What you see. The starting point for addressing any equine health related issue is your observation.


Buckling, Crouching Behind


Horses that suddenly start to crouch down or buckle in behind usually want to lie down. The most common reason for this behavior is colic pain. In most cases, this behavior is seen along with other signs of colic pain such as kicking at belly, lying down, rolling, pawing, etc.

This behavior can be confusing to someone who has never seen it. In some cases, observers confuse this behavior with weakness, wobbliness or a collapsed behind.

  • Code Red

    Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours
You also might be observing
Very Common
Less Common
more observations

your role


What To Do

Assess the horse's general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) if it is safe to do so.

Since this behavior is usually a sign of colic pain, look for other signs or abnormalities and share your findings and concerns with your vet.

your vet's role

In most cases, your vet will proceed as they would for a horse showing signs of colic and try to identify the underlying cause.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Are you seeing other signs of abdominal pain (colic)?
  • Does the horse seem to have a normal appetite?
  • Do you notice anything else abnormal?
  • What are the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE)?
  • Has there been a recent change in feeding, level of work or management?

Diagnoses Your Vet May Consider

The cause of the problem. These are conditions or ailments that are the cause of the observations you make.

Very Common
Less Common
more diagnoses

Treatments Your Vet May Recommend

A way to resolve the condition or diagnosis. Resolving the underlying cause or treating the signs of disease (symptomatic treatment)

Very Common
more treatments

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP