will this cause founder??

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will this cause founder??

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    06-16-2009, 12:28 PM
will this cause founder??

I just discovered the horses here enjoy going into the pond! We've been having a blast swimming around with them and thought it was going to be a great thing to do after a long day of riding in the hot summer sun....

When I mentioned this to the barn manager he kinda shreaked and said it was probably not a good idea taking hot horses and going into cold water like that, that it can cause them to founder.... I've never heard of this!!! Is it true???

Im in western mass and right now the water is bearable enough to swim in and its barely been warm so far, but once we get 90 degree weather the water should warm up a little more, will it still be too cold? I know its not good to hose a hot horse down with ice cold water, but I always thought that was for their muscles sake. Can riding a hot/sweaty horse into the pond hurt them at all???
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    06-16-2009, 12:38 PM
I can't see how it would founder a horse, but it could cause muscle cramps and, therefore, abdominal pain. But IMO only if the horse is very hot. You certainly don't want to cool down a sweaty horse too quickly, but cooling is good. Some judgement is in order I think. If the horse is very hot, why not just stand in shallow water first and splash some on before "diving" right in?
    06-16-2009, 04:01 PM
Well that's what I figured, just slowly get in. They don't charge the water anyway :-p but he was concerned that the cold water on their hooves first will affect them... and that if we were going to cool a horse with water we should start at their core, on the back/belly etc.... not what I usually practice, I've always started at the feet then legs etc...

Anyone else?????
    06-16-2009, 04:48 PM
I honestly don't believe that it could cause founder. I took my mustang to the lake last summer and we rode all 20 miles there on a very hot day. When we got there, I took him directly into the water and he suffered no ill effects. I wouldn't worry about it. You seem like a sensible person so I bet you will make good judgement calls regarding that.
    06-16-2009, 05:29 PM
Sounds like an old wives tale to me...
    06-16-2009, 09:29 PM
Around here it's not uncommon to drive down the highway and see horses standing up past their belly in a cool pond especially on really hot days. I agree with hotreddun I think it's just an old wives tale nothing more so I would let the horses enjoy themselves in the water.
    06-17-2009, 12:12 AM
For some reason I thought about your post tonight...it just doesn't make any sense. One of the hardest working horses in the world is the event horse...and they go into water full tilt in the middle of the course!
    06-17-2009, 01:56 AM
Originally Posted by hotreddun    
For some reason I thought about your post tonight...it just doesn't make any sense. One of the hardest working horses in the world is the event horse...and they go into water full tilt in the middle of the course!
Lol...I did too actually. Its something I have never heard of, but I as well highly doubt it can cause a horse to founder.
    06-17-2009, 02:07 AM
Founder is normally a diet problem, there are other causes but they are rare, I don't see how a horse going for a swim is going to cause founder.

The Camargue horses live in a very wet region around the mouth of the river Rhone in southern France and are regular visitors to wetland areas which submerge their feet - they don't suffer from founder.
    06-17-2009, 07:57 AM
Thanks guys, makes me feel a little better. I felt a little embarressed when he said it because I had never heard of it lol.

Good point about the eventers! Makes sense, I don't think we'll worry too much and enjoy the summer and swimming while we still can plus, besides shadow, all the other horses are drafts and they seem to be the most resiliant animals I've ever worked with

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