When The Rider is hot, The Horse is hotter – SUMMER RIDING

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A very hot humid day. One amazing rider. One awesome horse. Both are exercising at a moderate level. Who is more likely to overheat?



It may surprise you to know your horse gets warmer, much quicker than you and is more vulnerable to the negative effects of heat stress.Michael Lindinger Adrian, MSc, Ph.D. an exercise and animal physiologist at the Guelph University – Ontario, explains: “It only takes Seventeen minutes of moderate intensity exercise in hot, humid weather to raise a horse’s temperature to dangerous levels. That’s three to 10 times faster than in humans. Horses feel the heat much worse than we do.”

It may surprise you to know your horse gets warmer, much quicker than you and is more vulnerable to the negative effects of heat stress.Michael Lindinger Adrian, MSc, Ph.D. an exercise and animal physiologist at the Guelph University – Ontario, explains: “It only takes Seventeen minutes of moderate intensity exercise in hot, humid weather to raise a horse’s temperature to dangerous levels. That’s three to 10 times faster than in humans. Horses feel the heat much worse than we do.”

“Horses are more susceptible to heat for several reasons”

And the effects can be serious. In case a horse’s body temperature shoots up from the standard Thirty Seven Celsius to Thirty-Eight Celsius to Forty One Celsius, temperatures within functioning muscles might be as high as 43°C, a temperature at which proteins in muscle begin to denature (cook). Horses suffering excessive heat stress may experience hypotension, colic, and renal failure.

Lindinger, a faculty member in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Human Health, became interested in the effects of heat on horses when he was the main researcher on the CA research group that contributed information on the response of the horse to heat and humidity for the Atlanta Summer Olympics. He recently introduced a workshop about the subject in Equine Guelph’s Outdoor Equine Expo held 4th of June in U.G.’s Arkell Research Station.

Horses are more susceptible to heat for several reasons, explains Lindinger. First, they are larger and have a higher percentage of active muscle than people do during exercise. When muscles are being utilized, they create a lot of heat.

Horses also rely to a significant extent on sweating to cool them off. They can sweat 15 to 20 liters per hour in cool, dry conditions and up to 30 liters per hour in hot, humid conditions, but only 25-30% of the sweat produced is effective in cooling the horse by evaporation.

“Because so much more sweat is produced than can be evaporated, the rest just drips off the horse’s body,” says Lindinger. “By comparison, up to 50% of the sweat people produce is evaporated from our bodies during exercise and helps to cool us.”

The salts in horse sweat are also five times as concentrated as in individual sweat. Lindinger refers to a photograph of an area where endurance horses had been standing while their sweaty bodies were repeatedly scraped and cooled with water. As the Fluids evaporated in the Floor, the soil surface has been left white because of the salt in the horses’ sweat.

“Those salts have to be replaced,” he adds. “Just giving the horse water will not rehydrate a dehydrated horse. If horses drink plain water, it dilutes their body fluids, and their own bodies react by attempting to get rid of more water and more electrolytes.”

“Getting and keeping your horse correctly hydrated is the Most significant step in protecting it from the damaging impact of heat”

Horses also pant to dissipate heat, but Lindinger says this is only effective if the air is at least five degrees cooler than the horse’s body temperature.

 

His hints for shielding horses from the Harmful effects of summertime heat start with instructing your horse to consume an electrolyte solution (water with the right proportion of salts dissolved in it) to replace sweat losses. “Start with a small amount of the water, allowing the horse to get used to the taste, and gradually increase it over days and weeks until you have reached the manufacturer’s recommendation.” Getting and keeping your horse correctly hydrated is the Most significant step in protecting it from the damaging impact of heat, he says.

His hints for shielding horses from the Harmful effects of summertime heat start with instructing your horse to consume an electrolyte solution (water with the right proportion of salts dissolved in it) to replace sweat losses. “Start with a small amount of the water, allowing the horse to get used to the taste, and gradually increase it over days and weeks until you have reached the manufacturer’s recommendation.” Getting and keeping your horse correctly hydrated is the Most significant step in protecting it from the damaging impact of heat, he says.

If you’re preparing for a competition, Lindinger recommends trying to acclimatize your horse to the heat by spending four hours daily, at least five days a week for three weeks, in hot conditions. For perfect outcomes, exercise the horse for an hour during the second hour of each of those days.

“Many riders will train their horses in the mornings or evenings, when it’s cool, then go to a competition held during the hottest part of the day. You want to get horses used to being ridden in the heat and permit them to create the entire spectrum of valuable Adaptations which arrive with heat acclimation.” Lindinger says that horses who have been through a process of heat acclimation will lose more heat through sweating and respiration and will be better able to stay hydrated because they are more likely to drink.

As soon as your horse is hot, Start Looking for shade and breezes to help cool them down a bit, but do not use a cooler or blanket on A horse that’s sweating, he adds, suggesting the best way to cool a horse quickly is to rinse the horse’s body repeatedly with cold water and scrape off the excess water.

“You can cool the horse at least two degrees in about 10 minutes by doing the following: pour on the water, scrape it off, then pour more, and keep on repeating it,” says Lindinger. “The scraping part is important because otherwise the water will be trapped in the horse’s hair and will quickly warm up. By Scratching and Pouring on the new chilly water you maintain the cooling process and keep moving the temperature down.”

Just as equestrians pack a canteen of water, some sunscreen and a hat with a brim for summer riding adventures, Lindinger states they ought to also equip themselves with all the tools required to guard their horses in the heat and humidity. In case you prepare your horse Beforehand and have a Strategy to cool him down when he becomes overheated, the hot, sunny Days of summer may be great for riding pleasure…

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