Tips for cooling your horse in hot weather
July 19, 2019
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To some it may seem basic education, but with this week's heat wave throughout much of the country, it's important to remember the keys to keeping your horse safe when exercising or competing during hot weather.
Professor Michael Lindinger, animal and exercise physiologist with the University of Guelph in Ontario, has the following recommendations:
“You can cool the horse two degrees in 10 minutes this way: pour on the water, scrape it off, pour on more, and just keep repeating it,” says Lindinger, who adds you should never put a blanket or coolor on a horse. “The scraping part is important because otherwise the water will be trapped in the horse’s hair and will quickly warm up. By scraping and pouring on fresh, cold water you keep the cooling process going.”
Lindinger began studying the effects of heat on horses when he was a lead researcher on the Canadian research team that contributed information on the response of the horse to heat and humidity for the Atlanta Summer Olympics.
He also recommends that salts be replaced because the salts in horse sweat are also four times as concentrated as in human sweat. Water is not enough; electrolytes are required.