rolling in his stall. Does he have to be stalled? It does sound like you take every precaution to hopefully prevent him from getting cast.

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  61. Cisco, my 19 year old gelding, rolls every time I let him out. In the grass, the indoor arena, the outdoor arena, it doesn’t matter. And virtually every time, it’s the same pattern. On to one side with a 1/2 roll 3 times, then a complete flip and repeat the 1/2 roll routine. Add a scratch to the side of the face, and then a complete flip back to the original side. Finish it off by jumping up, shaking like a wild thing, and then finally bucking like a bronco and running around wherever he is, at full speed.
    LOVE that horse! LOL

  62. Hi my horse rolls all the time when I fetch him in out of the field and put him in his stable when I ride him when I lunge him

    1. Interesting Andi! Does he seem uncomfortable when you ride or lunge him?

      – Julia, CRK Training Community Manager

  63. My horse has started to want to roll in the arena when I begin groundwork with him. It’s just been the last couple of weeks and since it’s shedding season I am thinking it’s a self grooming technique (even though I’ve just finished grooming him) and feels good maybe relieving the itchiness of shedding? He often looks like he is definitely thinking of a roll (walking with nose shuffling in the sand and pausing to paw at ground) but doesn’t always take the opportunity to roll.

    1. Hi Barbara, it could definitely be just because he is itchy from shedding season 🙂 I would keep an eye on it and see if it continues past the next few weeks.

      -Julia, CRK Training Office Manager

  64. My horse is new to me and to this barn and is rolling first thing when he goes out with the heard. I mean, mud covered. I wash him daily.
    I have been told it’s to keep flies off but I spray him.
    I have also been told he is marking his new home and it will pass in time.
    What are your thoughts and suggestions? I spend more time washing than riding.

    1. Hi Susan, honestly some horses just roll more than others! It might be a pattern that he has ingrained into his behavior!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  65. My mare will sometimes roll after grooming, but only if she feels safe in her environment. She is a thoroughbred.
    I think her self-soothing behaviour is licking the palm of my hand. She will stand next to me and lick my palm for a good few minutes at a time. She has salt lick in her stall and in her paddock, so I don’t think this behaviour is due to her needing salt. Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

  66. Hi Callie, great video! My rescue from last year likes to roll in my riding ring just b4 I start free lunging & ground work. He gets up shakes off & after a couple playful rounds he’s ready to go to work!

  67. My horses like to roll after a rain storm, during shedding season and just before it’s time to come into the barn at night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join Our HorseClass Social Community

Coming Soon!