T or F:rinsing a horse when it is hot actually makes them more uncomfortable??
This makes sense, but I never knew this. Is it true?
When it is very hot outside, if you rinse off your horse and do not use a scraper, you are actually making them feel warmer...as their wet hair traps the heat and basically ends up feeling like a hot soggy blanket has been placed on them.
I would love to go squirt my minis with a hose...but not if it makes them feel worse rather than better!
It is not just that the water makes them feel hotter what you are actually doing is stopping them from sweating. Something they need to do to stay cool.
On the flip side the salt in the sweat clogs pores and also stops them from sweating. What I normally do it hose them really well in certain areas. Front of the neck under then front legs under their rear legs. This cools the large areas of blood flow and cools them but does not get them all wet and stop them from sweating. Now if the horse is cover with sweat stains then I do wash them down well dry them as best as possible put them in a stall with fans until they are dry and cool or sometimes just back out just depends on the horse.
You could just sponge off your mini's. Each time you sponge on new water, you'll be rinsing the hotter stuff off. Add a little rubbing alcohol to the water and they'll be cool little cucumbers.
Leaving the horse sopping wet when it's hot AND humid outside makes the horse hotter. However, rinsing with cold water until the horse's skin is cool, then using a sweat scraper to get a lot of the water off, will greatly improve the horse's condition.
Here in Arkansas we've been having temps from 98 to 106 degrees over the last few weeks, with humidity between 70-90%. It's been downright NASTY... My vet has been on lots of calls for heat stroke and cattle are dying too. I go out every afternoon to feed and I hose off each horse. They really appreciate it... We have really cold well water. They come in often panting and covered in sweat. Once I'm done with their bath (and scraping), their breathing is back to normal and they start to dry normally back out in the pasture. They do start sweating again, they're just not drenched or panting any more.
On a hot day I always feel better after a cold shower. Even though my long hair gets wet and sticks to my head, it still is awesome. Pretty sure your horses would agree with me.
And while yes, a wet horse isn't sweating, the evaporation of the water off of the horse has the same cooling effect as sweating does. Plus the cool water has the added bonus of dropping the body temp down a notch, so the horse does stop sweating because they are no longer hot enough to IYKWIM?
If there's a slight breeze, it's not so bad to hose them and allow them to dry, as the action of evaporation and that slight breeze will cool the blood vessels near the top of the skin considerably.
As someone mentioned above, its when its hot and really humid/still weather that hosing isn't so great.
What luvs said.
My vet tells our barn, wet the horse down, then SCRAPE the excess water off. Never leave the horse wet without scraping because it's really bad for them.
Thanks for all the replies. I think Kayty makes a good point, about the humidity. I think that may be the tipping point as to whether you should scrape or not scrape. Of course, down here in SoFla (and I know many other parts of the country) the humidity is just awful. I call it "soupy"." I can feel the moisture in the air.
I have been doing what nahareiner said...I just do under the neck, chest and under the belly with the hose. I do have a fan on in one of the stalls, but they seem to prefer standing under a shady tree in their paddock rather than to go in the stall and stand, which drives me nuts cuz it is WAY cooler in the stall.
Anyway, thanks again!
We just had this discussion with our vet last week.
If you hose the horse off to cool it off, the body has to work to get the temp back to where it's comfortable - in essense making the horse hotter. If a horse is over heated - it's better to give it some shade, water and a breeze.
After a work out - yes - cool the horse down, get the sweat/salt off and yes remember to scrape it off.
This is an excellent article:
Horses heat up 10 times faster than people - study | Horsetalk - International horse news
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