checklist cowgirl magazine

Horse owners must be observant! A daily checklist can be helpful in ensuring your horse is healthy and doing their best. You’ll want to look for any abnormalities to prevent them from becoming bigger issues. Each horse should be looked over individually.

Daily Horse Health Checklist

1. Check their water consumption! This is easy for stall horses. Most horses drink around the same amount every day, so if their bucket still has a lot of water left over and it normally doesn’t then something could be amiss.

For horses in a herd environment, you can try the pinch test on their neck or shoulder to see if they’re dehydrated. Pinch the skin, let go, and the skin should return to normal immediately.

2. You should also monitor their food intake. Did they eat their grain and hay? Is their food behavior normal? In the field, make sure each horse has access to hay and isn’t being bullied away.

3. Evaluate their manure. This also will be easier for stall horses, but try to check the number of manure piles and the consistency of it. Manure needs to be soft, round balls that are greenish or brown in color. It’ll depend on their diet! Diarrhea is a concerning sign, as horses can quickly become dehydrated.

4. Perform a body check. Each horse needs to be looked over for wounds or swellings. You should also feel their legs for heat.

5. Observe their behavior. Take a few minutes to watch your horse and see if they’re acting like their normal self. They should be bright and alert.

It’s important you take time to learn what is normal for your horse. Some of the first signs of an issue can be very subtle, so you’ll have to be observant. Hopefully, this checklist helps!