hard work in cold weather - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 11-24-2014, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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hard work in cold weather

so it is getting cold outside and getting dark earlier

what do you guys do with your horses when you work them hard right before it gets dark and they get all hot and sweaty?

do you rinse the sweat off of them and walk them until they cool off?
to you just walk them until they cool off and let the sweat dry?

tips?
thoughts?

central mississipi - overnight lows range from 20-55 degree's - depending
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post #2 of 16 Old 11-24-2014, 10:31 AM
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You didn't say how cold. Mine like to be turned out immediately after unsaddling and go for a good roll and probably some bucking. This helps them dry from the skin out. Then if you feel the need, groom after the roll but it's not necessary.



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post #3 of 16 Old 11-24-2014, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
You didn't say how cold. Mine like to be turned out immediately after unsaddling and go for a good roll and probably some bucking. This helps them dry from the skin out. Then if you feel the need, groom after the roll but it's not necessary.
temperatures have been erratic these past few weeks.

overnight lows have renged from 23 up to 55-ish degrees F
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post #4 of 16 Old 11-24-2014, 10:36 AM
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I typically scrape them with a sweat scraper curry most of the debris from them, and put them in my barn arena to roll a few times before they get fed and go in a stall, my biggest concern is keeping the wind off of them.

Jim
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post #5 of 16 Old 11-24-2014, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jimmyp View Post
I typically scrape them with a sweat scraper curry most of the debris from them, and put them in my barn arena to roll a few times before they get fed and go in a stall, my biggest concern is keeping the wind off of them.

Jim
they have 24/7 turnout, and have walk-in stalls (no doors)

i do have a sweat scraper -- maybe i can hose them off and scrape off as much of the excess moisture as i can
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post #6 of 16 Old 11-24-2014, 10:42 AM
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I wish we had 20 as our low!! That has been our high for about a month now!!!! So lucky, you are!

I just take the saddle and everything off of them, walk them around until they stop steaming mostly. Here its cold enough that they steam when they are standing there, so we walk until it looks like "normal" steam come from them.
Then I let them roll and hang out while I put the saddle and stuff away.
Then I taken them out and put them away - wishing I had a thick coat to keep me warm until we got to the truck ;)
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post #7 of 16 Old 11-24-2014, 11:01 AM
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I'm in Central Mississippi, too. Yesterday, I rode in shorts and a Tshirt. Last week, I broke out the Jeans, gloves, beanie, and ym Great Grandpa's ARMY jacket.

I usually walk them down while I'm still on for 20 mins, unsaddle, put tack away while they are tied to the trailer, and then handwalk until all the sweat under the saddle is dry.

I've never had problems with my routine, and as soon as my horse is dry and stopped breathing hard, he rolls, gets a sip of water if he wants to, and meets me at the barn for his supper.
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post #8 of 16 Old 11-24-2014, 12:36 PM
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I'm in Alberta so it gets to -40 (that's the same in celcius and in farenheit).

If they are sweaty and steaming, I scrape off the excess sweat then I curry comb the hair so it's not flat but standing up. Then I walk them , groom, walk, groom. If they shiver, a light blanket goes on for the walk, then comes off while I groom.

The idea is to get the hair up and separated while it dries out, and to keep the chill off a wet back.

No light? Then I use a flashlight. It's absolutely beautiful walking through sparkling snow with just a low light, with your equine companion crunching the snow under hooves right beside you. In a full moon, you don't even need the flashlight.

At the end, they should be dry, fluffed and they go back into the paddock without the blanket. If the horse has a healthy coat and condition, they will not be cold. The hair naturally insulates and traps body heat.
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post #9 of 16 Old 11-24-2014, 07:04 PM
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Red Gate, a light interferes with a horse's night vision. We used to ride when it was so dark we couldn't see each other yet the horses never missed a step. They were familiar with the trails and had mapped them in their minds.



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post #10 of 16 Old 11-24-2014, 07:12 PM
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If I have to work a horse hard in very cold weather, I will towel dry as much as possible and use a light wool blanket. I buy cheap ones at Army/Navy Surplus stores and use a large clip. And, then I walk them out.

I grew up on race tracks, so hot walking is second nature to me.
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