الإثنين 22 يوليو 2024

Summertime…And the Riding is Sweaty

موقع أيام نيوز

As we hit the hottest portion of the summer were witnessing our horses attempts to keep cool by sweating. The process of sweating causes a decrease in core temperature through evaporative cooling at the skin surface. As high energy molecules evaporate from the skin releasing energy absorbed from the body the skin and superficial vessels decrease in temperature. Cooled venus blood then returns to the bodys core and counteracts rising core temperatures.
In hot weather and during exercise in hot weather horses are able to produce an abundance of sweat to aid in the cooling process. Sweat consists mainly of water but it also contains minerals known as electrolytes. During hot weather sweating is a vital means of cooling for the horse but the water and electrolytes in sweat must be replenished to keep the horse healthy.

Dehydration can occur when horses lose large volumes of sweat. Normally horses will drink enough water to replenish sweat losses. However when sweat loss occurs rapidly or when large volumes of sweat are lost the body is slow to signal the need for the horse to drink. 
The following methods will help to ensure that the horse is drinking sufficient water
Always provide freeaccess to fresh clean water.
Add flavours to mask any odours in water the horse is not used to drinking.
Offer water in a quiet area where other animals wont disrupt the horses ability to get enough water.
If the horse is a poor drinker wet down his food both hay and grain prior to feeding it. This will provide the horse with additional water in every mouthful of feed.
Minerals known as electrolytes are the other major component of sweat. These minerals are salts which dissolve into charged ions in water and are important to muscle contraction nerve function and general health of the horse. The major electrolytes lost in sweat include sodium chloride potassium calcium and magnesium. If these electrolytes are not replaced when a horse sweats the horse may develop muscle cramps become uncoordinated and may have impaired nerve and brain function. Replacement of electrolytes may be as simple as providing the horse with access to a salt block. Unfortunately some horses do not consume salt from a block and in these cases commercial electrolytes provide a quick and easy solution. Remember to follow label directions on electrolyte preparations because too much electrolyte can be as devastating as too little. It is also important