Saturday, January 17, 2009

Vital Signs

At the Stable today, we all met at 9am to have a lecture-hands on- with he horses to document all of Their Vital Statistics. Temperature, Resting Pulse, and Respiration. We Checked for Dehydration through skin pinching and also Capillary Refill. Looked at the Mucus memebranes in the eyelids and gums. Also we listened to normal Gut sounds through the Stethoscope.

Our Instructor was pretty funny...she was using an old Mercury Thermometer with hay twine tied to it and a wooden close line pin at the end of the twine.I do remember my sister using these methods as she is 15 years senior of our instructor.
The instructor has used this method since she was 16 and has not upgraded... Nostalgia city, is what she called it!
I have a Digital thermometer that was given to me when I thought my mare to be colicing once, 4 years stays in the tack grooming bag and I thought it may be dead by now...But no!
It was in fact was alive still and it took less than 30 seconds to read out the correct temp and beep to tell me so! We repeated 3 of everything, to make sure.

The digital pulse was the most difficult for me to find on my mare. I found it quite easily on one of the Arabians.Also the respiratory rate seemed difficult for me...she just did not breath in a fashion that was I watched and watched and read 7-10 breaths in 1 minute. 8-15 is normal.
I read now from the photcopied print out we all used,that we all could have simply felt the belly! I guess some use the old fashioned methods for lack of exposure/acceptance to the new and proven easier ones.
So-You may also use the Stethoscope on the windpipe and will hear lots of other things too! It was great to be with all and to check out other horses vitals.
Then, two of my freinds and I took a Brisk but sunny trail ride! The horses were in frisky form and I kinda thought coming back may be interesting...and was two Throrughbred mares and a Quarter horse mare really wanting to move out towards home...tried for some pics on the lookout..and got all kinds of kicks and stomps and twirls instead.

So..., now that it is done and we had to separate..I let them go on and I schooled and we met up again in the woods, then I let them go again.
I talked to one of the gals that does natural horsemanship(blended views) She suggested that we start taking our halters and ropes with training stick as well...get right off at the spot of Uppity, unlistening horse and do some WORK!
I am in for this, all the way, and will not ride with others unless we can do this just is not worth allowing my mare to become accustomed to getting away with what she pulls! Stopping usually does the trick for her...get her to put her head lower, shut off the Adrenaline!
Tomorrow will be a better day!


  1. One day this summer Raven bolted on me when she was scared by a herd of heifer calves that were new to a field we normally drive by. She is typically not a bolter, but when I got her under control I marched her right back to the cows, got off and worked her ass off for about ten minutes before continuing on our way. She gave them the hairy eyeball on the way home, but she kept her head. It is a great method. Because I ride in the bitless with scissor snaps on my reins I can quickly turn it into a halter and lead -- one of it's handy features. And I always ride with a crop in my boot, just in case.

    And yes, I have had my digital thermometer for years and it has never needed a new a battery. It's the first thing I reach for if I think one of the horses is feeling ill.

    inghst: the most ing

  2. What a fun class! I've always meant to make an emergency vitals list to have on hand. I know the pinch test for dehydration, I know what normal gums look like and how long they take to refill, and I can usually find the digital pulse. But normal temperature? Normal respiration? Aaaagh, I hope mine stay healthy!

    And looks like a beautiful day to ride. Glad your weather's back to normal!

  3. What a great class. It's always handy to know your horses vitals when they are well so you have a reference point when they seem ill. Looks like a fund day to ride too!

  4. I can't remember what the ground looks like without the snow covering it. I am green with envy.

  5. tee hehe...ingiset ever! confirmed it to time will be her workout!
    Thanks DP

    Funder...I gooogled the very sheet our instructor used today..If you put "Equine Vital stat" is about the third one from the top and it is headed "Vital Signs" by Cheral good to print off then you can do it all and have it recorded for yourself. Then you'll KNOW all is well anytime you wish! too on the weather!

    Sorry may take some time there huh!
    It was a nice day indeed...and tomorrow I will go for a few hours alone down the roads I think.

  6. I appreciate that you are being trained to care for the horse. Afte rall they are human too!

  7. Major says thank you for looking at his blog. He's a great fan of the ladies too!

  8. Awesome pics as always!

  9. Yep Gail, been meaning to get that done for some time. It was very fun and good to work on all manner of horses too.

    Major, Wa likes the White and Dapple greys the best!

    Hi Stac

  10. Great photos...I love horses! :) Thank you for your kind comment on my essay over at Red Pine's nice to meet you. :) I enjoyed spending time here on your blog. :)

  11. I too do the natural horsemanship training with Gilly. It works for me! Some around here laugh at it and don't bother with it but, hey, it has saved me a lot of headaches and Gilly is so much better for it!
    I also have something on my blog for you.......lemonade! :-) Go check it out.

  12. I really should learn how to get temp/pulse/respiration...I think temp would be the hardest.

    I envy the fact that you can trail ride! I really want to get out of the ring, but we have a ton of snow and ice. :-(

  13. Andrea! Hello to you now...yes, I did enjoy your writing very much. Will have to come visit you too soon!Your, is it Border Collie, is sweet in the pic~

    Millimaus...quite the opposite, Temp is the easiest! Have a Digital Thermometer, dip it in some vaseline, stand to the side of youyr horse and pull the tail over and incert it slowly, slightly downward...not too far...then they ususally pass gas for you! It beeps when done! And the read out is right there...I'd say do it 3 times and average. 99-101 F is healthy and higher may indicate infection. Though the temp may vary 3 degrees depending on season. A good way to go is taking the temp, as a standard procedure, once a week.
    They say if it is over 102 call the vet.
    I hope that it does warm for you to get out soon...thisa may be a false Spring now..but I love it!

    Yea...You made my day today, truly! I think we were at each others blogs -simultaneously- 2-3 times this am!
    Yea..sometimes NH gets frowned on..and I can as well with knowing why it used and when folks do it in lew of what they should be doing...the rope knotted halters are too much pressure to lunge in..and that ususally is my game is different than why one lunges!

  14. We ride with modified bosals with incorporated lead ropes for that very reason - you can jump off and do a little reminder course work.

    That class sounds great. I'd love to take something like that instead of learning it in the midst of a crisis (like when my horse got hives).

    New to your blog and having fun exploring! thanks!

  15. Breath..hello!
    I would love to come visit you if you become public.
    Yea...making my trail bridle this weekend. I have a synthetic one that has a detachachable bit holder. I am ususing a Mullen mouth at present...she did test me today a bit as we jumped so much. she likes speed and once tried to go full bore ahead on me...the racehorse stop, my sissy taught me worked!


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