Just like you need a regular check up with your doctor, your horses needs to be regularly checked over as well. These check ups can sometimes help to catch a problem before it becomes too big of a problem. Whether you keep your horses in your own stables nearby or you board your horses someplace else, whenever you first see your horse, take the time to checkout its health. Here are some things that you should be focusing on and the procedure for doing a quick check up.
First, you should just do a general inspection of your horse's appearance. Is everything as you remember it from the last time you saw your horse? Is its coat shiny and full? How is her posture? Is she letting any leg rest while standing on the other three? Immediately following, you should then check out the mobility. How is your horse moving? Does she seem stiff, sore or to be reluctant to moving? Is she favoring a certain leg or hoof? The way your horse moves can tell you a lot about how they are feeling. Facial expressions can be a give away as well. Just like humans, horses give away a lot of information by their facial expressions and movements. You should be able to tell if your horse is feeling under the weather by the way her face seems as compared to the last time you saw her. The horse may become irritated if you touch an area of pain and lash out at you. An anxious preoccupied look or glassy stare can be an indicator of a problem.
Another great indicator of the health of your horse is the way she reacts when you first arrive. Most horses, after becoming accustomed to their owners, will react in greeting with either a whinny or some other customary greeting. If your horse doesn't greet you the customary way, it could be an indication of sickness or some other problem. If you do suspect something is wrong, take your horses vital signs such as pulse, blood pressure and temperature while also doing the skin pinch test for dehydration. Simply pinch a bit a skin on your horse's neck. The longer it takes to return to original form, the more dehydrated your horses is or is becoming. It is important to have completed these vital signs before at a time when your horse was healthy in order to get some base measurements. If any of the vital signs you gather vary greatly from your base measurements then it may be best to call a vet.
As always, if you suspect there is something seriously wrong with your horse, the best solution is to call a veterinarian. This simple check up procedure is just meant to be done quickly to catch any problems before they become too out of hand. With simple procedures like this, you can learn more about your horse and its demeanor which allows you to provide your horse with a better and healthier lifestyle.