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Re: [RC] Sponging? Yes or NO? - heidi larson

I have always sponged liberally in hot dry weather.  Here in the PNW we 
sometimes have more humid rides and I try to scrape the water off as soon as I 
put it on as it creates a sort of membrane, holding the heat next to the horse. 

And, please use the sponging buckets, my horse LOVES to drink them up!  Must be 
the natural e-lytes!

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.     o-- /_/       \  /
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heidi larson

--- On Wed, 2/11/09, Paul <Paul@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

From: Paul <Paul@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [RC] Sponging? Yes or NO?
To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Wednesday, February 11, 2009, 5:01 AM
When I first started endurance riding, I was told about
sponging. Later I read some stuff and talked to some other
riders about it and heard that maybe it doesn't help as
much as we think. 

Here is what I was told: In dry conditions, sponging helps
cool the horse through the evaporative effect..As the water
evaporates, it takes the heat with it.  However in humid
conditions, it can actually insulate the horse with a layer
of hot water that closes the sweat pores to keep the hot
outside water from coming in? Without removing the hot
water, sponging actually hurts rather than helps the horse
cool off. If you add enough cool water, like with a hose, or
buckets,  that washes away the hot water and provides a
cooling effect. So under humid conditions, if you just drop
a sponge into a bucket, wipe it on the horse and ride off,
you may not be helping your cause.

This is what some experienced riders told me. So I started
sponging less and only when I could get off and squeegee the
hot water off my horse. We have never noticed the lack of
sponging hurting him. In fact he seemed to sweat the same
but it dried off quicker.

Have there been any studies that examined internal body
temps with our style of sponging horses under humid
conditions?  Any other input?

Plus...It really bugs me when riders come up to the water
tanks and ignore the signs about which tanks are for
sponging and which are for drinking, and then drop their
nasty sponge in my horses face, and wring it out, in the
tank, before they wet their horse down.. Let's not do
that in 2009..ok?

Paul N. Sidio
KMA Chazz Piper
Spokane MO



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[RC] Sponging? Yes or NO?, Paul