Category Archives: Handy Tips

Can You Identify Normal Horse Vital Signs?

I saw this article from Standlee Feeds (no affiliation except I like their feed…) and thought it was good information.

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August 31, 2021

In the words of Dr. Cubitt, “Know what is normal for your horse, so you can identify when something is abnormal.” Knowing your horse, their quirks and tendencies not only helps to create an unbreakable bond and solid relationship but can also keep them healthy and well.

Normal horse temperature should be between 99.5 and 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit
The most accurate way to take a horse’s temperature is rectally (dipped in lubricant), using a digital thermometer.


Always be sure to clean the thermometer after use
Exercise, stress or infections can elevate temperature
Leave the thermometer in long enough to avoid a false low reading

Normal horse pulse is between 38 and 40 beats per minute
There are 3 ideal areas to take your horse’s pulse: under the jaw, beneath the tail at its bone or an area on the side of the foot. Count for 15 seconds and multiple by 4.


Don’t double count heartbeats
The normal pulse for foals is between 70-120 beats per minute
The normal pulse for yearlings is between 45-60 beats per minute

Normal horse respiration is between 8 and 15 breaths per minute
Watching your horse’s ribcage or nostrils for 1 minute, count 1 inhale and 1 exhale as a single breath.


Do not measure respiration by letting your horse sniff your hand
Wait for 30 minutes after exercise to check rate
Respiration rate should not exceed pulse rate

Horse dehydration can be observed when the skin takes more than two seconds to return to its place
Pinch the skin on your horse’s neck or shoulder area and it should return to its usual position within 1-2 seconds.


Horses need 5-12 gallons of water per day in normal environments
In heat or with heavy exercise, horses need 15-20 gallons of water per day
Learn more about horse hydration needs during the winter and summer months.

A normal horse gut sound is gurgling, like the sound of fluid dripping or tinkling
Place ear or a stethoscope up against the horse’s body, just behind the last rib, checking both sides.


Call the vet if there is an absence of sound, as it could indicate colic
Normal horse capillary refill time is between one and two seconds
Place finger against horse’s gums for 2 seconds, creating a white mark from finger pressure. The white mark should return to a normal pink tone within 1-2 seconds.

Other Tips for Horse Owners:

Be sure to check vital signs regularly to know what is normal, so that you can identify anything abnormal
Do not take vital measurements on a nervous horse to ensure accuracy
Call your veterinarian immediately if anything is abnormal
If all else fails and you are unsure if something is wrong, be sure to contact your veterinarian. If you have questions on nutrition, please contact the nutritionists at Standlee Premium Western Forage.

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I have new Ariat Terrain Waterproof boots! Here is what I think…

I’ve worn different iterations of Ariat lace-up boots for … ever.  I don’t think I’ve ever actually worn them through, except for one pair – but they weren’t really too worn through so I just put those in my trailer (just in case) and purchased another pair of lace ups in the same color.  And then I needed some other colors… so throughout the years, I’ve probably had 6 pair of Ariat lace-ups.

Even Hubby has Ariat lace-ups!

Then, a few years ago, I tried the newer style with the zipper on the side.  Those were great, too!  My only issue was that I wished they had more ankle support.  But as you can see, I wore them a lot… They were comfortable and light.

Just a few of my many, worn Ariat boots. Here is one pair of lace-ups on the right, my standard for many years, and then my pair of zippers.

And then… my foot got bigger.

???  What is up with that?!  How could my foot get bigger?

I have no idea why my foot got bigger… but it did.  Bigger and wider.

I decided I needed new boots – I felt like Cinderella’s sisters, trying to squeeze into my old boots – so I decided to peruse the Ariat site.

Hmmmm.  Of all the styles, I decided to try Ariat terrain boots because I love to walk along side my horse on the trails.  I figured a terrain boot might be the best option for me.  A cross between a hiking boot and a riding boot.  Oh, and it may as well be waterproof, so I got the H2O version.

So this is what I have now.  ARIAT TERRAIN WATERPROOF, SIZE 7W

Ariat Terrain Waterproof




Overall, I think this is a terrific boot!  It is lightweight, supports my ankle, is not stiff and is comfortable right away.  I wore them the first day, all day, doing chores around the horses on uneven territory – and my feet were fine!  No blisters.

Also, they fit under my jeans and my riding pants.  Just the right height.  Rocks and hay doesn’t fall inside of them – yet they aren’t too tall to be uncomfortable around the ankle.

To me, all those factors make a practically perfect boot.

Sort-of Cons, but not really: 

I have not worn these for a year, so I don’t know how they will hold up (some reviews say they don’t hold up, which I questions since I’ve had no quality issues with Ariat – ever).

And… although not really a ‘con’, these boots seemed to run big.  When I was reading other reviews, most people said these boots ran true to size, but for me, it feels a half size too big.  I wish I had purchased the 6.5.  However, I needed the boots exactly when they arrived, so I said to myself, “How big can they be…?  I wear a 7. They are a 7… It should be fine, especially when my foot gets hot and expands”.  However, now I think that I should have sized down a half a size.

Other than that, I love these boots!

Here are my new boots. I’ve worn them for 2 weeks now. They are very comfortable. I recognize the toes – similar to my zip ups. So far, so good. Light, easy to wear immediately and ankle support. (Do you see my dog’s paw in the lower right corner?)


If you need a new pair of boots this Summer, here is how I found mine.  Click this link.

It comes in 2 colors.  I chose Copper.

Supporting The Bucket Fund through Amazon Smile
Please choose HORSE AND MAN, INC when you shop via Amazon Smile through this link.

Riding Warehouse
Your purchase with Riding Warehouse through this link helps the Bucket Fund!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!