A horse overheats up to 10 times faster than a human. It is important to prevent an overheating of your horse.
Cooling off a horse in the summer.
When making a ride on the horse in hot humid weather, there is a greater chance that the horse will overheat. A horse can get dangerously hot in only 17 minutes, compared to people is that up to 10 times faster. It is important, therefore, to keep an eye always on the heat-index, this is a combination of temperature and humidity. Tailor your ride accordingly so that you and your horse have a safe and secure ride and prevent a possible overheating. The consequences of overheating are severe: a horse can hyperventilate, colic and kidneys could fail. Here are some general guidelines how to responsibly cool off the horse after a ride.
1. Walking - Walk roughly the last 10-15 minutes of your ride through the paddock. Please pay attention to the movements of the flanks and the breathing of the horse. Walk until the horse goes back to normal breathing.
2. Water. Make sure the horse drinks enough. An adult horse of 600 kg normally drinks 20 to 30 liters of water per day. In warm weather, this increases to at least 40 liters. Make sure the horse always has access to sufficient water and let the horse drink as much as he wants.
3. Spraying with water. The spraying of a horse with cold water helps to reduce his body temperature because the horse's heat is transferred to the water. After hosing, remove excess water from the body of the horse with a Sweat scraper.
4. Allow the horse to dry. The putting in the stall of a wet horse can lead to new heating problems, particularly if the air si still. It is best to keep the horse in the shade or in the barn with a good fan to dry. Once the skin becomes cool to the touch, the horse can be put into the stable.
5. If your horse gets warm without exercise, a cooling blanket for horses can help to provide relief from the heat stress.