Horse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at Home | BooksArticles | Shopping | View Cart | Contact | Site Map | Search  

Cherry Hill's
Horsekeeping Almanac

  Horse Health Care
Horse Handling
& Grooming
How To Think
Like A Horse
Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping Almanac
Horse Health Care by Cherry Hill
Horse Handling and Grooming by Cherry Hill
How to Think Like A Horse by Cherry Hill


October 2003

This newsletter is a personal letter from me to you,
a fellow horse owner and enthusiast.
My goal is to answer some of your questions and send you interesting stories and helpful tips for your
horse care, training, and riding.

Vital Signs Issue

  2003 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

Vital signs measure a horse's body functions and are a good indication of his overall state of health. Learn how to take your horse's temperature, pulse, respiration, capillary refill time, perform the pinch test and become adept with a stethoscope for listening to his heart, lungs, and intestines. Know what is normal for most adult horses. But every horse is different, so know what is normal for each of your horses so you will know when there is a problem. To establish normals, take the vital signs twice a day for three Horse Health Care by Cherry Hilldays and average the readings. Choose various times of day but always when the horse is at rest, not when he has just been working or is excited. Write them in your horse's record. Then, when your horse becomes ill, you can take his vital signs and compare them to his normals. This is valuable information to have on hand when you call your veterinarian.

Click on a Vital Sign below to change pages

Pinch Test
Capillary Refill Time


To take your horse's temperature, use an animal thermometer. Check the thermometer to be sure it is reading below 96 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is still registering a temperature from the previous use, holding the thermometer securely at the top, and shake it sharply which force the mercury to the bottom of the thermometer. Then apply a small amount of KY jelly or petroleum jelly to the business end of the thermometer. The lubricating jelly should be at least at room temperature, somewhere around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. An assistant should be holding your horse or your horse can be tied if he is used to having his temperature taken. Move your horse's tail off to one side. This tends to cause less tension in the horse than lifting the tail up. Insert the thermometer into the anus at a very slight upward angle. Gently ease the thermometer inward and upward until about two inches remains outside the anus. Do not insert the thermometer all the way. If you do, it has a greater chance of contacting warm fecal material which will give you an inaccurate temperature reading. Move the tail back into position. After two minutes, take a reading. The range of average resting temperatures for adult horses is 99-100 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature increases with exertion, excitement, illness, and hot, humid weather. Temperature decreases with shock and a horse's temperature can be a few degrees lower in very cold weather.

Adapted from Horse Health Care.


That's it for this month. Don't forget, when you ride, keep your mind in the middle and a leg on each side.

Cherry Hill

Horse Information Newsletter from Cherry Hill Before you copy, forward or post anything from this newsletter or Cherry Hill's Horse Information Roundup, be sure you read this article on Copyright Information!

Horse Information Newsletter from Cherry Hill Don't forget to regularly check the Horse Information Roundup to find information on training, horse care, grooming, health care, hoof care, facilities and more.

Horse Information Newsletter from Cherry Hill Take the time to browse the complete Cherry Hill Horse Book Library.

Home | BooksArticles | Shopping | View Cart | Contact | Site Map | Search

  2003 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

The information contained on this site is provided for general informational and educational purposes only.
The suggestions and guidelines should not be used as the sole answer for a visitor's specific needs.