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Wednesday, 6 February 2019

How to do Daily Health Checks on Your Horse

If you are an anxious horse owner like me, you will be checking your horses constantly.  We need to check our horses every day but do you know how? 

Grooming check 

Firstly I start by looking at my horse while I lead him to the grooming area.  All I am looking for is any lameness.  

I then start by running my hands down the horse's legs.  I'm looking for swelling, heat, cuts or splints.  This comes from already knowing what your horse looks like and how his legs feel like. 

I will also spend some extra time while grooming to check over his whole body for cuts, bangs or rubs.  

While picking out the horse's hooves, I check for any damage, cracks or thrust.  If I see any of those things I apply a hoof disinfectant and write down a note for my farrier.  

Riding Check

While tacking my horse's up I keep an eye on how he reacts.  I don't use bits but if you do, see if he is comfortable while you put his bridle on.  I always look at his back for any soreness and also his girth area.  

While I am riding my horses I am constantly checking on how they feel.  Are they stiffer to bend on one side?  Do they do better transitions on one rein?  Or maybe they are just struggling to do something that they usually find easy?

Mucking Out Check 

Next, I do some things that non-horsey people would think was crazy.  While I muck out I count each poop to make sure they are pooping enough (obviously).  I also check to make sure there is a normal amount of pee (you will know how much each horse pees when you muck them out each day!  

I then check how much they have eaten and drank.  I do this by eye with the hay as I feel loose hay on the floor but if you want to get pro and weight the haynets before and after go ahead!  Another important thing to watch is how much the horse is drinking.  I'm not sure that there is a way to check with automatic drinkers but if your using buckets like me then it is pretty easy.  The buckets I use have measurements on the inside so I just have a quick look before I empty them.  


I am not a horse trainer or any other equestrian professional.  I only give advice on horsey topics that I have experience as a horse owner in.  Please don't follow my advice without contacting a relevant equestrian professional.  


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