Care for your horse by carrying out a daily horse health check using these six simple daily tips …
Your horses’ health is important. Make sure you keep your horse in good health by getting into the routine of doing a simple daily, quick and easy, horse health check.
Don’t worry – a good horse health check only takes a few minutes.
But, to make it work it’s important that you know the signs of a healthy horse, as well as the signs of an unhealthy horse.
Follow our simple, common sense, 6 point checklist every day, and make sure your horse stays in tip-top condition.
Your Six Things to Look Out for …
How is Your Horse Standing?
Horses who are relaxing often stand with their heads down and one hind leg resting. This is a completely normal posture.
However, if your horse is standing in his pasture or stall with a front leg resting, further investigation is probably needed. Trot your horse up to see if there are any signs of lameness. If you aren’t sure, call your vet and have him do an evaluation. As a general rule, horses don’t stand with their front legs resting.
Check Your Horses’ Expression.
You can often tell if your horse is feeling under the weather just by looking at his expression.
You see your horse every day, and you know what to expect. If your normally alert, curious, ears-forward horse is hanging his head with dull eyes, then he probably doesn’t feel well. Watch him carefully, and if his expression doesn’t improve, check with your vet.
How is Your Horse Layng?
All horses lie down. Sometimes to rest, and other times just to bask in the sun. If your horse is sunning himself, peacefully in his paddock, with other horses, then leave him alone.
Chances are, he’s just enjoying some down time and although every horse enjoys a good roll now and then, if your horse rolls repeatedly and seems agitated or restless, it’s possible he has a tummy ache. Restless, agitated, rolling is a sign of colic, so if he doesn’t stop and resume normal behavior within a few minutes, call your vet.
Check Your Horses’ Legs
This is a good thing to do every day, even if you haven’t ridden your horse. Horses can injure themselves just about anywhere, including in their paddocks and their stables.
Run your hands down each leg, looking for wounds, feeling for heat, bumps, and swelling. It may take a while, but at some point you should know the difference between your horses normal leg temperature and an elevated temperature. If you notice anything abnormal, trot your horse up and check for signs of lameness. If your horse seems stiff, limps, or bobs his head when he moves, check with your vet.
Monitor Your Horses’ Appetite.
Most horses love to eat. If your horse falls into this category, you’ll know something is wrong if he leaves his food alone.
A horse who isn’t feeling well may lose his appetite, and could also stop drinking. If you notice a change in your horses eating or drinking patterns, watch him closely for a few feedings. If he doesn’t regain his appetite, call your vet.
Check Your Horses’ Droppings
Your horses manure is a good sign of his health. You probably know what your horses normal manure looks like. The balls should be well formed but easy to break in half.
If the balls seem extremely dry or hard, check that your horse is drinking enough water. Loose manure can mean a couple things: Either your horse is eating a diet that is too rich for him, or he has some sort of bug that is giving him diarrhoea. Regularly check the droppings for worms. Worms in your horses manure mean that he is carrying dangerous, sometimes deadly parasites. Time for a deworming.
But, they could make all the difference to your horses health and help make sure you don’t end up with large vet bills.