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Horse Health

As owners and riders, we all know that our horse’s health is priority number one. Our horses depend on us 100% of the time so it is vital that we understand their health needs and have a basic understanding of any potential problems.

Every horse and pony is an individual and therefore different, so it’s important that you know your own horse and their way of being. Having an idea of what their regular temperature, heart rate and respiration should be on a normal day is a good starting point because it means you can identify when things aren’t quite right.

It is also a good idea to be aware of their normal behaviour patterns so that when they are off colour you will recognise that, and can act.

Below, we have complied a list of some of the most common and well- known equine diseases and problems around. I am sure most of you will have heard of them and, hopefully, you and your horse will never experience any of them. However, it is always a good idea to have some basic knowledge, as to be forearmed is to be forewarned.

We’ve also included a brief overview of hoof care here – mentioning both shoeing and barefoot trimming – because, as the saying goes, ‘no hoof, no horse,’ so healthy hooves are a vital part of your horse’s health check

To keep things simple, we list four main points for each condition: 1) Signs 2) Causes 3) Treatment 4) Prevention. But as ever, if in doubt, get the vet out.


Choke in horses happens when the oesophagus, the muscular tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach, gets blocked ...


Colic is an umbrella term used to describe clinical signs of abdominal pain or discomfort in a horse or pony...

Equine Cushing's Disease

Cushing’s Disease, also known as Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID), is a hormonal disorder affecting horses and ponies ...

Equine Grass Sickness

Equine Grass Sickness (EGS) is a debilitating disease which can frequently lead to death ...

Equine Metabolic Syndrome

Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) is a hormonal disorder that affects horses and ponies, and it is similar to Type 2 diabetes in humans ...

Hoof Abscess

An abscess is caused when an infection occurs that builds into a pocket of pus. This is extremely painful until the pressure is released ...


More than 7% of equine deaths are linked to laminitis, ...

Mud Fever

Mud fever describes a wide range of skin conditions which affect a horse’s lower limbs, usually the pastern.

Splint Bone Injuries

Splint bone injuries can be the result of too much work on a hard surface, and they tend to occur in younger horses ...


Strangles is one of the most common equine diseases globally, and it is extremely contagious ...

Sweet Itch

Sweet itch is an allergic reaction to the bites of mosquitos and midges, and
it can affect almost any horse, regardless of type, breed and age ...


Thrush is caused by a keratin-dissolving bacteria that attacks the softened tissues of the frog, causing it to rot away...

Equine Vaccinations

Vaccinating your horse is not compulsory, but vaccinations can prevent some serious and potentially life-threatening diseases ...

Equine Worming

It used to be that horse owners were advised to regularly use wormers, but in recent years this advice has changed ...


Any horse owner will have to deal with a wound at some point. They are very common, but they can range in severity for a number of reasons, such as where the wound is, how it was caused etc.

Medical Dictionary

Medical terminology can be difficult to navigate, especially during times of stress and illness, so we have compiled a short list of the most common veterinary terms to help guide you.

Hoof Care

Whether you go barefoot or decide on shoes, your horse's hooves need regular trimming to keep them healthy - and your horse sound.

Equine Dentistry

Nobody likes going to the dentist, but dental checks play an important role in keeping your horse healthy...

MumsHaynet offers equine-related content to promote general understanding, education and accessibility within the horse community. None of the content, published articles or forum discussions should be considered a substitute for professional advice from a veterinarian or other professional. If you have, or suspect that your horse has, a medical problem or condition, contact a qualified veterinary health care professional immediately.

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