The Horse Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

Registered
Joined
4,520 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My barn owner sometimes "pre sweats" a horse when it's really hot. What that means is she hoses it down thoroughly before working. She does this in horses that she believes have anhidrosis. Has anyone else heard of or tried this? Does it actually help?

I've read that one reason you have to scrape off excess water after you wash a horse is that water trapped in their coat can actually absorb more sun and thus make them hotter. So if one were going to try this pre-sweating, I suppose one would have to thoroughly soak the animal and then sweat scrape it so that it's just damp and not soaking?

Pony has not officially been diagnosed with anhidrosis, but he is a dark Pony who lives in a hot muggy environment and he doesn't sweat as much as you'd think he should when he's exercised, but he pants a lot. I'm wondering if this pre-sweating might help him. He does, on his own accord, go in the pond to get wet when it's hot outside.
 

Registered
Joined
2,111 Posts
An old cowboy I practically grew up with through my teen years always recommended a Guinness for horses that had anhidrosis. I've never had that issue with my horses but when I brought it up to my vet she said it was actually a really common way of managing it haha. Guess Toby Keith got that right 馃槃
 

Registered
Joined
3,426 Posts
When I was doing competitve trail, we were told to hose down the horse before a competition on a warm day.

Also, the myth that leaving water on a hot horse will make it hotter has been debunked.

From Horse and Hound Magazine:

While the majority of equine owners and caretakers know that hosing a horse is a quick way to cool him off, many still believe that the water must be scraped from the horse's body to reduce his temperature; they feel that not removing the excess water will actually make the horse hotter.

Dr. David Marlin, an equine thermoregulation expert, debunked the myth to Horse & Hound. Marlin worked extensively with the 1996 Atlanta Olympics to ensure competition horses were safe in the hot and humid conditions. Marlin is working to get the scientific word out: scraping off water is not necessary.



He points out that wild horses get wet from standing in the rain and they're not scraped of excess water鈥揳nd none of them perish from the water left on their skin. Though cold water used to hose down a horse will get warmer as heat passes from the horse to the water, the horse is in no danger of 鈥渃ooking鈥 from the water.

The colder the water and the hotter the horse, the more rapidly the horse will cool down as the heat moves from the horse to the water. If a horse is in a heat stroke situation, it's best to continuously run cold water over the horse. Stopping the application of water to scrape is wasting time that should be spend cooling the horse as rapidly as possible.

Though some horse owners and caretakers believe that cool water should only be applied to specific body parts that have large blood vessels, Marlin stressed that the cool water should be applied all over the body for a maximum cooling effect. Marlin also advises the horse be allowed to drink as much as he wants before he exerts himself and immediately after exercise. It's a myth that cold water will harm a hot horse.

Read more at Horse & Hound.
 

Registered
Joined
4,520 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@knightrider well, that's really interesting. I learned something new!

I am not sure what they do about the saddle and saddle pad. If your horse was soaking wet, it would soak through the pad and then your saddle would be wet, right? Also, if you let the armpit area get wet do you think it would cause girth rubbing, more so than if it were dry?
 

Administrator
Joined
36,137 Posts
I was going to link to the same article that @knightrider posted!

In response to your query in #4 - he's talking about hosing a hot horse down after work or maybe if its just come in from the field sweating, not prior to working the horse.

I can't see any physical connection between hosing a horse and a horse sweating in terms of it helping a horse with anhidrosis other than the horse would start off cool from the hosing because by the time you'd dried it off to put the saddle on, the horse would be hot again!

Standing in a barn with a fan on while being groomed would help as much as hosing prior to riding and then hosing down after riding and returning to a barn with some fans on for a while afterwards rather than turning out into full sun heat.

Some horse simply cope better with the heat than others - mine will all be in the same conditions but will all sweat in different amounts.
 

Registered
Elle, 1997 Oldenburg mare
Joined
2,080 Posts
The evaporation of the water would help cool during exercise, I would think. In the same way that wearing a wet bandana around your neck or wetting your shirt can help during intense dry heat. Sweat helps cool us by evaporating off our skin, so for horses who don't sweat, it would help mimic that effect. And it is true that scraping isn't necessary (I never scrape my horse) but I would probably do it if I hosed before exercising, just so the horse wasn't totally sopping wet.
 

Registered
Joined
6,444 Posts
If I thought a horse was hot or having sweating issues, I'd have no problem with hosing them down before saddling. We often do hard rides where the horses end up soaked and the sweat goes all the way through the saddle pads. Plain water will be a lot easier on your tack than sweat, which has to be rinsed off. If you don't have issues with girths or saddle pads rubbing when horses are drenched in sweat, you won't have issues with the same tack being wet from plain water. We also ride in pouring rain, so I can tell you riding wet horses is not an issue.
Here we are all completely soaked: Believe me, everything is wet including the entire underside of the saddle pads.

Versus winter horses sweaty from galloping. Also wet underneath all the tack.
 

Registered
Joined
6,072 Posts
An old cowboy I practically grew up with through my teen years always recommended a Guinness for horses that had anhidrosis. I've never had that issue with my horses but when I brought it up to my vet she said it was actually a really common way of managing it haha. Guess Toby Keith got that right 馃槃
I wonder if any beer would work, or just Guinness.. lol
 

Registered
Joined
1,870 Posts
In the same vein I have often looked at my jar of cooling gel (that was used to try cool a leg in summer when she had a cut/minor infection) and thought about slapping some on her chest before a ride. Its menthol I think. I do wonder...
 

Registered
Joined
2,988 Posts
Here in hot and muggy Florida, I routinely hose off my horses before work, or before trailering them somewhere. If I trailer off, they usually arrive dry even after a 15 minute ride in the trailer.
 

Registered
Joined
795 Posts
In the same vein I have often looked at my jar of cooling gel (that was used to try cool a leg in summer when she had a cut/minor infection) and thought about slapping some on her chest before a ride. Its menthol I think. I do wonder...
I don't think menthol would actually be effective in cooling off a horse because it basically tricks the nerves into feeling a cold sensation without actually being cold.
 

Super Moderator
Joined
14,710 Posts
I guess I will be different...
I will continue to scrape excess water off my horse, change my sweat soaked shirt and dry my face and arms when working as it makes me cooler.
Soaking wet anything on my skin to me is not cooling...but feels like a insulation of heat keeping my body from dissipating that heat it must expel.
The studies can say what they want...my horses if I left them soaking wet from a hose soaking do not dry here in Florida and in fact their skin and coat is intensely heated to my hands touch..no thanks.
I was always taught that to soak with a cold hose the body actually does the reverse of constricting the closest blood vessels to the surface...that works in hot or cold weather.
When freezing out, it is our bodies way of not losing to much heat to close down those surface vessels and keeping the core warmest for life-giving temperature needed to survive.
So to me, to just "soak" all at once and not work a pattern upward from hoof, leg and areas that have no fat reserve but surface blood vessels seen you might just put a bit of shock factor in the mix and defeat temporarily the reason you "pre-soak"...

Yes, the darker the beer the better it is said to help stir the sweat mechanism.
One-AC is said to work wonders for a non-sweater along with a lifestyle of offering cooling fans, darker barn during the heat of day and shade...

Me, I'll continue to scrape after a bath, a soaking rinse done.;)
馃惔...
 

Registered
Joined
1,097 Posts
When we were kids back in the dark ages before air conditioning, my mother would take us on car trips from California to Texas across the great western deserts. She had a jug of water she would pour on us. With the windows rolled down it was very cool in wet clothes. (wind chill factor)
 

Registered
Joined
14,640 Posts
I hosed down my horses legs, sponged under his mane & between his back legs on a hot day before a ride. I can't put a saddle on a wet horse, yuck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: bsms and ACinATX

Super Moderator
Joined
12,661 Posts
HLG it also depends on the material you are in. Loose weave cotton or linen wet cools as it is very breathable. Unless, there is no air flow. I really dont find I like the wicking fabrics here which is similar in weather to you.

Sometimes here the air is stagnant and that does nothing to aid only makes you feel worse. Even in the scorching heat in Tx I worked in long sleeves and long pants. Cotton or linen. We were east so more humid but usually a breeze. Kept my skin from frying like bacon in a pan.
 

Registered
Joined
4,520 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes, I personally have also started my summer ritual of pre-sweating myself before a ride LOL. I get my pants, the front and back of my shirt, and the back of my neck good and wet. When there's a breeze and shade it's great. Even when there's not shade it's better than nothing. I pretty much only wear cotton, linen, and hemp. I also am not a fan of the synthetic breathable fabrics.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SteadyOn

Registered
Joined
4,520 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Today before my ride I got some water in a bucket and let it sit for about 15 minutes, so it would hopefully be cool instead of cold (not that our tap water here in Central Texas is ever really cold anyways). I sponged it onto his rump, his chest, and all over his neck. At first he was surprised, but then I think he liked it.

Possibly coincidence, but he hardly panted at all during our lesson, and he did sweat more than usual. And he didn't seem as hot afterwards. I'm going to keep doing it and see how it goes.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top