October 11, 2017 2 min read

The digital pulse is the pulse flowing through the artery to the hoof and is a useful tool in determining if a horse has inflammation in the hoof capsule. It is also useful in determining if a horse could be suffering from Laminitis.

If there is inflammation in the hoof then this pulse tends to feel like it’s ‘bounding’ – it is much stronger and fuller than normal.

The digital pulse in a healthy horse is relatively weak and soft, so if there’s nothing wrong with your horse you may find it difficult to feel. Every horse is a bit different, so it is a good idea to get familiar with your horse’s regular digital pulse. That way, when it changes due to an abscess, laminitis or other hoof pathology, you’ll be able to pick it up!

There are a few different positions where you can take this pulse, find one that works for you and use the same position every time. 


The artery that is used to monitor the digital pulse runs in the groove between the flexor tendons and the suspensory ligament. The artery then jumps over the collateral sesamoidean ligament at the fetlock and continues down the pastern into the hoof.

Here is a photo showing the tendons, ligaments, artery path and common pulse positions – although you may choose anywhere along the artery to actually feel for the pulse.

Get familiar with your horses' digital pulse, learn what is normal for your horse and take it regularly. This way you will quickly be able to detect a problem if the pulse changes.


Missy’s Bucket Range of feed supplements provides essential nutritional support for Laminitis recovery and prevention. 

Insulin Resistance is the most common cause of Laminitis and Minerals play an important role. A mineral balanced diet is crucial in promoting healthy insulin levels and optimal recovery from Laminitis.

Missy’s Bucket supports horses through Laminitis by providing the minerals, vitamins and antioxidants often deficient in pasture and hay diets. 

Targeted ingredients promote antioxidant defences, balanced immune and thyroid function, normal glucose metabolism, healthy nerve and muscle function, and proper insulin sensitivity. 

  • Zinc supports antioxidant activity and healthy insulin sensitivity. In humans and rats, Zinc deficiency has been associated with IR and type 2 diabetes.

  • Copper provides antioxidant properties; low levels cause IR in rat studies.

  • Selenium supports balanced immune function, antioxidant defences and thyroid function.

  • Iodine promotes healthy thyroid function which is required for insulin sensitivity.

  • Magnesium maintains healthy cellular insulin receptor numbers and supports insulin responsiveness, its link with IR has been well established in humans for decades. Magnesium deficiency can worsen IR and make it harder to control and adequate levels have a protective effect.

  • Amino acids support immune function, muscle and hoof growth

Dietary management including optimal mineral balancing forms the keystone of Laminitis prevention, management and recovery. Along with a low sugar diet, excellent hoof care and an appropriate exercise program, Missy’s Bucket provides the commonly lacking and crucial vitamin and mineral additions for Laminitis support and prevention.

Find out more about the Missy's Bucket products here

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