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How to take a digital pulse

Your pony has a digital pulse all the time, but it’s not easy to find unless there’s a problem.

Taking your pony's digital pulse

You can find your pony’s digital pulse at the back of his fetlock and just above his heel. If there’s problem, the pulse will be stronger, not faster.


Place your thumb and finger either side of his pastern, below the fetlock. Slide your hand down to above his heel and you should be able to feel the pulse.


Run your thumb and finger down the sides of his tendons until your reach the sides of his fetlock, then press gently to feel the pulse. If you can’t feel anything, adjust the pressure and try again.

Top tip

A strong digital pulse is often associated with laminitis, but can be a sign of a hoof abscess.

Did you know?

The digital pulse can be useful for telling you which side of the hoof an abscess is on – it’s usually the same as the strong pulse.

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This Esme riding journal

September 2020

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