How To Take A Horse Heart Rate

Check horse heart rate to evaluate your horse’s physical condition. An increase in heart rate can be associated with pain, dehydration, fever and other problems. A normal resting heart rate for an adult horse is about 30 to 40 heartbeats per minute.

A heart rate of 50 or higher in an adult horse at rest may mean the horse is in physical distress. The average pulse rates for young horses are as follows: Foals (70-120 bpm), Yearlings (45-60 bpm), 2yr. olds (40-50 bpm).

Things You’ll Need:

Stethoscope
Watch With Second Hand or Stop Watch

1. Stand on your horse’s left side, facing his left elbow.
2. Insert the earpieces into your ears.
3. Place the bell of the stethoscope behind the point of his elbow and press it gently into his armpit.
4. Listen for your horse’s heartbeat.
5. His heart beat should have both a lub and a dub component. Count the two together as one beat.
6. Using a watch with a second hand, a stop watch or digital timer, count the number of beats in a 15-second period.
7. Multiply by 4 for beats-per-minute.

The horse’s pulse rate will increase if he is excited or nervous, in pain, during/after exercise, or has a disease. The higher the heart rate, the more severe the condition.

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