It is quite easy to tell if a horse is healthy and not suffering from any ailment. Some of the common signs to look for in a healthy horse entail shining of the horse’s coats, stretching of the animal muscles, and the animal’s level of interactivity with the people around. However, there are other factors which provide vital signs that a horse is healthy, and this includes:
Food and water
Healthy horses normally finish all the food that is provided to them, and these animals also tend to consume water as expected. A healthy horse will indicate an interest in feed, and the failure of the animal not to consume all its feeds within a reasonable time frame is among the first signs that there is a health concern. A healthy horse will look and go straight towards the food served. This healthy eating habit in the end contributes towards the animal’s nutrition.
Healthy horses have the habit of interacting with people without any fear whatsoever. These animals know their owners and always greet them with great enthusiasms. The animal will also interact in a proper manner with strangers, and also other people they are used to. The horse is always content and alert when resting, and the animal’s bright eyes will perk up readily when someone or something comes close to the animal.
The horse’s coat also sometimes form vital clue towards the animals health status. A shiny coat coupled with the glossy look of the mane and tail, sends a positive signal that the horse is very healthy. And in most cases the animal’s eyes are sparkling clear, with the nose and mouth in superb condition. Likewise, the teeth and ears are always shining.
Healthy animals should not be overweight nor underweight, and horse owners can embrace the Body Condition Score (BCS) technique which is basically a visually hand on method to evaluate the animals body fat content. When someone runs the hands over the animal’s ribs, the ribs should be felt with slight pressure as the hand runs over the barrel of the horse, and in such a situation it can be said that the horse has a BCS of 5. But when the ribs can’t be felt, then the horse has a BCS score of 6 or higher. This means the animal is healthy, and it is showing proper nutritional signs of the food it is normally fed with.
Very fat horses which have excess fat in the neck, around the croup and tail-head have a BCS of 8 or 9.
The above are some of the positive signs from a healthy horse, because a healthy horse is aesthetically appealing especially when taking a closer view on how the animal is flexing its muscles under the coat. It is the animal’s coat that the owner is usually proud with when showing off, and if a horse is healthy, it is also possible for a layman to tell so even just by looking at the animal.