Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia in horses causing poor performance. As in humans, the condition can be intermittent in nature, known as paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (pAF). This review covers the literature relating to pAF in horses and includes references to the human literature to compare pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnostic tools and treatment. The arrhythmia is diagnosed by auscultation and electrocardiography (ECG), and clinical signs can vary from sudden loss of racing performance to reduced fitness or no signs at all. If left untreated, pAF may promote electrical, functional and structural remodeling of the myocardium, thus creating a substrate that is able to maintain the arrhythmia, which over time may progress into permanent AF. Long-term ECG monitoring is essential for diagnosing the condition and fully understanding the duration and frequency of pAF episodes. The potential to adapt human cardiac monitoring systems and computational ECG analysis is therefore of interest and may benefit future diagnostic tools in equine medicine.