The normal heart rate AT REST for your horse is 28-44 beats per minute. Just as with the human heart, it will increase during exercise. A vet uses a stethoscope just behind the girth area to listen to the pulse, and you can train yourself to do this. However, an easier alternative is to find it manually with your fingers under your horse’s jaw where the lingual artery crosses the bone. If you feel around enough in this area, you will find it!

It is well worth knowing your horse’s resting pulse rate so that you can know when it is raised. A raised heart-rate at any point outside of exercise, can indicate pain or discomfort. Another very useful piece of information to have is how quickly your horse’s heart rate returns to normal after exercise. This measurement can help you to assess fitness. The faster your horse’s heart rate returns to normal after exercise, the fitter he is.