You head out to feed on a crisp, idyllic morning. One, two, three, four eager faces greet you at the fence, all nickering for breakfast … but wait, where’s the fifth? Concerned, you hop the fence and stride out into into the pasture beyond the rest of the herd and see something that paralyzes the hearts and minds of most horse owners and even some veterinarians. Your gelding is down and struggling to rise.
You know instinctively that horses function better upright, so of course the sight of a down horse—especially one you know and love—elicits a visceral reaction and can derail your brain. But the decisions you make to manage a horse in this situation significantly impact his future health and even survival, so clear and quick thinking are critical.