Marty Case History


Here’s an interesting HR graph of Marty, 5 year old Canadian Warmblood gelding.  He walked about 10 minutes over to my arena for a lesson.  Marty is a rather laid back horse and arrived at his normal stroll.   I put the HR monitor on him for the lesson.  It was fit slightly tighter than the day before and his HR was 224 BPM.  I removed the HR monitor and put it back on again and got the same reading.  I noticed a small moist area on his neck and wondered if he might be colicking?  There were no other sign of colic. I had his rider stand him up one way and down one way on a steep hill.  Doing this sometimes helps move things around in their gut and gives the horse relief.  Marty passed some gas and you can see by the graph his heart rate went to 40 BPM in seconds and his little sweat patch went away.  We proceeded with a very light workout. You can see that his HR was well within an acceptable range for walking and a trot.  I couldn’t help but wonder if in another circumstance without the benefit of knowing his HR if he would have been deemed lazy and “made” to work?  Clearly his elevated HR told me something was up. Even if we don’t know exactly what is going on the elevated HR is a clue for us to stop and reevaluate the situation.