You can usually tell this, even from a bit of a distance. Is the horse malnourished? Are they underweight? Can you see their ribs and hips poking out clearly?
If the answer is yes, whinny on out of there, that horse is not ready to go.
Eyes are a great indicator of horse health.
A healthy horse’s eyes are bright, clear, open and beautiful. Gaze deeply into your horsey’s eyes. If they are dull, cloudy, gummy, gunky, running, or half-closed, you gotta say nay, nay, nay to that ride.
Horses’ coats, again: solid health indicators.
A healthy horse’s coat is shiny and full. Picture the glossy hair shimmer from shampoo adverts. That’s the kind of condition we’re looking for.
If the horsey’s coat is patchy, damaged, unbrushed, matted, or dull, then trot yourself right out of that paddock.