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Horse struggling in the humidity

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  • Horse struggling in the humidity

    Recently moved to Houston which is just as hot as where we were living but not as humid. Mare is not adjusting well still after being here for a month. After a short 30 min ride of just easy walk and trot, she is panting at a 120 breaths per minute. She was never like this before where we used to live. I could ride her for 2 hours. She gets hosed off after being ridden and parked infrint of an industrial fan until her breathing is more normal. Also started the supplement one ac but probably too soon to notice a difference. Anyone with any tips/help?
    Originally posted by Sithly
    do NOT give your 5 year old child a big bag of apples and send her out alone into a herd of 20-some horses to get mobbed. There are better ways to dispose of unwanted children.

  • #2
    try hosing off before you ride and ride her while she is wet coated
    Appy Trails,
    Kathy, Cadet & CCS Silinde
    member VADANoVA www.vadanova.org

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    • #3
      Humidity increases the heat index, so it probably feels hotter than where you lived previously.

      Do you give your horse electrolytes? I find those really help my mare in the summer.
      My blog: Journeys in Riding

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Yes sorry she is on electrolytes.
        Originally posted by Sithly
        do NOT give your 5 year old child a big bag of apples and send her out alone into a herd of 20-some horses to get mobbed. There are better ways to dispose of unwanted children.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have a gelding that spent the last 5 years in Seattle, then came here to the Houston area for our really severe hot, early, and dry summer. He is not a good drinker. I believe hydration helps them. I soak his hay, give him very weak gatorade (3/4 scoop in a big bucket of water, he thinks it is a treat). On really hot days I pull him inside during the heat of the day, hose him, and put him under a fan for a while. Good luck!

          Comment


          • #6
            Any time you move to some place new that is hotter (hotter feeling due to humidity which increases the heat index) it takes about a year for horses and humans to completely adjust to the change. Some (usually warmbloods) take longer to adapt. I'm just saying that you might want to see what happens over time. Take it easy for now, it will get cooler. Then when it gets warmer next summer, she might be better equipped to handle it.

            It's not an overnight thing. I LOVE warm weather, but every time I've moved from some place cooler to some place warmer, it takes me a long time to adapt. If it's more humid, it takes me even longer. Same for my horses, based on my experiences.

            Actually, moving some place truly cold can be easier for some horses, unless you do it in the dead of winter. Then it's brutal to both man and beast! Sometimes seems worse to me. You just cannot get warm. Cooling off usually takes hosing off and maybe applying some ice--and not doing too much until you adapt.

            You could do a cool off FIRST, then ride and then cool off again. The eventers would have even better suggestions than us dressage riders on how to cool them down well and safely. I do know that there are a lot of new developments that they are testing out at events and could possibly help you get her started. (Hopefully not too expensive!)
            "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kch7238 View Post
              On really hot days I pull him inside during the heat of the day, hose him, and put him under a fan for a while. Good luck!
              Yep. Night turn out is the best in hot places. Inside with fans and sometimes even misters (when you have them) is best during the day in the hotter climates.
              "And I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." - Capt Reynolds "Firefly"

              Comment


              • #8
                Can you change the time you ride? I used to be in Missouri ( moved last Sept) where humidity abounds! I always did my best to ride early mornings. My horses would stay in their barn ( their choice) during most of the day and go out in the evening. I know some people don't have a flexible schedule as to when they can ride, but your horse would do much better, in my experience.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Be forewarned... Houston's experiencing severe drought. It's not normally this "pleasant" outside. It's usually significantly more humid.

                  Tips for Houston riding:
                  Ride either before 10am or after 6pm.
                  Invest in fans. Lots of 'em.
                  Find shade for "real" work
                  Longer/more frequent walk breaks
                  Rinse before riding
                  Rinse after riding
                  Always scrape off excess water
                  Turn out at night
                  Water everything you can (feed, hay, etc)
                  Wait til October/November when the temps dip below 90.

                  If you want to cool her off quicker, sponge her down after her rides with water + rubbing alcohol. If you REALLY want to cool her off, ice + rubbing alcohol. Some people leave a water+alcohol bucket by the arena to cool the horses during walk breaks.

                  Enjoy Houston.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cnm161 View Post
                    Be forewarned... Houston's experiencing severe drought. It's not normally this "pleasant" outside. It's usually significantly more humid.

                    Tips for Houston riding:
                    Ride either before 10am or after 6pm.
                    Invest in fans. Lots of 'em.
                    Find shade for "real" work
                    Longer/more frequent walk breaks
                    Rinse before riding
                    Rinse after riding
                    Always scrape off excess water
                    Turn out at night
                    Water everything you can (feed, hay, etc)
                    Wait til October/November when the temps dip below 90.

                    If you want to cool her off quicker, sponge her down after her rides with water + rubbing alcohol. If you REALLY want to cool her off, ice + rubbing alcohol. Some people leave a water+alcohol bucket by the arena to cool the horses during walk breaks.

                    Enjoy Houston.

                    good advice

                    I would add - ride while she feels herself and take a rinse-off break before she gets stressed - so if she was stressed at 20, rinsebreak at 15 then ride another 15 - repeat
                    Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

                    The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I was only going to add that this stinkin high humidity here in bamaland is making me huff and puff with no exercise...can't blame any critter for doing it in work....
                      Originally posted by BigMama1
                      Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                      GNU Terry Prachett

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Meeeee toooo alagirl. As in - not riding unless it's before 8AM. Too hot for man and beast down here!
                        SPAY/NEUTER/RESCUE/ADOPT!
                        Little Star Chihuahua Rescue
                        The Barkalicious Bakery
                        On Facebook!!!

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                        • #13
                          Any allergies?

                          I am not sure about Houston, but in Austin the allergens are always high. Although you would think nothing is growing with the drought ....
                          But allergens can definitely affect breathing as well.

                          I personally take it very easy with my horse - trail riding or walk trot for 30 minutes - except for when I ride at 7 am on weekends.
                          My blog: Journeys in Riding

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I easily mix 50 quarts of weak gatorade for my horses everyday. Big help.

                            They are rinsed before coming into the barn and standing under fans mid day.

                            I have a garden mixer thing for wintergreen alcohol, listerine and apple cider vinegar to be mixed at least once a week if not more.

                            Gotta love the south and the humidity.
                            “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
                            ? Albert Einstein

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Honestly, if it is your first summer here, I would take it easy until September when it cools off. You do not want to stress your horses system and have her stop sweating. I usually scale back in August because I feel like the heat starts to get to the horses, especially this summer being so hot. I just try to keep them from losing fitness but I don"t train on them as much. As another poster suggested, I would try night turnout and put up a fan.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                JINGLES FOR YOUR MARE AND YOU ``

                                JINGLES FOR YOUR MARE DURING THIS EXTREME SUMMER OF
                                HEAT & HUMIDITY ~
                                Last edited by Zu Zu; Jul. 26, 2011, 08:12 PM.
                                Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Please be sure to scrape the water off when you rinse!! In humidity the water on the hair/skin can not evaporate and it just sits and gets warm and makes it even hotter for the horse to cool off. Because of this, I would not recommend rinsing before I rode unless you had time to let her almost completely dry. After you ride, cold or ice water and continue to scrape. You will know when you may stop when your horse's coat is not hot to the touch. Definitely keep in during the day under high velocity fan and turn out at night. Keeping their coat clean also helps them to stay cooler, so on days your don't ride, be sure to groom her and get the sticky dirt off so that the skin can breathe!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    It is simple - Move back to NC :-)

                                    OK, in all seriousness - lots of walk breaks, ride early in the am or late in the pm, hose her chest off before you ride, and it doesn't hurt to have a bucket of cold water in the arena while you are riding. Have some clothes in it and put a fresh one over her withers throughout your ride. Some rubbing alcohol works too - what cools down you and a horse is the evaporation process. Alcohol (rubbing that is ;-) evaporates quickly.

                                    Sorry they are having such a tough time. Banner had a hard to time when her first moved from Canada to NC, but he did acclimate.....

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Liz View Post
                                      Honestly, if it is your first summer here, I would take it easy until September when it cools off. You do not want to stress your horses system and have her stop sweating. I usually scale back in August because I feel like the heat starts to get to the horses, especially this summer being so hot. I just try to keep them from losing fitness but I don"t train on them as much. As another poster suggested, I would try night turnout and put up a fan.
                                      This, and cnm's suggestions. It'll take your horse time to acclimate. I hope you have access to a covered arena....
                                      Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Good thread. I didn't know about hosing down until cool to the touch ... my very thin-skinned mare is adjusting pretty well to the move from hot (but dry) northern California to central Florida, but we do a LOT of walk warmup.
                                        *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

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