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ridesapaintedpony 07-13-2010 04:59 PM

Probably a dumb question, but here goes anyway
If you live in an area that doesn't have mountains and want to take your horse out to an area that has mountains, does the change in elevation bother your horse like it can us?

A friend asked me that last night and I wasn't sure. I thought I'd ask the experts here.

If it does, how do you get your horse used to the elevation before you go out to the mountains?

Speed Racer 07-13-2010 05:07 PM

Of course it'll bother a horse the same way it does humans. Higher elevations mean less oxygen for all air breathing creatures.

There's no real way to prepare anyone for lower oxygen levels. Generally, they'll get used to it on their own.

How high are you talking? A group of us flew from MD to WY and rode in the Grand Tetons, which are 8,000 ft. above sea level. The ranch was at 6,000 ft. above sea level.

The area in which we lived was barely above sea level, so riding/vacationing at that elevation caused some light headedness and a few headaches the first day or two. Other than that, everyone was fine.

ridesapaintedpony 07-13-2010 05:10 PM

It basically was a general question. My friend lives near a mountain that is 2500 ft. and he wanted to ride up there but we wondered about the elevation. He had recently hiked up there and experienced shortness of breath and was wondering if it affected horses the same way.

Thank you.

payette 07-13-2010 05:16 PM

For that elevation, I'd just reccomend taking it slow and easy. The climb might contribute to the shortness of breath factor as much as the change in elevation does.

payette 07-13-2010 05:17 PM

Haha! love your signature!^^^

MN Tigerstripes 07-13-2010 05:26 PM

Yes it affects them the same way. We took our horses to the MT mountains a couple of years ago and they struggled a bit with the elevation. Especially when we went up the mountains further in the course of a couple of trail rides. We just took it easy and paid attention to how the horses were handling it. If they needed a break, we dismounted (in a safe area) and relaxed for a bit.

As for prep work. I don't know if this helped a lot, but we just tried to have them in as good as condition as possible. We also did a lot of riding in the lake.

Another point? Elevation makes alcohol effect you MUCH more quickly. I'm talking if you can drink 5 beers and be "ok" you'll be drinking 3 and sh*tcanned. So if you are old enough to drink, and are camping keep that in mind.

Speed Racer 07-13-2010 05:37 PM

Yeah MN, I hear ya about the alcohol/elevation connection. It made cheap drunks out of all of us! :lol:

The place where we stayed had free beer and wine, but if you wanted hard liquor you had to bring it with you. They provided the mixers, but not the booze.

I had a couple of vodka drinks that first night there, and got totally hammered.

MN Tigerstripes 07-13-2010 05:45 PM

Yeah, after that first night we were ALOT more careful. Then we met the cowboys...... :D

Delfina 07-13-2010 06:51 PM

I moved from sea level (literally, we were on the water) to 5,000 feet above sea level. Not only should you watch your alcohol intake, but you'll need way more water than usual as well and even more if you go into a really dry climate. I ended up dehydrated with an IV twice before I finally adjusted.

Sad part is after a couple months, the cheap drunk effect goes away but it is quite fun watching the folks who come to visit!

ridesapaintedpony 07-13-2010 07:26 PM


Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes (Post 690053)
Yeah, after that first night we were ALOT more careful. Then we met the cowboys...... :D


Thanks everyone for answering the question.

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