Sweat Questions

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Sweat Questions

This is a discussion on Sweat Questions within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
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  • What does it mean when a horse sweats in his face

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    05-21-2010, 08:02 PM
Sweat Questions

I once heard (I don't remember where) that horses only sweat in areas that include working muscles. Has anyone else heard this? Real or Wives Tale? If it's true, should I assume, since my guy sweats predominately on his shoulders, neck, chest, and under-saddle area, that he's not using his back end properly?

Also, after every ride it is a mad dash to get Scout untacked before he itches my saddle and bridle into oblivion. He is always very itchy post-ride, no matter what "season" of coat he has, or how big of a sweat he's broken. He's respectful, doesn't itch on me, and can usually be calmed and untacked before he starts really trying to lay into a wall of his feeder, but sis' QH (much thinner skinned) doesn't do this, nor did my first horse. Is this weird, or just another of my guy's idiosyncrasies?

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    05-21-2010, 08:12 PM
All animals that sweat have 'hot spots' in two places: areas with more blood vessels closer to the surface and areas with friction. The neck and chest have a lot of blood vessels. Areas with friction include between the rear legs and on the back where the saddle was. So no, that doesn't necessarily mean he isn't using his back end properly. Giving a rigorous currying after a ride can help your horse with itchiness, as well as a quick sweat-area rinse after a hard ride.
    05-21-2010, 09:22 PM
I think that is a myth. They may sweat more in places that their muscles are working but whenever I have a horse sure enough worn down, they will usually have sweat dripping down their face and from above their eyes too. Not so many working muscles there. As for the itching everything off, I would say that is simply a learned 'spoiled-butt' behavior.
    05-21-2010, 09:37 PM
Thanks for your replies.

That does make a lot of sense, roro. Scout does also sweat a lot on his face and ears, like well up the ear and away from the bridle. I've debated getting a human sweatband and sewing it around an old browband for schooling . Sis' QH will actually get all vein-y up front, but sweat almost everywhere. Kind of weird to look at, but the veinyness goes away as he cools out.

As far as the itching behavior goes, he certainly did not learn it from me. He's done it since day 1, and his patience has improved a lot. I don't allow him to itch on anything until I get the tack off, but the minute I'm out of the stall with the tack he almost runs to the wall. It's almost funny to watch him "hold it in" until I'm done.

Next ride I'll tie him to untack and give him a good currying rather than untack in his stall and leave him alone.
    05-21-2010, 09:42 PM
Haha, yeah, that can certainly be funny. Ours will run to the big hay bale as soon as the bridle is off and start scratching their chests and sides on it. It is probably something that he learned from previous owner(s) and now you have one heck of a fight to fix it.

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