Veterinarians work with horse owners to provide the best possible care from snip to tail. This holiday season, consider the following "wishes" your equine experts made to help maximize your horses’ quality of life.

12 Drummers Drumming: Cardiology

"I wish for all owners to be able to take their horses heart rates and know their horse’s range of normal rates," said Kim McGurrin, DVM, DVSc, Dipl. ACVIM, from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Canada.

All horse owners are encouraged to own and know how to use a stethoscope to assess their horse’s heart rates as needed. Horses with colic, injuries, lameness, laminitis, chronic pain, and even foaling can have elevated heart rates. The normal heart rate for an average adult horse can range from 28-44 beats per minute. Knowing your horse’s "normal" heart rate is an asset in advance of an emergency.

11 Pipers Piping: Respiration

Ed Robinson, BVetMed, MRCVS, PhD, the Matilda R. Wilson Chair in Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Veterinary Medicine and the director of the Equine Pulmonary Research Laboratory, has wished for years, as reported in numerous articles on, that owners would "… focus on the horse’s breathing zone–a 2-foot sphere around the horse’s nose from where he draws his breath."

10 Lords-a-Leaping: Lameness (Skeletal)

Mike W. Ross, DVM,