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Alcohol in warm up ring (horse, not human)?

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  • Alcohol in warm up ring (horse, not human)?

    I was watching hunter derby warm up, the groom sprayed down hind legs (white) with alcohol. Enough that we could smell it several feet away. Horse was clearly uncomfortable and looked freshly clipped on legs (clipper tracks still visible). Unhappy enough that another person had to hold up front leg to allow the back legs to be sprayed.

    Any reason why this would be appropriate just before a derby round?

    I’ve heard of liniment and braces post work out, or witch hazel to help tighten legs. But why just prior to a round?

  • #2
    It shouldn’t have been uncomfortable unless the horse had broken skin from the clippers (it shouldn’t). The horse just might not like being sprayed in general on its leg. Not sure if the purpose if it wasn’t to remove sweat.

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    • #3
      My guess: evaporative cooling?
      Faster than a rubdown with alcohol & less effective (circulation is aided more by the rubbing motion), but better than nothing for one that needs it.
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      • #4
        Rubbing alcohol is often used as a stain remover on white horses, or white markings.

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        • #5
          Is it possible that the spray had alcohol AND something that would make the legs more sensitive,? Thus making the horse less likely to hit the fence with its hind legs.
          Janet

          chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2019.

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          • #6
            I use alcohol mixed with purple shampoo to remove stains on my horse’s FOUR white stockings (wahh). Likely they had that handy at the ring, especially if it’s that footing that makes their hind legs all yellow, even when they’re brushed off.

            Playing devil’s advocate here. Doubtful people are dumb enough to do something illegal in plain sight. But then again...

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            • #7
              I remember recently reading in COTH that clipping legs onsite had been banned at some level of competition. Reason being that fresh clipped legs plus alcohol makes the hind legs tender and encourages horse to not hit the pole.

              I'm going to guess that's what's going on here.

              Hunter version of soring.

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              • #8
                Hunter version of a tune up before going in the ring on one that might be a bit lazy behind. Clip the hair short, rough up the skin, then spray alcohol on it - horse is much less likely to bring down a rail.

                Sorry - not about cleaning the legs at all.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mouse&Bay View Post
                  I was watching hunter derby warm up, the groom sprayed down hind legs (white) with alcohol. Enough that we could smell it several feet away. Horse was clearly uncomfortable and looked freshly clipped on legs (clipper tracks still visible). Unhappy enough that another person had to hold up front leg to allow the back legs to be sprayed.

                  Any reason why this would be appropriate just before a derby round?

                  I’ve heard of liniment and braces post work out, or witch hazel to help tighten legs. But why just prior to a round?
                  OP, which part of the legs? All around, just the front, just the back?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mouse&Bay View Post
                    I was watching hunter derby warm up, the groom sprayed down hind legs (white) with alcohol. Enough that we could smell it several feet away. Horse was clearly uncomfortable and looked freshly clipped on legs (clipper tracks still visible). Unhappy enough that another person had to hold up front leg to allow the back legs to be sprayed.

                    Any reason why this would be appropriate just before a derby round?

                    I’ve heard of liniment and braces post work out, or witch hazel to help tighten legs. But why just prior to a round?
                    Perhaps there is no devious intent and the horse is prone to scratches and the team is doing everything possible to prevent them. Having experienced horses come home from a particular show grounds with scratches every time going in a specific ring to compete, I would honestly not be surprised if this is the case, especially if the ring was just watered and dragged (as is common before such a high stakes class).

                    White legs and watered rings plus fall season can equal disaster. If you have never dealt with this, then I am very happy for you!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by atl_hunter View Post

                      Perhaps there is no devious intent and the horse is prone to scratches and the team is doing everything possible to prevent them. Having experienced horses come home from a particular show grounds with scratches every time going in a specific ring to compete, I would honestly not be surprised if this is the case, especially if the ring was just watered and dragged (as is common before such a high stakes class).

                      White legs and watered rings plus fall season can equal disaster. If you have never dealt with this, then I am very happy for you!
                      Was that scratches horse on Dexamethasone?

                      The armchair saddler
                      Politically Pro-Cat

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MHM View Post
                        Rubbing alcohol is often used as a stain remover on white horses, or white markings.
                        Seriously, people.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by atl_hunter View Post

                          Perhaps there is no devious intent and the horse is prone to scratches and the team is doing everything possible to prevent them. Having experienced horses come home from a particular show grounds with scratches every time going in a specific ring to compete, I would honestly not be surprised if this is the case, especially if the ring was just watered and dragged (as is common before such a high stakes class).

                          White legs and watered rings plus fall season can equal disaster. If you have never dealt with this, then I am very happy for you!
                          Nobody would do an obviously painful procedure on a horse just before a competition unless the intent was to cause pain.

                          Also really alcohol is not used on scratches. There are many antibiotic or antifungal formulations with more cling and more healing power. I have never seen anyone use alcohol on scratches.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                            Nobody would do an obviously painful procedure on a horse just before a competition unless the intent was to cause pain.

                            Also really alcohol is not used on scratches. There are many antibiotic or antifungal formulations with more cling and more healing power. I have never seen anyone use alcohol on scratches.
                            Seriously 🙄. No one would treat for scratches in warm up, you do that at the barn/in the stall. It’s pretty obvious what they were doing.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                              Nobody would do an obviously painful procedure on a horse just before a competition unless the intent was to cause pain.

                              Also really alcohol is not used on scratches. There are many antibiotic or antifungal formulations with more cling and more healing power. I have never seen anyone use alcohol on scratches.
                              Again, it’s *possible* that it wasn’t painful. Some horses just don’t like being sprayed.

                              I find it odd that they would be spraying back legs to keep a hunter from hitting rails. 1) because hunters don’t normally hit rails, 2) because I think they hit more often in front, and 3) because they wouldn’t be making contact with the rail with their legs anyway unless something went very wrong. If the spray made the horse’s legs were so painful that it affected how the horse moved them in the air, it would seem like it would affect the horse’s movement in general, too?

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by wannabedvm View Post

                                Again, it’s *possible* that it wasn’t painful. Some horses just don’t like being sprayed.

                                I find it odd that they would be spraying back legs to keep a hunter from hitting rails. 1) because hunters don’t normally hit rails, 2) because I think they hit more often in front, and 3) because they wouldn’t be making contact with the rail with their legs anyway unless something went very wrong. If the spray made the horse’s legs were so painful that it affected how the horse moved them in the air, it would seem like it would affect the horse’s movement in general, too?
                                Not sure what shows you've been too but I've been to plenty where indeed the hunter horse has knocked/rubbed and dropped rails

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by gottagrey View Post

                                  Not sure what shows you've been too but I've been to plenty where indeed the hunter horse has knocked/rubbed and dropped rails
                                  I guess I was thinking that since it was a derby it was probably a fairly good hunter. Guess that's not necessarily the case.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by atl_hunter View Post

                                    Perhaps there is no devious intent and the horse is prone to scratches and the team is doing everything possible to prevent them. Having experienced horses come home from a particular show grounds with scratches every time going in a specific ring to compete, I would honestly not be surprised if this is the case, especially if the ring was just watered and dragged (as is common before such a high stakes class).

                                    White legs and watered rings plus fall season can equal disaster. If you have never dealt with this, then I am very happy for you!
                                    Over the years I've become pretty positive that one of the main reasons "white legs get scratches" is that they're constantly being scrubbed. I've got one who had a lot of skin sensitivities and seemingly constant leg scurf until one time she had several months off competing. In that time she stopped getting "bubble baths".... and all the skin issues disappeared. Now I only use curry/water to bathe (except for tail), and let mud dry in the winter rather than constantly hosing. Have not had mud fever/scratches in 4 years and counting. I realize that's unrealistic for those with greys or lots of chrome, but there's surely times when you don't HAVE to.

                                    Just like a dermatologist would tell you that too much scrubbing actually makes your skin worse, I think there's a benefit to leaving the coat oils and horse's microbiome (the "good bugs") alone and that makes their skin much less prone to infections.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      A hunter derby, fresh clipped legs, alcohol and horse that’s saying ouch stop spraying that on me.
                                      So if there’s ever another time you see this, definitely report it to the steward. The only thing these people were trying to prevent are rubs and dropped rails.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by wannabedvm View Post

                                        Again, it’s *possible* that it wasn’t painful. Some horses just don’t like being sprayed.

                                        I find it odd that they would be spraying back legs to keep a hunter from hitting rails. 1) because hunters don’t normally hit rails, 2) because I think they hit more often in front, and 3) because they wouldn’t be making contact with the rail with their legs anyway unless something went very wrong. If the spray made the horse’s legs were so painful that it affected how the horse moved them in the air, it would seem like it would affect the horse’s movement in general, too?
                                        I don't think a show horse whose legs were clipped close is one who "just doesn't like being sprayed"... to the point that the professional grooms have to hold a front leg up to get the job done. Nosirreebob, I think that horse was reacting out of pain.

                                        I would bet on the hind leg treatment being done in order to make the horse "more careful" behind. Whether that means not touching a rail, or merely being tighter with his hind end, I think either applies and could apply to some hunter pro looking to optimize the horse's form over fences.
                                        The armchair saddler
                                        Politically Pro-Cat

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