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How To Care For A Horse: Recognising Signs Of Ill Health

How To Care For A Horse: Recognising Signs Of Ill Health

How To Care For A Horse: Recognizing Signs Of Ill Health : One of the most important aspects of horse ownership is being familiar enough with the symptoms of equine illness to know when the vet should be called. This brief tutorial tells you what you need to watch for.

Hi. My name is Jenny and we're here at Wimbledon Village Stables, and today we're going to be looking at the different aspects of horse riding and horse care. It is very important that you're able to recognize any unusual behavior, or any signs that your horse might be unwell, so if necessary, you can call the vet as quickly as possible.

First of all is your horse should be standing nice and squarely. If he's standing with foot pointed or he's standing with his legs too far out behind, there may be a problem with one of his legs. He may be lame or in pain.

If he's standing with his feet out too far behind, and this area here looks tucked up, or thin, and he's starting to sweat, kick his belly, or trying to bite his stomach, or he's trying to lie down a lot, this could be one of the first signs of colic. If your horse does have colic, it's very important that you call the vet immediately, because it can get worse very quickly. Other signs that your horse is in good health, is whether or not he's got a good shiny, glossy coat as Chester does here, and also looking at his eyes or his nose.

There should be no discharge, they should be bright, and he should be alert all the time. You can also have a look into his mouth, and you should have nice, pink gums. When you press on the gums, they should go white for a second, but no more than two seconds, and then they should ping back to going pink again.

This is the capillary refill time. A horse should be taking, at rest, around twelve to twenty breaths per minute. So by looking down his side, you can see how many breaths he's taking.

If the respiration rate is raised and he's not been doing any exercise, this can mean he's been under some stress and isn't feeling very well. A horse's condition should also be well-muscled over the body, but he should also be what we like to call well-sprung. You should be able to feel his ribs, but not be able to see them.

If a horse is looking very bloated or again, very ribby, this can be another sign of ill health. You should also make sure that he's relaxed, not on edge, not running around his stable, not sweating, and just acting how he should be normally. The most important rule is to know your horse.

Know how he behaves normally so you can recognize when he's doing anything out of the norm.