Cooling Out Your Horse

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It?s a frustrating situation.? In the summer your horse heats up quickly because of the hot weather, and in the winter he heats up quickly due to his thick winter coat.? No matter what the season, it is likely that after a hard ride you will probably have to spend some time cooling your horse out.? Remember, no matter how tired you are at the end of a ride, your horse?s health depends upon you spending the time to help his body return to normal.? You wouldn?t work up a big sweat and then stand around in the cold winter air, so you shouldn?t expect your horse to either.

  • Always allow your horse to walk at the end of a ride.? Depending on how hot he is, you may need to spend ten or twenty minutes just walking.? It?s a good idea when returning from a trail ride to walk your horse for the last leg of the trail.? In an ideal scenario, your horse will be almost dry by the time you get back to the barn.
  • Strip the saddle pad and offer your horse a small amount of water.? Contrary to popular belief, allowing a horse to drink when he?s hot won?t cause colic, and instead will help him fight the effects of dehydration.
  • In summer, you can simply walk your horse at a good pace while his vital signs return to normal and his coat dries up.? In winter, you will want to add a blanket or cooler to protect your horse from the cold.
  • If you know you won?t have a lot of time after your ride, don?t let your horse sweat up too much.? Give him lots of time to cool off during the ride.
  • For horses with a thick winter coat who quickly heat up in the winter, it might be wise to at least partially clip them.? Keep in mind this will require blanketing your horse to keep him warm.
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