August 4, 2012

Humidity, Cooling and Sweat

Sweaty pony says "OH MY GOSH, THIS WEATHER!  Also, I found a cookie on the electrical box.  Haha!"

There have been several rides this summer during which I frequently pulled up my saddle pad and checked underneath for sweat.  Not that Connor has ever shown any signs of anhydrosis, but with it being so hot, I figured he ought to be sweating more than he was.  This is also my first summer with him, so I'm still learning what's normal.  We would be having an intense, hour-long lesson at 7pm when it's still well over 90 and there would just be sweat under the saddle pad.  Since he was acting normally and drinking normally, I just kept a close eye on him and observed.

Then today happened.  For the first time, we got our typical Midwestern humidity that has been strangely lacking all summer.  The record-breaking heat has been very dry and felt more like Texas weather than Indiana weather.  When I stepped out of my house this morning, my glasses fogged up and I felt like I had stepped underwater.

And there was sweat.  So much sweat.  A puddle of it by the time we were done:

It was everywhere.  As a result, I kept the ride short, since he was obviously having trouble cooling himself, and then did a cold hose > scrape > sponge with water/alcohol mixture > scrape > cold hose > scrape > fly spray > put him under a fan routine until his heart rate had returned to normal.  You have to pay extra close attention when the weather makes a dramatic change like this, even if the temperature hasn't budged.

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