Bathing and hosing off a horse??? - Page 2

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Bathing and hosing off a horse???

This is a discussion on Bathing and hosing off a horse??? within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    07-08-2011, 08:58 PM
Don't, I repeat DON'T spray a hot sweaty horse down on the large muscles first, chances are they will cramp up & spasm. I have seen this happen, start on the legs first, let them get used to it. Don't do this to yourself either.
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    07-08-2011, 09:24 PM
Originally Posted by horsieluver29    
Also, how do you know when to hose or shower your horse and if the horse is cooled off before showering.
I always take time to walk the horse out (mounted or from the ground, either way) until their respiration rate is calm and normal again. If the workout was only walk/trot, maybe a little canter, it might take just a couple minutes. On a more grueling day, it'll take longer, and it also depends on each horse's fitness level.

Anyway, I just do a quick check to make sure they're not breathing too hard before I hose them off. This method may or may not be of any actual benefit, but I've always been instructed to do a cooldown. I figure it's unlikely to hurt anything. After all, I'm more comfortable and less sore if I take time to step down my workout rather than just stopping cold turkey.
    07-08-2011, 10:36 PM
Ummm... totally confused now

My Beau did indeed colic last summer...presumably from drinking cold water. He'd been out for some grazing early one hot, humid summer morning. By the time we were able to bring him in, he was sweating foam. He went from lightly sweating to foam in less than half an hour it was that hot.

He was put in his stall which was equipped with a ceiling fan. He proceed to drink half of his 5 gallon bucket, which was very cold as we had just filled it.

We grained him about 15 minutes later. And he ate half of it and colicked.

So......if cold water can't colic a hot horse....I suppose the culprit was the grain then???

We thought he had cooled off enough for the grain....apparently we were wrong......unless the cold water did colic him......

For the record, he had not been exercised at all, he was just hot from grazing on a hot, humid summer morning.

Any ideas?
    07-08-2011, 10:42 PM
He was lathering before you even put him in? Sweating out in the sun yes I have heard of, foaming, never. My guess would be the problem was brewing beforehand.
    07-08-2011, 11:18 PM
Originally Posted by waresbear    
He was lathering before you even put him in? Sweating out in the sun yes I have heard of, foaming, never.

Yea, especially between his hind legs....

Could being out in the sun cause colic??? That sounds weird....but that is the only thing I can think of if it wasn't the water.....
    07-08-2011, 11:22 PM
What I was taught: Cool the horse down by walking him (her) for a good long while.

If he's (she's) still all sweaty by the time it comes to groom out, go ahead and put him (her) in the crossties/hitching post outside. Put the hose on light mist. Start with feet, just like we would want to get our feet wet first if we decided to take a dip to cool off. Then work up the legs. Finish with the body/back.

Must say that the horses have been visible happy about this approach so far...
    07-09-2011, 12:01 AM
All of these silly rumors were proved wrong during the Athens Olympics, on eventing horses. It was a HOT year, and those horses were worked harder than any on this board. What they found:

+ Cold water does not colic a horse. (Just because you saw a horse drink water and then saw it colic, does not mean it was the water. Correlation does not imply causation! A few science classes are in order...)

+ A horse's thirst diminishes a half hour after hard work. Walking him until he cools down--especially if this takes a long time in the heat--and not providing him water will further dehydrate him (and dehydration WILL cause colic. The gut pulls more water out of the feces, and there you have it--impaction colic.).

+A horse can drink as much as he wants, at any temperature he wants, immediately after exercise. They noticed that most horses picked slightly cool water over very cold water, BUT cold water will NOT harm them.

+Horses are big animals with lots of muscle--the biggest concern in the heat is heat exhaustion. Throwing water--cold, freezing ice water--directly on them immediately after work WILL NOT make the muscles spasm. Directly after eventing, the horses are walked whilst grooms throw ice water on them and scrape it off to take away more heat. Heat, especially on legs, make the tendons more elastic and more prone to injury. COOL DOWN YOUR HORSE.

Anyone can argue these points, but they were proven on multi million dollar horses doing more work than we will ever ask of ours. (You really think the owners of these horses would take chances with their health? That's why there is so much science behind this.) Some of the advice on this topic is actually dangerous, and WILL lead to colic. Let your horses drink as much as possible, and cool them off as soon as possible, and you'll be doing them a favor.
    07-09-2011, 12:06 AM
Originally Posted by Beauseant    
Yea, especially between his hind legs....

Could being out in the sun cause colic??? That sounds weird....but that is the only thing I can think of if it wasn't the water.....
This sounds like an electrolyte imbalance, due to dehydration. This is why many owners choose to feed a daily electrolyte supplement--they're pretty cheap now--to help horses like this drink. It's like Gatorade for ponies. ;) I personally don't, but if one of mine colicked due to that reason I probably would.
    07-11-2011, 05:46 PM
I think mayfieldk just about said it all!

But one of the question I noticed that was asked but not really answered is how do you know when a horse is cool?

Like what was said above make sure you walk them down and try and get the breathing under control I do agree that water drinking and rinsing will not cause them any harm but I would not feed if the horse is still hot
What I was told to see if the horse is still hot is to feel in between their frount legs right before where the girth would sit I also start at their chest and then their legs and belly when I start spraying mine down
    07-11-2011, 06:02 PM
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Our horses work two three hour shifts every other day at our facility, and even in the Texas heat, none of them have every froze up/coliced/etc because we gave them water. They are all offered cool (not freezing simply because it would take an act of God to keep that much water COLD in 100 degree weather!) water every 30 minutes, and are sweat scraped every hour, then hosed off for fifteen minutes after their shift is over. Granted, we ALWAYS walk our horses out-untacked, after a lesson for ten minutes before we hose them, but that is for their heartrates- not because we're afraid they'll colic.

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