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[RC] horse management in extreme sweaty heat - Judie Ricci

It is and has been  very hot and humid here in N.VA. for a long time,  lots of rain to make it steamier.  then rising temps. to 100 + deg.  Forget the heat index and trying to decide to ride or not.   When I lived in So.Ca.  I thought 3%  humidity was scary when you figured the heat index.   Not anymore.
We have 4 Arabians ages 4-13 and one Kieger Mustang 5yr.    All are hot and sweating all day , but still go running all over the place in spurts,  roll ,  sweat , run.
When I take them out to ride they are all for it,  more so than I am.   With lots of energy , We rode last Sunday  it was of course hot and humid,  the horses were very competitive with each other,  we galloped and trotted and they  ate grass, got sponged in the creeks,  and when we got home we took temps. and both were at 102.  Not bad for a high heat index day.
On the real humid days I feed them thier" Enduro Max " electrolights with morning feed, and again at night .  They love this e light,  and willeat it in the feed, a tiny bit of beet pulp and a scoop of grain, I of course dose them before we ride,   and I feed Alfalfa,        mix ed with combinations of grass hays.   They have two big tanks on automatic water systems,  Red and white  Salt bloks are alwways available, and free choice salt in the stalls,   Most of mine don't like the free choice salt, but love to go at the salt blocks.
We did the electrolight study last  August with Dr. Jeannie Waldron,  and it was miserabley hot.   The results of that test should be available soon.   It was a potassium and no potassium study,   2 days , 30 mile course  each day( part of the OD.trail)  blood was taken every 5 miles and temps taken,  by a group of researchers.
  The next study we will do with Dr.Waldron will be  a core heat test.   We did do some of that last summer,  you put a indoor out door  thermometer  line under your saddle pad and read it as you go,  then take the temp. rectally and compare.   Usually the same.  So if you are worried about riding in the heat ,  take the horses temp  before you go and after you get back.   We saw some horses as high as 105!  Those horses did not look bad ,  but with out the temps.  you are only guessing.     The indoor out door things like you put in your window are available at a lot of stores.   Obviously you want a small one ,  wrap it in a double baggie ,  with the heat sensing cord under the sadddle blanket like you would a heart rate sensor.  Tape it to the wither part of your breast collar  or hang it in a heart rate moniter bag ,  the old pouch style,  where you can see it .  Ma kes an interesting addition to your training program.   Dont ask the kid at the counter for a horse themometer,   it is just a small indoor out door unit usually hanging on a wall.     Ride hot , ride cold, ride wet, ride happy.   
Judie Ricci
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