The horse's lungs are very large and can compensate for a deficit over a very long period of time (years). It is therefore worthwhile to carry out a small check-up regularly.
How does my horse breathe?
The horse's breathing should be controlled and even.
- Count your horse's breaths, best seen on the flanks. 1 breath = Rise and fall of the flank.
At rest in a healthy horse: 8-16 breaths per minute (The smaller the horse, the more breaths in ponies this can be up to 24 breaths per minute)
Under stress, the frequency can also quickly increase to over 100 per minute.
In a healthy horse, breathing should be below 40 breaths per minute within 30 minutes of exercise.
Does my horse have breathing noises?
- Breaths can be pressed, jerky, drawn out or even sighing. To control this, you can simply place the ear on your horse's side. If you hear a rustling, whistling, hissing, crackling, or bubbling, something is wrong.
- Even if the breathing is significantly delayed (i.e. both inhaling and exhaling takes significantly longer), this is an indication of a problem. When the horse is damp, it needs a lot of strength to breathe and over time the so-called steam channel develops at the bottom of the rib cage .
Is my horse having an acute seizure?
- watch nostrils
With normal breathing at rest, the nostrils hardly move, with breathing difficulties they become significantly widened during inhalation (flared nostrils). If you hear a breathing noise from your nostrils, that is also a clear warning sign!
- Observe the flanks (abdominal muscles).
If the horse is short of breath, it lifts its flanks while exhaling to push the air out of its lungs.