Cooling Your Horse in Cold Weather

After exercising your horse, cooling down is the next step, as even in cold weather, s/he sweats. It’s so important to see that your horse doesn’t become chilled due to it’s wet body.

With colder temperatures, warming up before exercise loosens the muscles so vigorous exercise is easier on the horse’s body.

Exercise produces enough heat to keep your horse comfortable, but after, his/her body temperature drops off. Keeping your horse warm and removing moisture from the coat prevents chilling.

Horse people recommend using “coolers” after a workout. A cooler is a blanket usually made from wool,fleece or cotton that helps slowly lower a horse’s body temperature and wicks moisture from a wet coat. Choose a cooler thick enough to keep the horse comfortable on the coldest day in your area. On days that are less chilly, you can use a lighter blanket or fold back the heavy one.

Wicking means to absorb or drain moisture. Wicking fabric draws sweat off the skin, cooling down the horse.

It’s advisable to keep the cooler on, even in the barn until your horse’s coat is dry and respiration is normal.

Don’t turn out your horse until his/her body is thoroughly dry. In order to keep warm, your horse may tighten the body causing muscle tension in the back or abdominal tension which can lead to colic.

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