Horse Manure: What it can tell you

March 24, 2015 2 min read

wheelbarrel with horse manureYes, it sounds like a daunting task but horse people aren't scared to do it! Checking your horse’s manure can tell you a lot about their health. You don’t need to set aside time to do this. This can simply be done by cleaning stalls or cleaning up after your horse in the arena. As you get to know your horse, you will know what is “normal” for them and what is not. When examining your horse’s manure you will look for a number of different characteristics.

Quantity –

The amount of manure your horse produces is a direct relation to how well his body utilizes the nutrients in their food. This should remain consistent every time your horse defecates. As long as the horse’s amount of feed and exercise program is consistent, their droppings should be too.

Color –

The color of your horse’s manure coincides with the food that they eat and the stomach bile it takes to break down the food. Normal colors can be very green, reddish-brown, grayish, and dark brown. Two colors to take a second look at are red and black. Red manure can mean there is blood in the lower gastrointestinal track. Black manure can mean there could be blood in an upper level of the gastrointestinal track and the blood has been digested before excreted.

Consistency –

If you see grains or blades of grass in your horse’s manure, it could mean that they are not chewing their food thoroughly. You might consider having your horse’s teeth checked.

Moisture Content –

A healthy horse excretes droppings that are slightly shiny as they have some moisture in it. If the manure is loose, their diet contains high moisture and low fiber. If the manure is very dry, this could be a sign of dehydration.

Parasites –

Parasites in horse manure means that they have gone too long without being dewormed. If you have just dewormed your horse, you could see parasites in their manure. This is normal for a day or two after deworming.
Keep an eye on your horse’s manure as often as possible. If you are familiar with what is “normal” you will also recognize when it is not normal (good or bad!).
For more information on examining your horse’s manure, visit: http://www.thehorse.com/articles/31417/what-does-your-horses-stool-say


Also in Blog

Ringbone in Horses: What You Need to Know
Ringbone in Horses: What You Need to Know

February 01, 2023 2 min read

At one point, Ringbone meant retirement or a fatal prognosis. Luckily, today we have more options to help horses with ringbone. When diagnosed and treated early, many horses with ringbone will remain sound. Ringbone refers to a bony overgrowth from an injury or inflammation on the pastern or coffin bone. 
Horse Leg Care: A Complete Guide
Horse Leg Care: A Complete Guide

January 27, 2023 3 min read

As horse owners, we know the importance of our horse’s legs. We try to prevent injuries and protect their legs as much as possible because the old statement, “no hoof, no horse,” applies to legs too. This guide discusses the best ways to help maintain your horse’s legs.
All about the Horse Circulatory System
All about the Horse Circulatory System

January 20, 2023 3 min read

Why do horses have the stamina to run for extended periods? Horses can accommodate great oxygen demands with a specialized circulatory and respiratory system. This means they can provide the oxygen their muscles need during exercise. While the respiratory system transports oxygen, the equine circulatory system is a bit more complex.