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.
Dressage in Jeans
- My blog with dressage tips for happy, relaxed horses, specifically for those who ride dressage in western saddles, no saddles, cowboy boots, or jeans. ;) Also now with cute pygmy goat pictures! :P
Last edited by mayfieldk; 07-09-2011 at 12:04 AM.
Reason: Post took away all my page breaks!