A vet will be on standby to help with cases of heat stress at many hunter trials and cross-country events. As well as looking for the obvious symptoms listed above left, the vet will check your horse’s heart rate as well as his rectal temperature.
A fit horse that is performing aerobic exercise should return to a heart rate below 60-64 beats per minute (bpm) within 10 to 15 minutes. If a rectal temperature surpasses 103.5°F, the horse is overheating. In some cases, if heat stress is extremely severe and your horse is struggling to remain standing, then a vet may choose to inject a non-steroidal drug, such as Flunixin, into his jugular vein.
Your vet may decide that a non-steroidal drug such as Flunixin will help a horse with heat stress