Horse owners should be aware of and be able to measure their horse's normal, healthy vital signs. The table below shows the normal ranges for a healthy horse at rest.

Heart rate:

30-40 beats per minute

Respiratory rate:

12-20 breaths/minute


37.5-38.5°C (99-101°F) 

Mucous membrane colour:


CRT (Capillary Refill Time - pressing finger on gum above the front teeth and seeing how long it takes for the colour to return):

Less than 2 seconds

Skin turgor (Skin elasticity - pinching skin and seeing how long it takes to return to normal):

Less than 2 seconds

Gut sounds:

A wide range of sounds (gurgling, rumbling) every few seconds.

Hoof temperature:

Luke warm