How to Check a Horse's Heart Rate

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How to Check a Horse's Heart Rate. Check heart rate to evaluate your horse's physical condition. An increase in heart rate can be associated with pain, dehydration, fever and other problems.

Things You'll Need

  • Stethoscopes
  • Watches With Second Hands
  • Local Horse Magazines
  • National Horse Magazines
  • Horse Comb/brush Set
  • Stopwatches

Place a stethoscope against your horse's chest, behind the elbow (the topmost joint in your horse's foreleg).

Listen until you hear a strong, steady heartbeat.

Grab a stopwatch or a watch with a second hand.

Count the number of heartbeats you hear for 15 seconds.

Multiply that number by 4 to obtain the horse's heartbeats per minute.

Know that a normal resting heart rate for an adult horse is about 30 to 40 heartbeats per minute.

Contact your veterinarian if you determine a problem.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some athletic horses may have resting heart rates as low as 24 beats per minute; get to know your horse.

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