It is important to properly cool down your horse after a hard workout such as jumping or racing. Like all athletes, horses need to cool down to avoid getting sick. A horse could start to colic without enough cool down time between a workout and going back in their stall. To ensure your horse is completely cooled down, here are a few tips to remember:
After working your horse, feel their chest to see how hot they are and look to see how heavy they are breathing. If your horse is hot or breathing heavy, they need to walk around until they cool down. You can either get off your horse and remove their tack and walk them or you can stay on them and leisurely walk around until they feel cool and their heavy breathing subsides.
When you get off your horse and they are still sweaty, consider putting a cooler over them. Depending on how sweaty they are, you may want to hose them off first. Once they dry, give them a good brushing. Your horse’s coat should look like it did before you started riding them and their breathing should be back to normal.
Once your horse is cooled out, allow them to go in their stall and have a drink from their waterer. They can drink as much as they want after they are cool, it is when they are still hot and take a long drink that problems may occur. Hydration is essential to the well-being of any athlete, including horses. Always take the time to cool out and hydrate your horse.