Temperature - .normal rectal temperature is approximately 100.5, but may be slightly higher after strenuous exercise. A rectal temperature of greater than 102 degrees generally indicates infection and needs attention
Respiratory Rate - normal rate at rest is 12-15 breaths per minute. Respiratory rate can be calculated by watching the nostrils flare, observing the flank or listening with a
stethoscope. Rapid shallow respirations at rest is an
ominous sign and requires immediate veterinary attention.
Heart Rate - normal resting equine heart rate is 35-40
beats per minute. The rate will increase when a horse is overheated, overstimulated or during exercise. A heart rate
over 50 beats per minute at rest is an indication of physical distress, and requires immediate investigation. The heart rate can be obtained by listening with a stethoscope, or by palpating the artery that crosses under the jaw or feeling the heart rate by placing your hand behind the horse's left elbow.