Cold Watering a Horses's back?

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Cold Watering a Horses's back?

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    05-12-2013, 05:43 PM
Cold Watering a Horses's back?

I am wondering if any of you have heard of this.

I read in a book somewhere that if you are putting a lot of miles on a horse that isn't isn't hardened up, to prevent saddle sores and sore muscles, to sponge their back with cold water after you pull your saddle off.

We did this on our long ride (we were putting at least 20 miles on every day, with no previous/lead up exercising). We didn't get any saddle sores and we made sure and kept a good eye on their backs.

Our routine was in the evening to pull the saddle off and sponge them off with cold water, rub liniment on their backs, let them eat their grain (oats, corn oil, with electrolytic mixed in) then feel them over for heat. We used the liniment for the first week and then ran out so then only did water.

Is this an old wives tale? Or does it actually do something?

We do this if we are starting a colt/riding an out of shape horse and put a several miles on in the summer as well.

Forgive the reins on the ground. Not sure why they were left like that. I do know better than to do that and don't let my reins hang. This is my sister.
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    05-12-2013, 05:50 PM
Green Broke
20 mile daily rides right off the bat on horses with no conditioning, combined with a not so good diet please do some research on conditioning, nutrition and the inflammatory effects of omega 6 oils.
The cold water does help them cool off, never heard it having anything to do with sore backs though, usually just to get body temp and pulse rate down. That and getting the sweat off.
bsms likes this.
    05-12-2013, 06:58 PM
Joe, here is more about that ride that my family did.

310 miles on green horses

Yes, I would do it again. No, I wouldn't do it on green horses and without conditioning. I learned a lot on and since that ride. I would go on another in a heartbeat!

Thank you for your concern, albeit that your way of putting your concern across has a way of feeling like a slap in the face.
Maybe try some research on communication skills.

Anybody else have any thoughts on the cold water thing?
littrella likes this.
    05-12-2013, 07:02 PM
I wouldn't be inclined to put cold water on them unless they are hot. Warm water to rinse off, OK. Would you want cold water on your legs if they were sore and tired? Cold water causes the muscles to tighten -- you want them to loosen.

I agree that 20 mpd, and for repeated days, without any lead up is asking for injuries. I don't think Joe4d meant to "slap" -- and it didn't sound like that to me. Just concern about something that wasn't thought about before making the trip.
    05-12-2013, 07:17 PM
Okay so I searched this on google and so far I am finding that it's an oldwive's tale as far as it hardening the horse's back. But it does help by washing the sweat off, therefor preventing chaffing. They suggest using warm or cool water. Not cold. Ours wasn't too cold as we had a tank in the trailer so it got warm throughout the day.

I agree as well that doing 20 miles per a day without conditioning isn't a good idea. That is probably the reason that the one horse pulled a tendon in his leg (he tripped). As I said before, I'd do it again, but not without getting the horses ready properly.
    05-12-2013, 07:44 PM
Green Broke
My communication skills are just fine, maybe that was what I was trying to convey and encourage you to look things up and discover the error of your ways. Hopefully your mistakes havent ruined that horse and you get the opportunity to learn. Stop with the high starch oats and joint inflaming corn oil Do some nutrition research, and give your horses time to build up some bone, cartilage and connecting tissue before taking them on a 300 mile ride. That seriously was not cool .
Copperhead likes this.
    05-12-2013, 07:53 PM
I've never heard of backs being cold hosed, but what about legs? Is that also an old wise tail?
    05-12-2013, 08:13 PM
I know a woman who uses heavy horses for work. In the spring she sponges areas that might be prone to pressure with a vinegar/water solution. She was taught that can help prevent galling. She has not had a problem with sores, but who knows whether it is because of well-fitting harness and the appropriate levels of work or the vinegar solution.
GallopingGuitarist likes this.
    05-12-2013, 09:01 PM
For sore muscles, on their backs, heat. Definitely not cold. You want the heat to relax the muscles, then give them a good massage.
This is now a part of my routine with my mare. Heating pad goes on while I brush and saddle, then goes on when we're done and when it's sat for a while, I give her a good rub. I noticed a huge difference if my mare's back.
    05-12-2013, 09:03 PM
I only like to cold hose legs, and a bruise somewhere. Not for sore muscles on their back. If you watch and feel them, a lot of them will tense up their back, and you don't want that.

In the summer when we work hard, I massage my mare's back, rinse her with cold water, and put liniment on her back, butt, and legs. That's only if we worked really hard.
I don't want to baby her TOO much! Hahaha (:

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