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Horse and Hound on scraping and hosing

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  • Horse and Hound on scraping and hosing

    Interesting read. I know this might go under horse care, but I think Eventers generally have more experience and concern with properly cooling horses.

    Leaving water on a horse will not make it hotter: expert busts the scraping myth


    Dr Marlin said the other method by which water cools horses is evaporation. The evaporation of water uses up energy and cools the surface on which the water sits. This is efficient (there is a lot of cooling for a little water), and means a wet horse will stay cooler than a dry one, but evaporative cooling is much slower than conductive transfer.

    And while scraping water off will do no harm to a warm horse, if the horse is dangerously hot, it can slow the cooling process.

    “For a very hot horse, continuous application of cold water is what could stop it collapsing and potentially suffering an injury or multiple organ failure and death,” Dr Marlin said.
    https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news...ng-myth-690937

  • #2
    It’s be interesting to see the source research he’s talking about, as it is (slightly) contradictory to this article: http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/pro...cool-hot-horse

    Ideally if you have a very overheated horse, according to this you would be best off with multiple people constantly scraping and hosing to keep a fresh layer of cooler water against the horse’s skin as much as possible. If you have limited manpower, hose, scrape, hose, scrape, repeat. The H and H article says pausing to scrape is a waste of time, whereas the research cited for DVM360 indicates just hosing continuously winds up being about the same as hosing them once and leaving them.

    If your horse is just kinda hot and sweaty though, doesn’t really matter much.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by riderboy View Post
      Interesting read. I know this might go under horse care, but I think Eventers generally have more experience and concern with properly cooling horses.







      https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news...ng-myth-690937
      It does mention that evaporative cooling is much slower than conductive heat transfer, i.e. it won't cool them off as fast as the process of the heat from the horse's body transfering to the cold water. What it points out is that continuous application of cold water will cool off a really hot horse faster than stopping to take time to scrape. It's not just putting cold water on and then leaving it.

      What I've always done is scrape while I'm hosing off, the body heat transfers to the cold water and I can constantly remove the now-warm water as the new cold water touches the body, and I just continue doing that until the skin is cool to the touch. I worry that what this is saying will have people thinking that just hosing the horse down with cold water and then being done there will cool them off quickly, the article doesn't really emphasize that the vet said it needs to be continuous cold water. Even better if you can get them in front of a fan too, then you can use conductive AND convective heat transfer :P

      Comment


      • #4
        This is one of those pervasive horse care myths that has always driven me nuts because somewhere along the way some idiot came up with a pseudoscientific bull crap idea that leaving water on will overheat a horse and enough people forgot their 4th grade science lesson about evaporative cooling and decided this was now a Thing. Pseudoscience is annoying enough as it is, but crap like this endangers horses, since as the article says, anyone who remembers their basic science lessons will know the entire point of evaporative cooling is evaporation. No evaporation = no evaporative cooling. Crazy concept.

        If you still have cool water to put on the horse, do that instead of wasting time scraping off what’s already there. Once you’re out of water, leave what’s on the horse there and let the process work.

        Comment


        • #5
          I've switched to this method after this research came out last year and it does seem to get them cooler!
          Boss Mare Eventing Blog

          Comment


          • #6
            The hosing/scraping method was developed at the Atlanta Olympics. Evaporative cooling is not very effective in an environment where the humidity is regularly 70-80%+ and temps are 85-95 degs. They found the most effective cooling procedure was hose and scrape at the same time. Equestrian events were run in the morning when humidity was 85-88%.
            That study seems to be comparing apples and carrots.
            ... _. ._ .._. .._

            Comment


            • #7
              ^^^ this. And they also had misting cooling tents.
              Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                The hosing/scraping method was developed at the Atlanta Olympics. Evaporative cooling is not very effective in an environment where the humidity is regularly 70-80%+ and temps are 85-95 degs. They found the most effective cooling procedure was hose and scrape at the same time. Equestrian events were run in the morning when humidity was 85-88%.
                That study seems to be comparing apples and carrots.
                This is important.

                When I have an unlimited, CONTINUOUS source of cool water (hose) I don't waste time scraping. I just keep spraying, alternating sides until the horse cools down.

                When water is limited-- buckets and sponges with water from home at a show or xc school-- I will quickly scrape off the warm water before sponging again. I want my (limited) cool water cooling the horse's skin, not wasting the resource slightly cooling the hot unscraped water.

                And humidity is most definitely a factor. Sweating (evaporative cooling) is a lot more effective in an arid environment, compared to the deep south.
                A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
                ? Albert Einstein

                ~AJ~

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by EventerAJ View Post

                  This is important.

                  When I have an unlimited, CONTINUOUS source of cool water (hose) I don't waste time scraping. I just keep spraying, alternating sides until the horse cools down.

                  When water is limited-- buckets and sponges with water from home at a show or xc school-- I will quickly scrape off the warm water before sponging again. I want my (limited) cool water cooling the horse's skin, not wasting the resource slightly cooling the hot unscraped water.

                  And humidity is most definitely a factor. Sweating (evaporative cooling) is a lot more effective in an arid environment, compared to the deep south.
                  I think the bolded is the key, depends whether you have buckets or a hose for sure.

                  Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
                    ^^^ this. And they also had misting cooling tents.
                    wouldn't misting tents support the article though, continuous water?
                    Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Scraping speeds up the benefit of evaporative cooling. Less water on the horse, the faster it can evaporate, utilizing more energy in the process and therefore "removing" that energy from the horse.

                      Cold water cools down the horse as energy from the horse is transferred to the colder water to achieve thermal equilibrium.

                      In a hot & humid environment, continuous cold water is probably going to have a faster effect than evaporative cooling alone.

                      But bottom line: use continuous cold water, or scrape and reapply cold water frequently. Either one is going to work.

                      What is a lousy method for cooling your horse is to spray or sponge them for a brief period of time, then just leave it sit. The cooler water will reach equilibrium fairly quickly, yet the evaporative cooling process will be slow... especially in a hot & humid environment where the ambient temperature itself is working to the horse's detriment. I think everyone can agree this is a lousy method, yet so many still employ it for whatever reason.
                      Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Continuous cold water...means a HOSE. Which most do not have at events. Leaving water on them does nothing to cool them off. Once the water has been warmed to their body temp...it stops helping to cool them off. Anyone who has sponged a horse off when its hot and humid can attest that the water gets to their body temp very quickly. That is why you scrap it off.

                        When we cool out super hot horses in the vet box...you throw the very cold water on them as fast as you can. Then when our buckets are empty, we scrap it off...the horse is then taken for a short walk while we re-fill the buckets. This is because you do not have access to CONTINUOUS cold water. A few events have sent us right back to the barns...where instead of using buckets and scraping....we can use a hose. Then you keep the cold water on them until they are cool...assuming the water is cold. Sometimes its warm out of the hose...and then you are better off with water in a buckets with a bit of ice.

                        But at home...after a gallop. They get hosed in the wash stall with cold water and a fan on them until cool.
                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                          The hosing/scraping method was developed at the Atlanta Olympics. Evaporative cooling is not very effective in an environment where the humidity is regularly 70-80%+ and temps are 85-95 degs. They found the most effective cooling procedure was hose and scrape at the same time. Equestrian events were run in the morning when humidity was 85-88%.
                          That study seems to be comparing apples and carrots.
                          This.

                          Nothing about the article, or the attention that the writer is seeking, is new.

                          The Thing is that 'experts' can get attention and thus enhance their future paid publishing and speaking opportunities by taking just a piece of the established knowledge out of context and presenting it as if it is "new". Publishers are always looking for something "new" to fill their space, so they jump on it. At some point other 'experts' will see the attention it is getting and jump on the bandwagon.

                          It works because the general public rarely, if ever, truly educates themselves on the real depth of available knowledge on a subject. So they don't recognize that this "new" information is actually just a part of what is already known.

                          The public also typically fails to recognize that by focusing with tunnel vision on just this one aspect of the subject, they are missing the larger and more valuable picture.

                          This self-aggrandizing cycle is an endless cycle in human nutrition and toiletries, on everything from eggs to shampoo to drinking water. But it happens on just about every topic that represents something that many people in the audience use on a regular basis.

                          It doesn't mean that the information is necessarily wrong, just that it is out of context, and well short of everything that one needs to know for a thorough grounding. Rather than focusing on this one 'new' announcement by an attention-seeking 'technical expert', it would be better to explore all of the available research and practical experience and develop a thorough base of knowledge on cooling horses in the relevant climate. IMO

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by EventerAJ View Post

                            This is important.

                            When I have an unlimited, CONTINUOUS source of cool water (hose) I don't waste time scraping. I just keep spraying, alternating sides until the horse cools down.

                            When water is limited-- buckets and sponges with water from home at a show or xc school-- I will quickly scrape off the warm water before sponging again. I want my (limited) cool water cooling the horse's skin, not wasting the resource slightly cooling the hot unscraped water.

                            And humidity is most definitely a factor. Sweating (evaporative cooling) is a lot more effective in an arid environment, compared to the deep south.
                            Ditto - it's very important to be wary of humidity. Things don't evaporate down here, except for money. This is why those "cooling vest" are useless in Carolina summer, might as well wear a wet sweater in 90% humidity - I tried one & nearly cooked myself.

                            Like many things, the accurate story of hosing /scraping is more complex than a sound bite & should be used with situational judgement. I always have a fan on my horses when I hose them in summer & I generally do scrape so I'm not wasting water if I don't need to. The 2 combined work well, even for my thick bodied, heat intolerant appendix.


                            Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                            Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                            We Are Flying Solo

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wildlifer View Post

                              Ditto - it's very important to be wary of humidity. Things don't evaporate down here, except for money. This is why those "cooling vest" are useless in Carolina summer, might as well wear a wet sweater in 90% humidity - I tried one & nearly cooked myself.

                              Like many things, the accurate story of hosing /scraping is more complex than a sound bite & should be used with situational judgement. I always have a fan on my horses when I hose them in summer & I generally do scrape so I'm not wasting water if I don't need to. The 2 combined work well, even for my thick bodied, heat intolerant appendix.

                              So true. I am also in a high heat and high humidity climate. Humidity well above 90% is an average summer morning. Sometimes I turn the hose on parts of myself when it is that hot. It is when I brush the water off that I feel cooler, not when the water goes on and sits there.

                              A high humidity environment needs AIR against water to cool. Scraping allows the air to get next to the damp skin.

                              Anyone can test which method feels the best on their own body. Just on an arm is enough to give an idea of what techniques are most cooling.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                “Wild horses sweat, and go in lakes and rivers, and get soaked in thunderstorms in hot countries and there’s no one going round with a scraper – and they survive,” he told H&H.

                                Read more at https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news...mcRXrMCs0Zu.99

                                How many wild horses take part in Olympic sports ?
                                The article/theory was a poorly thought out piece of penmanship
                                (I'm alliterate!).
                                ... _. ._ .._. .._

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Equibrit View Post
                                  The hosing/scraping method was developed at the Atlanta Olympics. Evaporative cooling is not very effective in an environment where the humidity is regularly 70-80%+ and temps are 85-95 degs. They found the most effective cooling procedure was hose and scrape at the same time. Equestrian events were run in the morning when humidity was 85-88%.
                                  That study seems to be comparing apples and carrots.
                                  That's exactly why I scrape while I'm hosing, the humidity where I live is HORRIFIC, you can practically swim in it. If you wait for the water to evaporate you will be waiting for hours!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by RainWeasley View Post

                                    That's exactly why I scrape while I'm hosing, the humidity where I live is HORRIFIC, you can practically swim in it. If you wait for the water to evaporate you will be waiting for hours!
                                    Yeah, once a friend from Pennsylvania was shocked because "you give the horses their evening feed while they're still wet!" I had to tell her "They were hosed over 40 minutes ago, it's 6 pm, and at 10 pm they will still be wet." If it stays 90% humidity or greater all day long, nothing dries.

                                    I love it in Colorado where stuff dries in 10 minutes.

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