This little foal is sure having a great time rolling around in the bedding of his stall. Foals find entertainment in the funniest of places, and this foal is no exception. After all, is there anything better than a great back scratch or a back massage at the end of the day? This foal doesn’t think so.
According to Penn Vet, rolling is a natural social and grooming behavior among horses. Even though rolling is a common equine behavior, scientists still don’t know definitively what’s behind a horse’s urge to roll. Rolling could serve a variety of purposes for a horse, such as helping a wet coat to get fluffed up and dry faster, covering the coat with dirt to help repel the sun and the bugs, help a horse shed out his winter coat faster, and scratch the horse’s back so he’s more comfortable.
Horses seem to roll most after they’ve been bathed or ridden, or when their winter blankets have been removed. But horses also roll when a herd gets to a rolling location. Usually a herd will choose to roll in an area which has soft dirt or sand, or which is next to a water trough or hole. And when one horse starts to roll, it seems like the idea catches on and the other horses start to roll, too.
If you are leading a horse who decides to roll, you will have to act quickly to stop him. If the horse gets down to roll, then you should try to stand close by his head while keeping yourself out of the reach of his striking front feet. Keep the lead rope up toward the horse’s head so he doesn’t hook it into his feet. When the horse goes to get up again, be prepared – many horses have the habit of jumping up and running for a few strides after rolling, and you don’t want to be pulled off balance or run into.
In this foal’s case, he may find the bedding in his stall extra tempting and just perfect for rolling. He’s pretty adorable and we hope he gets all of his itchy spots scratched!