Should I walk my horse if they have colic?


To walk or not to walk – that is the question. But the answer isn’t always clear. If you suspect your horse has colic, the first thing you should do is call your veterinarian. Only with their recommendation, should you walk your horse during a colic episode.

 Put simply, without the advice of a veterinarian, any horse owner may make an incorrect diagnosis and take steps that actually worsen a health problem. This can happen in cases of colic.

 Protecting Your Horse’s Health

 There are many types of colic, each with their own cause and treatment plan. However, every incidence of colic should be treated as an emergency and involve the support of your veterinarian. They will be able to make an informed diagnosis following examination.

On your own, it’s easy to be misled by symptoms if you don’t know what you’re dealing with. In certain cases of colic, preventing a horse from rolling is imperative to avoid a twisted gut. But, how do you know without a veterinary assessment?

By far, the best thing you can do for your horse is call your veterinarian immediately when health problems arise.

Protecting Your Own Safety

However, your veterinarian will only advise to walk the horse if necessary and safe to do so.

Making the decision to walk your horse to prevent them from rolling is simply unsafe. A horse with obvious signs of colic can be dangerous. Severe intestinal pain may cause the horse to roll without warning – placing anyone close by at high risk of injury.

Instead, any horse showing signs of pain and discomfort should be moved to a safe and fully fenced area, and seen by a veterinarian as quickly as possible. No horse owner should make healthcare decisions on their own and, with veterinary support, they don’t have to.



  • Dr Louise Cosgrove

    The founder of Exclusively Equine Veterinary Services, Louise is driven to support horses in their recovery from injury or illness. A graduate of the University of Queensland, with international equin...

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