How to Properly Cool Down Your Horse After a Workout

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After a long ride it is important to properly cool your horse down. Your horse’s health and his fitness depend on regular workouts, but a proper cool-down is also necessary to keep him healthy. Do you know how to cool your horse down correctly?

The Importance of a Proper Cool-Down for Horse Health

Cooling your horse down properly after a ride has a large effect on your horse’s health. If a horse goes from a high-intensity workout to simply being put away into his stall, his body does not have enough time to recover from the workout. This can lead to sore muscles, tight muscles, and even tying up, a painful condition in which the horse’s muscles tighten uncontrollably. It also puts unnecessary strain on your horse’s cardiac system.

If horses are not given proper cool-downs, it can put them at risk of health issues for future rides. A horse’s muscles will be tight and sometimes sore, putting him at risk of future injury when he is next exercised.

End on a Positive Behavior

Always end your training sessions with a positive feel to them. Reward your horse when he completes a behavior you have requested well, and make the decision to end the training session at that point.

Reduce the Intensity

After deciding to end your training session, slowly reduce the intensity of the ride. Keep your horse walking, but allow him to drop his head down and stretch out. Lowering his head will also help your horse to relax, which will help his heart rate and respiration rate to return to normal.

Keep Him Warm

If the weather is cool, you may need to keep your horse warm during his cool-down to keep him from getting too cold too quickly. A cooler placed over his haunches can help with this. If your horse is wet, it is particularly important to keep him from getting too cold.

Dry Him Off

You need to walk your horse until his respiration rate and heart rate return to normal, and he has stopped sweating. Once this is complete, remove his saddle and bridle and dry off his coat. You can towel him dry, which will speed the process along. Wipe off any sweat that has formed.

Lastly, make sure to fluff up your horse’s coat to allow it to finish drying on its own. Flattening down a wet coat can lead to skin irritation and keeps your horse’s coat from acting as a natural insulator. Fluff up all of the hair which is damp and the horse’s body will take care of the rest of the process.

We ask a lot of our horses during riding; it is important for us to take proper care of them once their workout is completed. TOPHORSE–browse horses for sale or place an ad to sell horses.

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