Do I have to hose my horse down every time she sweats?? I've been told by many people that I do and if I don't she will catch a cold but iv been told by other that I don't have to and that they don't hose their horses down and tehy never have any heaqlth problems HELP PLEASE!!!!
In the summer it would be nice for cooling etc. but in winter minimum if she is really sweaty. Just put a cooler rug on (or a fleece) until the sweat drys. You don't want to put a normal rug on while she still hot and sweaty because she'll sweat more.
I like to hose mine in the summer, they absolutely love it when it's hot out and they've had a good workout or trail ride. It isn't a black and white issue, though. As long as your mare is well cooled out, and has stopped sweating, you're probably ok health wise. It's the cooling out that's the issue, and putting a hot horse away sweating isn't a good idea. Winter I don't get to do much riding, but my advice there is to just be sure that your mare is well cooled out and dry before putting her away, perhaps with a fleece sheet. If she's shaggy and is hard to cool, and you do a lot of cold weather riding, perhaps clipping and blanketing is a good option for you.
As others said, it's just optional. I'm not sure how cold your winter time is, but you should always wait for a horse to completely dry off before you blanket him or put him outside. This is for a few reasons, one being that the sweat can literally freeze and make him colder even if he's wearing a blanket. Another reason it that the moisture on the hair will prevent him from being able to lift up his coat (if they aren't wearing a blanket). But you really have to wait for the moisture in the lungs from exercise to escape, this is the most important reason. It doesn't matter so much at 4 degrees celcius, but we often experience temperatures way below freezing where I live.
Clipping can help keep you from walking your horse out for hours until he's dry, but the best thing we can do is optimise our cool out time so that we get the best results for muscle relaxation, healthy stretch, and getting breathe rate decreased back to normal.
I live in the south of spain and it does get quite chilly in the winter I hate hosing her down in the winter because it must be horrible!! But im also scared she could get ill if I don't! I always start with the feet and work up to the saddle area and that's usauly all they are stabled most of the time and I will always dry er as much as possible before puting her in
Thanks for all your advice
Youre better off to put on a cooler until her sweat is dry in the winter. Being drenched in water is more likely to make them ill than a little sweat. I typically use 2 coolers in the winter, the first one closest to the horse will wisk away sweat and keep let them cool out to a normal temp without drafts, and the second wisks away the sweat from the first so that the first cooler stays dry. In the summer our horses are hosed down basically every day after they work. Never had any problems with skin irritation, typically that will only happen if you use soap all the time, as that will strip the hair and skin of natural oils. Water itself wont do that.
I only hose in the summer. IN the winter he has a nice soft cooler. I walk him out till just the saddle area is damp then let him rest with his cooler on. Smoothing the hairs with a soft brush can help it dry up a bit quicker. My horse has never caught a chill or anything though, He does just fine.
I only hose Sun off when it's hot out, or he is really sweaty, to remove the salts that can cause itching. Usually, after a good ride, we walk back home that works as a good cool down, and he doesn't sweat much except under the saddle pad. I do brush him down, use a flat scraper on just the sweaty part, and he does fine. We don't ride much in winter, but go with the gut instinct...do what feels right for the situation!