Washing off after exercise

Orangehorse

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Is it only me that was told in the Pony Club not to wash the saddle area when washing down a horse after work? Something to do with softening the skin? I have a feeling it was something from the army instructors we had then.

The hotest part of the horse is under the saddle - but I still hesitate to do this, recalling the fierce lady instructor.

What do others do?
 

AdorableAlice

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I wash from top to toe if the horse is boiled, or just a sponge down if just warm. If the tack fits it won't rub.
 

Hoof_Prints

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That makes little sense to me ! All of mine get a full hose down after working on a hot day and they love it . No adverse affects to report! Sometimes the hair can get a bit sweaty and gunky where the saddle pad is and I've known it to cause rubs by not being cleaned, as it dries and pulls the hair off.
 

be positive

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I always wash any sweaty parts, leaving the sweat to dry makes no sense to me, I have never had an issue with washed off horses but have seen sores and rubs caused by dry sweat marks, the salt can dry out the skin and do more damage than water will.
 

Crackerz

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Another one that washes off from top to toe :)

No idea what PC advice is, as i get asked to leave because my pony was less than cooperative :D
 

chestnut cob

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I always wash off. Imagine how horrible you'd feel if you'd been running or to the gym, worked really hard and got really sweaty, then someone wouldn't let you have a proper shower after, just told you to wash your face.
I sponge off if horse is just sweaty around girth and sheath, or hose if he's sweaty/ warm all over.
 

BORODIN

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I usually wash the sweaty bits (sponge or hose) which tends to be where the tack has been and all has been fine so far - that's one ive never heard before either
 

applecart14

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Isn't it something to do with being careful not to chill the loins on a very sweaty and hot horse by applying cold water as it can cause cramping of the muscles?
 

Red-1

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Isn't it something to do with being careful not to chill the loins on a very sweaty and hot horse by applying cold water as it can cause cramping of the muscles?
This was indeed the old fashioned Pony Club advice. It was all changed when the top bods did research for the Athens Olympics, where our horses were expected to overheat. The new research says to pour on cold water as much as possible and as fast as possible when overheated.

I only know as when I did my first events requiring the steeple chase and roads and tracks there was a vets panel there, Aldon 2004. Many of us were reluctant to use cold water, and to wet the loins. We had rider briefings, and a vet at the finish all superintending that we swooshed cold and plentifully!

So, Old Pony club advice as been superseded by vet boffins advice to cools as quickly as possible, then walk, then cool some more! The legs were also rapidly cooled.

Since then as soon as we have walked back to the box after XC my boy has a cold shower. Never sore, no issues.
 

Shay

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It is actually still the advice for the B Test. The text says you should leave the horse to dry naturally and then groom. I think they just haven't updated it. I teach our candidates that this is the pony club answer to the question - but that the same response has no place in real life, or indeed in the BHS stages! There are several things like this.
 

Casey76

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At the moment it isn't taking much to make my ponies sweat, as it's still 25°C+ at 8pm (and I do try to leave it as late as possible to ride), so they get hosed off top to toe, especially over the haunch.

I'd feel really bad if they got a sweat rash because I hadn't cleaned them off properly after exercise.
 

Enfys

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I have a very sweaty horse, she gets hosed off every time we ride, apart from her head every inch gets done, because every inch sweats. The thing to remember is to scrape afterwards as hosed on water holds the heat. It is far worse not to wash down and leave the sweat on, than to wash and scrape down, then let them have a jolly good roll, in my opinion.

I would wash down in winter too as she sweats just as much, but in -25 that would be a bit dumb :( So I was in warm water and dry her off.

I had Army Instructors too and all of them said (even 25 years ago) what a load of tosh (well, boll***s actually) not washing a sweaty horse down was.

I like Shays response, this is what the answer is, but in actual fact ... :D
 

Enfys

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Isn't it something to do with being careful not to chill the loins on a very sweaty and hot horse by applying cold water as it can cause cramping of the muscles?
That could in winter time if the horse was not scraped and rubbed down then rugged/thatched/walked appropriately, in winter washing should be with chilled water only (now there is a good old fashioned/BHS term for you : Chilled = water with the chill taken off it )
 

Crackerz

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I have a very sweaty horse, she gets hosed off every time we ride, apart from her head every inch gets done, because every inch sweats. The thing to remember is to scrape afterwards as hosed on water holds the heat. It is far worse not to wash down and leave the sweat on, than to wash and scrape down, then let them have a jolly good roll, in my opinion.

I would wash down in winter too as she sweats just as much, but in -25 that would be a bit dumb :( So I was in warm water and dry her off.

I had Army Instructors too and all of them said (even 25 years ago) what a load of tosh (well, boll***s actually) not washing a sweaty horse down was.

I like Shays response, this is what the answer is, but in actual fact ... :D
I am so glad i am not the only person with a horse that sweats so much! It's very annoying and no amount of increasing fitness helps :(
 

Exploding Chestnuts

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Another one that washes off from top to toe :)

No idea what PC advice is, as i get asked to leave because my pony was less than cooperative :D
Funny that, I had a bit of a loopy, and I had to school him with my whip vertically, so he could see it!............. the instructor told me to "stop that", and true to form, he took off at the next opportunity :) he was safe in one way as he would always stop at a gate, he was not bolting, just taking charge.
I used a mix of Gallop sensitive skin and Lavender as it does not need rinsing, works well and smells nice. Never heard of leaving sweaty bits,, very strange advice.
 

Bilbo_Baggins

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Same as all above really. Wash off if he is sweaty and ifs its cold, I just warmed water...not hot, just not really cold either! I usually put lavender wash in it or a citronella wash at this time of year for the midges :) always use no rinse stuff. If he is really really sweaty then I will hose him down and shampoo and hose him off to finish. If he is getting that wet I might as well bathe him as well! :D :D :D
 

Orangehorse

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Thank you Shay and Red. I can remembering cowering in the stable as the Major's wife was, very nicely, having a go at everyone for washing their ponies' saddle patch.

I can now slosh water all over the horse, including the saddle and girth area without that lingering feeling of doing the wrong thing.
 

Orangehorse

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I also remember reading that in Germany it is a sackable offence for a groom to wash a horse in cold water - presumably in the winter.
 

silv

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If you get the chance to go to any big events it is really interesting watching the professionals cooling off their horses after the xcountry phase. Like an earlier poster said there was a great deal of research done before the Atlanta Olympics with this in mind. I don't know how I would manage in a NZ summer without being able to wash my horse down. I would also imagine she would be very uncomfortable. If it is cold then use warm water and rug accordingly. Common sense does come into it!
 

VioletStripe

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Nope, I was always taught to wash around the saddle - in fact to do it in particular, as they get so sweaty around there, and it's far more efficient to wash it off than to wait for it to dry and then brush off!

However, I would never ever use very cold water on a very hot horse. We always did this after a proper cool down, and when possible used tepid water, as opposed to super cold.

I would also start at the neck and work downwards - makes more sense, as you get run off of dirty water from down the neck. It also means you're gradually introducing the temperature of the water, instead of dumping it on their back and risk shocking them or making the muscles cramp!
 

ihatework

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We deliberately ice the water to cool down the eventers after completing CCI XC, and they get liberally doused in it non stop!
 

ester

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Nope, I was always taught to wash around the saddle - in fact to do it in particular, as they get so sweaty around there, and it's far more efficient to wash it off than to wait for it to dry and then brush off!

However, I would never ever use very cold water on a very hot horse. We always did this after a proper cool down, and when possible used tepid water, as opposed to super cold.

I would also start at the neck and work downwards - makes more sense, as you get run off of dirty water from down the neck. It also means you're gradually introducing the temperature of the water, instead of dumping it on their back and risk shocking them or making the muscles cramp!
The tepid water thing is another myth (related to closing capillaries, and slowing down cooling) which doesn't actually happen. Iced cold water is recommended approx 5C.
 

Exploding Chestnuts

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If the horse is very hot and he needs to be cooled down, obviously the water needs to be cold, and applied to the neck first. but the layer of water soon warms up so needs to be scraped off and replaced. This is used for competition horses mainly, as others should be cooled down by walking.
If the purpose is to wash off sweat then the temperature should be appropriate to the weather.
 
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