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What signs tell you your horse is in good health?

We all know when we feel happy about what our horses should look like, but sometimes it is a good idea to put it down on paper so you know that you have covered all the different aspects.

So here are the signs of the horse in Good Health:

  1. The horse should be well covered or ‘well furnished’.  This means having enough muscle and fat on his or her body to cover its skeletal frame in such a way that there are no prominent bony areas.
  2. Your horse should be alert, with his ears being mobile, listening to what is happening around him.
  3. They should be eating and drinking normally with no problems chewing or swallowing.
  4. Their mucous membranes should be salmon-pink in color.  This is the area on their gums and around their eyes under their lids.
  5. They should have a shine to their coat.
  6. With no abnormal heat or swelling in their limbs.
  7. Their droppings should break as they hit the ground, and be green or golden in colour depending upon the feed eaten.  Horses pass droppings approximately 10 to 15 times during a 24-hour period, depending upon the diet fed.
  8. Their urine should be pale yellow to look at.
  9. They should have a normal temperature: 100 -101 F, or 38 C at rest.
  10. A normal pulse 35-45 beats per minute, high for foals, varying between 50-100 beats per mins at rest.
  11. They should have a normal respiration of 8 – 12 in-and-out breaths per minute at rest.
  12. They should be able to carry their weight evenly on all four feet.
  13. No sign of discharge from their nose or eyes, with their eyes fully open.
  14. When a skin recoil test is made (that is, the skin on the neck is pinched between the thumb and first finger), the skin should recoil immediately, demonstrating its elasticity.
  15. They should have a normal response to capillary refill test.  This is tested by pressing the gum with your thumb, which restricts the flow of blood.  When you remove your thumb, the capillaries should immediately refill with blood.

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