Thal Equine LLC
Regional Equine Hospital • Horse Owner Education & Resources
Santa Fe, New Mexico • 505-438-6590

The Whole Horse Exam™

We believe horses receive the best care from well-educated owners and

caretakers that take an active role in preserving and improving their horse’s health.


For more information about how to perform the Whole Horse Exam, see Dr. Thal’s article “Know Your Horse in Health” in the May 2013 issue of The Horse Magazine.

After you perform the Whole Horse Exam, write down your findings on the Whole Horse Exam FORM and share them with your vet.

  WHE Form Image Spanish

For additional videos that illustrate how to perform any single skill contained in the WHE, please visit the YouTube Channel for Horse Side Vet Guide™ a mobile Smartphone application for horse owners and equine professionals.

The Whole Horse Exam™ (WHE) is a collection of skills that all horse owners and equine professionals should be able to perform on their horse. These skills include taking basic vital signs and assessing other health indicators. The WHE should become as natural to you as catching or riding your horse.

When you want to generally assess the state of your horse’s health, simply perform this exam. By practicing the WHE on your horse when they are in health, you will be better equipped to confidently perform the WHE when you suspect that your horse has a health-related problem. By sharing your findings with your equine veterinarian, you will assist them in determining the nature and severity of any problem or illness.

The WHE includes assessing your horse’s general attitude and demeanor, appetite, temperature, pulse/heart rate and quality, respiratory rate and quality, mucous membrane color and capillary refill time, skin pinch assessment for hydration, assessment for heat and digital pulse in feet, and intestinal sounds.  Taking the time to evaluate your horse’s face, eyes, legs, body condition, coat, skin, feet, soles and legs also yields valuable information.

Part of this exam involves touching your horse as much you can, especially the areas you don’t evaluate normally, such as the belly or under their mane. In addition, a simple evaluation of your horse at the walk is very helpful to identify stiffness and lameness.

If you are unable to perform any skill contained in the Whole Horse Exam™, please contact our office.  
We are happy to teach you these skills during a routine visit or at a scheduled appointment.


Fax: 505-474-7645

Dr. Thal se habla Español

69 Bonanza Creek Road

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87508

69 Bonanza Creek Road

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87508


Mondays – Fridays: 9:00 – 12:00 & 1:00 – 5:00
Saturdays: 9:00 – 12:00  •  Closed Sundays & Holidays
If you call after business hours with an emergency,
please follow the instructions and you will receive a call back shortly.

All images & information contained in this website including the rounded-square/horse/caduceus logo are the property of Thal Equine LLC, unless otherwise stated. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. "The Whole Horse Exam" "WHE" is the property of Thal Enterprises, Inc. and is used by permission. Professional affiliation and social media logos are the property of their respective owners. The information contained in this website is not intended as medical advice and should not be relied on in lieu of consultation with your local equine veterinarian. In fact, we strongly encourage you to maintain and strengthen that relationship.