Probably a dumb question, but here goes anyway - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-13-2010, 07:45 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
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We live at 6500 ft. elevation and regularly ride at 7500 ft, sometimes above. I don't know about horses coming from lower areas, but our horses that live here are just fine (and they were originally from lower areas). We never even think about the elevation being an issue. I don't know how long it takes to adjust though.

When I moved up here I never noticed a change in elevation affecting me at all, but I guess I was about 25 yrs. old at the time. The only thing I notice now is that if we travel to lower areas, the air seems really stuffy and stinky to me!

I guess that wasn't much help, lol!
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-13-2010, 10:48 PM
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Location: Northern Nevada
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Originally Posted by ridesapaintedpony View Post
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.
Around here 2500 ft is not a mountain, it's a mine

Seriously, a 2500 foot change in elevation (I'm assuming your friend started near sea level, and hiked to a 2500 peak?) should not be enough to cause problems. I live at about 5000 ft, and regularly hike to 10,000 and above. It seems more likely that any shortness of breath is just from the hiking. 2500 ft is a pretty good elevation change for a day hike - I get to puffing a bit regardless of whether I start from home elevation, or a trailhead above 8000 ft.

Or it could, of course, be a symptom of some physical problem. Does the friend get short of breath when s/he puts out an equivalent effort on the level?
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post #13 of 15 Old 07-13-2010, 11:36 PM
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Location: Northern Utah
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I agree with James. I live at 4400 and frequently take my horses above timberline at 11,000 with no problems. I have had a few tourist come to visit that got altitude sickness up at 11,000. But that is usually avoided by drinking lots of water and not so much pop. Too often tourist think they are still drinking fluids, because they have their regular diet coke. Not the same as drinking water.

This past week a couple hauled their horses out from Missouri and I have been guiding them around. We have been above 10,000 foot everyday and their horses have done just fine. We give the horses a chance to blow if they get huffin and puffin. But their Missouri horses have kept up with my local horses just fine.

Here we are watching some elk on Kabell Ridge above timber line at 11,300foot elevation.
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-14-2010, 07:22 AM
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Hrm. I don't know then. We came from an elevation of about 1000 (central MN) to about 6-8000 for our base camp (SW corner of MT, right in the mountains). The horses had no real problems at camp, but there was a day we trailed cattle with the cowboys and went up the sides of the mountains (no idea what the elevation was). My horse was noticiable tired/winded even though he was very fit. It could be from not drinking enough water I guess as creeks weren't terribly abundant on the side of the mountain.
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-14-2010, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes View Post
The horses had no real problems at camp, but there was a day we trailed cattle with the cowboys and went up the sides of the mountains (no idea what the elevation was). My horse was noticiable tired/winded even though he was very fit.
My guess would be that it was more from the exertion of the climbing than the elevation change, especially if your horse had a couple of days to acclimate. At least it works that way for me: I can stride along (or run) fairly level stretches without much effort, even at high altitude, but come to a bit of steep climb, and it's like "Hey, who turned up the gravity?"
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