If you own a horse (or any other pet, for that matter), it is vital that you know how to read their vital signs. It is also good to know what these readings should be when the horse is healthy and at rest.
Generally speaking, normal ranges are ...
- Temperature: 99 - 101 degrees
- Pulse / Heart Rate: 28 - 44 beats per minute
- Respiration Rate: 12 - 15 breaths per minute
- Capillary Refill Time: 2 seconds or less & pink
Above is a great video with Dr. Roberta Dwyer, from the University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center, showing how to take your horse's temperature, pulse, respiration rate, and how to check his hydration status and mucous membranes.
Lastly, although not covered in the video, you should always check your horse's gut sounds. Normal gut sounds vary widely, but should always be present. Faint, infrequent, or absent gut sounds usually indicate colic and your veterinarian should be called.