The Normal Horse
Use these tables of information as a quick reference on the vitals of your horse:

Temperature: 99-100.5* F
Pulse: 36-48 bpm
Respiration: 14-24
Gum Color: pink
Gum Refill: 2 sec.
Body Condition Score: 5-6
Body Condition Score:
  • Good Pasture: 7 hours = 12 pounds of hay
  • Vitamin/Mineral supplement
  • Broodmares, horses under five require mixed pasture or concentrate with
  • amino acid supplement, energy supplement.

The Normal Newborn

Temperature: 99-100.5* F
  • 80-120 bpm
  • may have low murmur at 3rd ICS for 3-4 days.
  • Heart rate decreases, but should remain over 60.
Respiration: 30-40, w/ some abdominal muscle effort
Gum Color: pink
Gum Refill: 1-2 sec.
  • hyper, jumpy.
  • up in 1-2 hours, nursing in 2-3 hours, membranes passed from mare in 3 hours.
  • Foal should pass meconium by 8-12 hours. Any straining should trigger Fleet enema 1 time.
  • See Foaling Management Handout.
Premature Foals: Silky skin, floppy ears, red tongue
Common Physical Problems:
  • yellow-brown staining to hair and placenta if oxygen deprived during birth.
  • contracted tendons, weak flexors, angular limb deformities, fractured ribs, joint distension.
  • Nurse 4-5 times per hour for the first few hours.
  • Older foals will eat the mare's manure to establish gut microbes and acquire vitamins.
  • Milk is no longer adequate by 6-8 weeks of age. Phase in feed + mixed pasture or hay.
  • Free pasture exercise essential for joint cartilage maturation—by 6 months of age.
  • 3.5-4.5 minutes of sprints, trotting and loping necessary.
  • WARNING: If foal is not nursing well, straining, colicy, limping, breathing hard, or mare’s bag enlarged or dripping, call your veterinarian ASAP.

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