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Sweaty horse in cold weather
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Darklylookingdeeply · 25/01/2021 12:57

I just wondered what you do about sweaty bits after a ride (the horses😁) , like under the girth etc. I have been just been wiping with a damp sponge, but I don't know if this is the correct thing to do.

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Sprig1 · 25/01/2021 13:02

Clip it so it gets less sweaty. Wash sweaty bits after riding (clipped bits dry quicker). Use warm water if available/feeling kind.

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maxelly · 25/01/2021 13:15

I feel your pain, I hate dealing with hot horses in winter (in summer no issue as just shower or sponge them off and leave in the sun to dry). Is your horse clipped or unclipped? Mine are unclipped as turned out un-rugged so have lovely thick fluffy winter coats which does have the side effect that they get very sweaty very easily. The first thing I do is be a bit cognisant that it's an issue at this time of year so I am careful to not do too much fast or intense work to avoid them getting overheated in the first place, and then I am very careful about gradually cooling down at the end of the ride, so we go from proper work to gentle stretching in trot and then walk for at least 5-10 mins, then I usually hand walk for at least 5 mins after riding with the saddle off, this does a lot in itself to cool and dry them. If still sweaty after this, I wouldn't want any cold water on them, my concern is them getting chilled from being left to stand while hot, which isn't going to be helped by sponging/washing, unless you are lucky enough to have a hot wash and/or solarium facility. So I usually make a wisp (bit old-fashioned, effectively a straw brush, you could use a body brush, I just prefer the wisp as it doesn't take off any of their natural coat oils) and wipe/brush off the worst of the sweat, stick a cooler or fleece on and leave to dry. Once fully dry replace the cooler with whatever they normally wear in the stable. Dried on sweat marks are unsightly but won't hurt the horse so long as they are kept warm and left to dry gradually, and can be easily brushed off when totally dry... OTOH do feel free to wash/sponge off your girth and saddle cloth to your hearts content, as these will have absorbed a lot of the sweat, I can't stand the feel of sticky/sweaty dried on sweat being put back on the horses back so am a bit obsessive about washing everything that goes on them!

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candlemasbells · 25/01/2021 13:18

I always thatched mine and walked them round until they are cooled. I also give mine a drink of warm water as I didn't want them having a big slurp of icy water as soon as they had the chance.

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lastqueenofscotland · 25/01/2021 16:26

Clip...

Also I leave it until it’s dry and brush it off.

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Darklylookingdeeply · 25/01/2021 19:28

Thank you all. He is clipped already, but it's mainly around the girth area. I am glad it's acceptable to dry off and brush and I don't have to do the whole sponging thing. There's no hot water unfortunately. I usually get in a decent cool down, but sometimes I wish it were longer. We're limited to 2 hrs at the yard because of covid, and after walking miles across fields to retrieve him, grooming etc, there's not much time.

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Trivium4all · 25/01/2021 23:22

Mine also live out 24/7 unclipped, and exercise quite a bit even in winter, to the point of getting quite sweaty at times. I take care to do a proper cool-down at the end of exercise (e.g. walking in the last few km of a fast hack), and then just chuck them back in the field to get on with having a good roll and wander about. They look appalling (especially the grey), but seem perfectly warm and happy. Any "crusts" are brushed off next time. If the weather is appalling, I do adjust exercise accordingly.

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AmberItsACertainty · 25/01/2021 23:29

It's important to brush off the dried on sweat because the horse can't fluff it's coat up to keep warm if it's stuck together with sweat. If it's mainly the girth area getting sweaty are you loosening the girth for the last half mile home? I never see anyone do it now but that's what I was taught as a child. Loosen the girth 2 or 3 holes to let the air circulate better. Agree with others if it's more of the horse sweating either clip more, or if you can't due to turning out 24/7 then reduce the workload so not sweating up in the first place.

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Trivium4all · 26/01/2021 10:05

To add: to help prevent the hairs sticking together as per @AmberItsACertainty 's post, you can give a quick curry of the affected area in the wrong direction. Also, yes to the loosened girth, and consider using a fluffy girth (sheep is better than synthetic): this seems to help a lot with build-up of sweat.

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Darklylookingdeeply · 26/01/2021 11:54

No, I don't normally loosen til I get off. Maybe I should, I've always been paranoid about the saddle slipping, esp on the rd home if he's having a spooky moment.

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AmberItsACertainty · 27/01/2021 14:19

@Darklylookingdeeply

No, I don't normally loosen til I get off. Maybe I should, I've always been paranoid about the saddle slipping, esp on the rd home if he's having a spooky moment.

Get off and walk the last half mile then Smile although if the saddle fits well and you ride in balance, it shouldn't slip with the girth loosened a couple holes even with a bit of a spook. Unless he's turning himself inside out in a panic.
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Darklylookingdeeply · 27/01/2021 17:03

I think I'll just loosen and ride home. Just me being unnecessarily nervous and probably down to a treeless saddle incident I once had😁

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