Your horse’s respiratory rate (number of breaths he takes per minute) should be between 10-24 breaths per minute. Just as with heart rate it will be affected by exercise or pain and discomfort. You can measure the respiratory rate by either watching the movement of his nostrils, or the movement of his flank as he breathes in and out. Your vet will probably opt instead to listen to the flow of air, by listening on the trachea with a stethoscope at the bottom of your horse’s neck. If you have a stethoscope available it is worth trying this for yourself, to learn what your horse’s normal breath sounds are like. You want them to be clear rather than wheezy or crackly.
Q: What causes splints in horses? A: Splints are inflammation or injury of the splint bones in the lower leg and/or the adjacent bones (such as the canon bone) and/or the associated ligaments. Splints are most commonly seen in young horses training at very high intensity levels, such as Thoroughbreds.