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RE: Summer Breeze/Cooling horses

Title: RE: Summer Breeze/Cooling horses


We call the 2L bottles filled with ice "ice bullets".  They're great!  I'm afraid that I would need far too many bullets for the amount of water that we go thru for my husband's black QH/TB.  We estimate that we go through 30+ gallons with 16-24 lbs ice on a hot day with him.

As someone else said, we move out in the sun (make a breeze), and walk in the shade.  We wear light colored clothing (except dark tights - they don't show the dirt so badly) and we use natural wool pads on the horse's backs.  We keep extra water bottles just for spritzing the horses.  We use Enduralytes and Lytes Now... The guys get 1.5 doses of Enduralytes the evening before with 10 gallons of water in each pen.  The morning of the ride, they start with a dose of Lytes Now and continue to get 1-1.5 doses at every vet check - approximately every 2-3 hours. 

To cool, we sponge on that ice water then scrape it off until it isn't hot as it comes off of the horse.  We use ice water everywhere on the horse on a hot day with no problems with muscle cramping or increased heat from surface capillary constriction because of the cold.  It has proven to be a godsend.  I probably wouldn't have done this 5 years ago, but the horses in Atlanta for the Olympics didn't suffer any ill effects from it, so we decided to experiment with it.  When the horse starts to say that the water is too cold, we back off to normal water at the vet checks.  We concentrate sponging where major blood vessels are close to the surface - jugulars in the neck, elbow/girth area, inside of back legs...

I have heard of placing ice up the horse's rectum for cooling.  It would be up against major blood vessels & probably works, but I would hesitate to do this.  It can irritate the vagal nerve and cause heart arrhythmias.  (Not to mention a strong possibility of getting kicked by a very ticked horse.)

We fight to find shade where ever we can.  We haven't gone so far as to take an awning with us at away vet checks, but I have seen it done.  There have been times that Mike has had the truck running with the air on so that the rider can sit where it is cool while the horse is cooled by a crew member. (Of course, the crew <had> been in the truck to "test" the air conditioning while waiting on the rider.)

Whenever possible, we get all of the tack off the horse's back.  They cool considerably faster that way, even though the tack doesn't cover that much surface area.

I'm sure others will think of things that I've missed.

In hot, steamy WV where it was 98* and 100% humidity yesterday during our training ride.

-----Original Message-----
From: DreamWeaver []

I bring several two liter (soda) bottles that are frozen - filled with
water.  They make great ice cubes (plus you don't have to buy ice that
way), and as they melt, you can pour the ice cold water over the horse for

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