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Cooling a Horse in Hot Weather

Cooling a Horse in Hot Weather








Cooling a Horse in Hot Weather










How to Cool Out a Horse in Hot Weather

Cooling out your horse in hot weather - especially after a workout - is extremely important. Follow these steps to keep your horse cool and healthy.
Things You’ll Need:


Step 1:
Get your horse cooled off as quickly as possible. Run cold water over his entire body - an ice-bath is preferable.

Step 2:
Sponge cold water mixed with rubbing alcohol over the horse's large muscle areas to encourage evaporation.

Step 3:
Let your horse drink as much water as he wants. Contrary to popular belief, drinking water will not cause a horse to colic or founder.

Step 4:
Keep your horse untacked and "naked" as much as possible. This will allow maximum heat to escape from the body.

Step 5:
Find a shady, cool area out of the sun and heat.

Step 6:
Monitor the horse's vital signs.

Tips & Warnings:

A horse with mild heat stress will take 30 to 40 breaths per minute and have a heart rate of 50 to 60 beats per minute; his entire body will be covered in a film of sweat; he will have more small veins popping out on his body than usual; he will be reluctant to work; he will hold his head down; he will be uninterested in his surroundings; he will have gums a darker pink than normal; and he will have a temperature of 102.1 to 103 degrees F.
A horse with moderate heat stress will take 40 to 50 breaths per minute and have a heart rate of 61 to 80 beats per minute; he will have sweat dripping from his neck and between his hind legs; most of his body will be covered by a road map of bulging veins; he will have no interest in food; he may stumble or lose balance; his gums will be dark pink or maroon; and he will have a temperature of 103.1 to 105 degrees F.

A horse with severe heat stress will take more than 50 breaths per minute and have a heart rate of more than 80 heartbeats per minute; sweat will pour from all parts of his body; veins will protrude over much of his body; he will be oblivious to surroundings; he may stagger and collapse; and he will have dark red or purple gums and a temperature of more than 105 degrees F.

For mild heat stress, follow the steps outlined for a simple cool-out.
For moderate heat stress, do all of the above and monitor vital signs every 10 to 15 minutes. If they fail to improve in 20 to 30 minutes or if his condition worsens, call your vet. If no vet is available, continue cooling efforts and do not move or load your horse until vital signs return to normal.

For severe heat stress, red alert! Your horse is in danger of heat exhaustion, which is a life-threatening emergency. Do all of the above. Getting a vet is imperative. Monitor and record vital signs every 10 to 15 minutes and report them to your vet. Your horse may need intravenous fluids.


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