Is my horse's manure healthy?

One way to tell if your horse is healthy is examine their poop. Horse manure can tell a lot about how they are digesting their food because it is simply wet hay. You can learn a lot from your horse's poop so you always want to make sure you are checking every couple days.

Glossy shine

Your horse's poop should have a shine to it. It should be in balls, and shouldn't look dry. If your horse's poop looks somewhat dry then that means he is dehydrated and you need to get some fluids in him immediately.

If there is chunks of hay in the manure then you will want to call the vet since your horse may not be chewing or digesting his food properly due to dental issues and he may have to get his teeth floated.

If the poop isn't in balls or if it is soft, loose or runny and looks like diarrhea then there might be a bigger health issue. Take your horse's temperature and if he has a fever call the vet. This could indicate nervousness, which could be cause by adapting in a new environment, or it could be the feed. Either way make sure to call the vet just incase since there is a potential chance your horse could have Clostridia Bacteria or Salmonella which can be contagious to other equines.

If you have a foal your horse's manure should look like a regular horse's manure. If your foals poop is runny then it may be because of Foal Heat which occurs a week or two after birth, however if they are older and have diarrhea then call the vet asap.

Foals can dehydrate faster and easier than mature horses so it is important to keep fluids in your foal.

If your foal has Foal Heat then don't worry, it will pass. This is due to changes in the gut and your foal may eat its manure during this time. If your foal has foal heat it will not have a fever or any illnesses.


If your horse's manure smells worse than normal this could be caused by change in diet. Your horse may be consuming too much protein or isn't getting enough nutrients. It could, however, be salmonella, or ulcers.


Depending on your horse's diet their manure will be brown, black or green. If your horse eats more grass then the manure will be more brown. A lot of alfalfa can be the result of a greenish tint. If you notice your horse's poop looks red or looks like there is blood in it this could be a tumor or mass in the anal colon/lower colon/rectum. This could also be rectal tears (caused by injury).


If you notice worms in your horses poop then they may need to be dewormed. However if your horse has been dewormed due to purging and you notice worms a day or two after this is fine. If your horse hasn't been dewormed put some fresh manure in a baggie and bring it to your local vet to see what kind of worms your equine has.

How much?

Pooping 6-10 times a day is perfectly normal for horses. Your horse may poop more if he/she is younger. If your horse isn't pooping this could be caused by dental issues. If you suspect your horse has constipation contact your vet to see what can be done, as laxatives may be necessary.

Horse poop can indicate a lot about your horse's health so it is important to constantly check to make sure your equine is happy and healthy. xx The Desert Rider

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