A regular health check should be carried out daily on your horse. This daily health check consists of: starting from the bottom:
Feet – Pick up each foot and check if there are any trapped stones or dirt. Once you have checked this, give the horse’s hooves a pick, avoiding the “V” frog. If the horse flinches from the cleaning process, there might be a tender spot on the horse’s foot. Next check for any cracks or breaks on the horse’s shoe.
http://www.horsemanmagazine.com/2008/09/horse-thrush/ http://www.greenhorn-horse-facts.com/horse-hoof-care.html Legs – Run your hands down each leg and check for any lumps/bumps or cuts. If any large swellings have appeared the horse may need veterinary attention.
Back – Run your fingers along the horse’s spine with a little pressure straight down to the tail. If the horse flinches he may be suffering from discomfort or muscular pain. This may be from an ill-fitted saddle. DO NOT attempt to ride the horse until they are examined by a professional.
Tail – Stand to the side of the horse, lift the tail up and check if the horse hasn’t had diarrheoa. Stains down the horse’s legs may indicate an internal complication.
Also check the horse’s droppings for any ill regular properties such as blood or worms.
http://digitalphotography.wikispaces.com/Tami+Stevenson-A+Horse's+Tail http://www.weeklygripe.co.uk/a770.asp Ears – Run your fingers along the horse’s ears and poll (top of the head) to check for any discomfort. The horse will flinch if they have any discomfort.
The horse should be checked for any sores incase the bridle is not fitted properly.
Eyes – The horse’s eyes should be bright and alert. Check for any discharge of mucus. If there is any discharge carefully wipe away with a clean damp sponge (soft not to damage the eyes). The area around the eyes should be clean and smooth, with no bumps or sunken in eyes.
Healthy eye Unhealthy Eye
Nose – Look at the horse’s for any discharge from the nostrils.
If you come across any green/yellow mucus, this may have equine influenza.
http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/horse%20nose http://www.thehorse.com/topics/diseases-and-conditions/respiratory-problems/strangles Mouth/ teeth – Gently lift the horse’s top lip and check for nice pink gums. This means the horse is well hydrated. Check around where the bit rests for any sores to ensure that the bit is comfortable for the horse.
Capillary fill time – gently push the left hand side of the gum just above the teeth until the surface turns yellow/white. Time how long this turns back to a pink colour. This should take no more than 2seconds and suggests the horse has a good blood circulation.
Heart rate – This is checking the number of times the heart beats in a minute. You check the beat rate by placing your hand over the left lower chest and behind the right elbow.
A normal resting heart rate for an adult horse is between 28 and 44 beats per minute. The average is 36bpm.
You work the BPM by how many beats you count in 15second and then multiply that by 4.
Pulse – This is the measurement of the blood passing through the artery with every heartbeat. This is timed over 1 minute.
You are best to feel this pulse just behind the right eye where the mandibular artery…