How to cool down after exercise

How to cool down after exercise

After working out in the sunshine, what’s the best way to cool a horse down after exercise?

What happens to the heat?

The 4 main ways that heat dissipates are:

  • radiation (heat between 2 objects that aren’t touching),
  • conduction (heat transfer between two objects that are touching)
  • convection (cold air moving across the skin, which forces heat away from the body)
  • evaporation (liquid i.e. sweat that vaporises, thereby dispersing the heat energy).

Sweating is not an effective method of cooling down in humid conditions, however.

What’s the best way to cool down?

Research has shown that the most effective way to cool a horse down is by spraying with cool water, then scraping that water off, before spraying again.

What about cold water and colic?

Despite rumours about hot horses drinking and getting colic, research also shows that horses can be offered cool (not ice-cold) water, as rehydration is most important.