Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Myths on cooling down your horse

I recently wrote a post about how to properly cool down a horse.  After some great feedback from very experienced riders and trainers I realized there are many myths out there concerning cooling down.  Here is a list of a few common myths:

1. Hosing a horse with cold water will cause muscle spasms or a heart attack.
Completely false. Cold water won't hurt the horse one bit, and the cooler the water, the more efficiently it will cool him down.

2. Letting a horse drink all he wants after exercise will cause founder (or colic Completely false. Water cannot make a horse founder, no matter how much he drinks, or when.

3. Cold water will cause founder or colic. It won't. But studies have shown that horses given warmish water will drink more. So it's a good idea to draw a bucket of water and let it warm up a bit if your water supply is very cold.

4. Horses cool out faster when wearing a cooler.
 False.  Never put any kind of cooler on a horse in hot weather. When you're hot, do you crawl under a blanket or take off extra clothes? The same thing goes for your horse. You want his body heat to transfer to the air and blow away, not be trapped close to him.

5. Never clip a horse because his hair helps him cool out quicker.
Very false!  Common sense alone will tell you that the less you have between skin and air, the quicker cooling will occur.

1 comment:

  1. Again, not totally accurate. When I'm training/riding endurance we never put cold water on the horse's hind end when working, cold water can cramp the large rump muscles and ruin your day. Happened to my friend just last ride where she cooled her horse all over with cold water and the mare cramped up in her hind end.

    We DO cool the horse's necks and shoulders liberally.