What you see. The starting point for addressing any equine health related issue is your observation.


Depressed & Not Eating Right after Intense Exercise


Generally, when a horse does not eat something that it would normally devour greedily, it is a sign of a significant problem. A lack of appetite coupled with depression after exercise is also of great concern. I differentiate it here because there is a different group of possible diagnoses associated with the horse that has just exercised.

  • Code Red

    Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

your role


What To Do

Assess your horse's general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), and contact your vet immediately with your findings and concerns. Especially monitor heart rate, respiratory rate and rectal temperature. Offer your horse small amounts of water, remove your tack, and let them rest quietly. Contact your vet with your findings and concerns.

What Not To Do

Do not force exercise. Do not give flunixin (Banamine) or any other medicine and then feed the horse. You will falsely improve appetite, possibly causing other problems.

your vet's role

Your vet assesses the situation and does a physical examination to rule out exercise associated conditions like exhaustion, "tying up" and conditions causing colic.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Will the horse walk freely in hand or do they resist?
  • Do you feel any bulging or hard muscles along your horse's topline or rump?
  • What are the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE)?

Diagnoses Your Vet May Consider

The cause of the problem. These are conditions or ailments that are the cause of the observations you make.

Very Common
Less Common
more diagnoses

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP