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This is a discussion on Humidity within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horses and humidity
  • Temperature humidity index FOR HORSES

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    05-15-2011, 10:59 PM

First off I want to apologize if this is in the wrong section.

Now my question is- is there a way for me to get my horse used to the humidity? I ask because the other day I rode her for a max of 20 mins and it took me about 30 mins of walking just to get her to stop puffing and breathing really hard. She was still breathing harder than normal but I did get her back to normal eventually. We shipped her from Germany where there was barely any humidity and now she's in Ohio where the past couple of days have been at least 80% humidity.

So is there anything I can do to help her get used to the humidity or should I just ride her like normal and she'll get used to it herself?

Any info or suggestions you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
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    05-15-2011, 11:01 PM
Green Broke
I would take it easy on her until she acclimates.
    05-16-2011, 04:45 AM
If the humidity is 80%, you probably shouldn't be working her at all. Here is an easy to remember guideline (from Dr. Robert Miller, DVM)...

A good rule of thumb when assessing how the heat will affect your workout is to measure the Heat Stress Index (HSI). If the sum of the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit plus the percent of humidity totals less than 120, all systems are “go.” If the sum is greater than 150, particularly if humidity contributes to more than half of this number, your horse’s natural cooling mechanisms will be compromised. You should consider lowering the intensity of your workout, shortening the length of time, or riding later in the day. If the HSI is greater than 180, a horse cannot regulate his core body temperature naturally, so he should not be forced to work. For instance, if it is 100 degrees with 80 percent humidity, leave your horse in a shaded paddock with plenty of cool, clean drinking water and go have a cold drink yourself.
    05-16-2011, 09:16 AM
Thank you both for your reply. I'll definitely take it easy with her and won't ride her if it is too humid. I just saw other people riding and their horses acted like it was no problem so I figured my mare just wasn't used to it.

Thanks again for your replies!

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