Equine Digital Pulses

Learning to monitor equine digital pulses provides you with a powerful tool to manage your horse’s health.

Taking the equine digital pulse

The digital pulse provides key information with regards to the health of your horse’s hooves. This is especially important for owners of Insulin Resistant (IR) or Cushing’s horses.  Horses affected by IR or Cushing's often suffer from laminitis (swelling within the hoof capsule).   Monitoring the pulses can be one of the most effective ways to manage the effectiveness of their care.

When taking pulses, you are feeling the blood flowing through the artery into the hooves. In a healthy horse the digital pulse is quite hard to find because the normal flow of blood is unrestricted. 

Bounding Equine Digital Pulses

However, when there is inflammation in the hoof, the blood flow is restricted and as a result backs up in the artery, making the pulse feel much stronger.

The artery pushes the blood into the hoof. When there is inflammation there is no longer enough 'room' within the hoof capsule. Essentially, the hoof pushes the blood back into the artery.  This is what causes the bounding or bounce of the pulse.

The more inflammation there is in the hoof, the stronger the bounce. 

In this photo the hoof and skin have been removed to show the inner structures.

The VAN (vein, artery, nerve) bundle runs down the back of the fetlock and pastern before entering the hoof.

The digital vein has been highlighted in blue, the artery in red, and the nerve in yellow.

Learning how to locate and take the digital pulse will enable you play a proactive role in effectively managing your horse's health.

Digital Pulse Vein, Artery, Nerve

The Equine Pulse iPad App and Digital Book

Equine Digital Pulse Ebook

Now available as both an iPad App and Digital Book

Horse owners: discover how to take an active role in your horse's health

Hoof care professionals: great teaching tool for your clients

Equine students: familiarize yourself with the anatomy

  • Quickly and easily learn how and where to take your horse's pulse
  • Stunning, high resolution, full color dissection photos and illustrations
  • Easy to navigate
  • Explore beneath the skin to fully understand the structures
  • Learn the difference between a normal and bounding pulse
  • Clearly labeled structures
  • Close-up views

iPad App

Click here to view and buy the iPad App in the iTunes App Store

$2.99 US

Digital Book (eBook)

The digital book is available for immediate download straight onto your computer/device. Click the button below to purchase the digital book:

$2.99 US

Add to Cart View Cart

Return from Equine Digital Pulses to the home page

Subscribe to Anatomy of the Equine News

Stay informed by subscribing to our newsletter and receive a FREE copy of our Distal Limb, Laminae & Digital Cushion eBook as a thank you!

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Anatomy of the Equine News.