This type of examination needs to be undertaken carefully as it's easy for either or both the vet and horse to potentially be injured.
Your horse may need a rectal examination if he's colicky - the vet can feel part of the colon, the caecum and the relative position of various elements of much of the digestive system.
Another occasion for rectal examination is when a mare's reproductive system is checked - normally a vet can feel both ovaries and the uterus.
Carrying out a rectal examination is a skilled job and can also be rather dangerous - which is why it's often carried out with the horse in stocks eg at a vet's practice, or, if performed at the horse's stable, it may even be carried out over the stable door.
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