The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining us!

We are a group of researchers investigating equine health and welfare, with a particular interest in body temperature.

Our aim is to review, then potentially re-establish what is “normal” when measuring a healthy horse’s temperature.

We started by reviewing the temperatures taken from horses at our University Equestrian Centre. With over 600 readings from 41 horses, we established that the normal range of temperatures for our horses was 36.0-38.0°C. This is around half a degree lower than many of the reference ranges stated in textbooks or on websites.

This may not sound like a big difference, but this upper limit is often used to define fever and screen for infectious diseases such as shipping fever. If the limit being used to label horses as being at risk of carrying an infectious disease is too high, this could result in horses being misdiagnosed as healthy, putting bio security of yards at risk.


This is where we need your help.

We are asking anyone who owns a horse or a yard to share their horses’ temperatures. If you are monitoring your horse’s temperature routinely as part of bio security protocol, or for health monitoring reasons we would love to hear from you!

If your horse is:

  • at least 2 years old,

  • not on any long-term medication (apart from routine worming),

  • healthy, with no long-term of recurrent health problems (such as laminitis, respiratory disease or Cushing’s disease),

  • routinely temperature checked as part of their normal husbandry,

then we would like to invite you to take part in our project.

What will this involve?

We would need you to complete a consent form (below), stating that you agree to us using your horse’s temperature data for this project. You can either complete this consent form online, or e-mail it back to us. The form has a table to complete your horse’s details (age, sex, breed, colour, height) so that we can investigate if any of these factors influence a horse’s temperature. Please e-mail the completed consent form to you will then be sent a recording sheet and a link to an on-line submission option.

Horse Temp Owner Consent Form – Word document version to e-mail back (best for large numbers of horses).

On-line Horse Temp Owner Consent From – On-line version for up to 5 horses.

We need you to use a digital thermometer (see below), not a glass mercury thermometer to monitor your horse’s rectal temperature. It is important that this is a normal part of your horse’s routine, and you don’t start doing this just to take part in the study.

Measuring the rectal temperature of a horse

We need you to record the date, time, location (stable or field) and air temperature (using a weather app if you don’t have a thermometer on your yard) when you measure your horse’s temperature. We also need to know if your horse was wearing a rug, or had a wet coat. We need to know if your horse is vaccinated during the temperature monitoring period, including the type of vaccination given.

Then, we ask that you send us these details either by e-mail, using the template we will send you, or via a website link which we will send you upon receipt of your signed consent form. You can then submit as many or as few readings as you like. Every month would be ideal as we are interested in how temperature responds to changing seasons.

Our goal is to recruit horses from all across the UK (if possible around the world!), including as many different breeds and ages as possible. We will be collecting temperature throughout 2019 and 2020, with the goal of analysing the data and publishing the results in 2021.

If you would like to take part, please download the consent form below, and e-mail it back to

Horse Temp Owner Consent Form

If you have a large number of horses you may wish to download this extra document, it can be completed digitally and e-mailed back to the address above.

Extra horse details for large yards x10 horses

Or, complete the consent form on-line:

On-line Horse Temp Owner Consent Form

If you have any questions about the study, please get in touch using the site contact button or the same e-mail.

Thank you!





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