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How To Hot Towel Your Horse

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

Now your horse is clipped, it is essential that you cater for his needs, should it be grooming, washing or rugging up your horse.

During the winter, bathing your horse is only an option if you have hot water and a solarium. A fit, well-groomed horse sweats a thin, watery sweat that evaporates easily. An unfit horse's sweat is less watery, containing more salts and waste products, and it mixes with sebum, dandruff and dirt to form a thick, scummy lather that evaporates slowly. This makes the skin less efficient at cooling the body, and the unfit horse gets hotter and cools more slowly, with a greater risk of heat exhaustion.

In cold weather, the lathery sweat soaks the hair coat and removes it's insulating qualities- the coat becomes wet right through but dries slowly and the horse is susceptible to chills. Taking off the extra hair can reduce cool down time by 10 minutes, Your horse's internal temperature can rise by as much as 4 or 5 degrees, depending on his fitness level, air temperature and work load.

A fast cool - down cuts down muscle fatigue and heating up of internal organs, which can have serious detrimental consequences when not taken care or properly.

Hot Towelling Hot towelling is used to clean the coat when it is impractical to give the horse a bath. It is a good way to remove stubborn dust and excess scurf from places like the head, the croup and the roots of the mane. Since the horse is not wet down, hot towelling can be done when the weather is too cold to wash and expose him to the chills. It can help on days when the air and the horse's coat seem electrically charged and dust sticks to the hairs.

To hot-towel a horse, you will need a large, towel or two, a bucket of very hot water, rubber gloves to protect your hands and a small amount of shampoo or apple cider vinegar. Wearing the gloves, dunk the towel in the bucket that has the hot water and solution, and wring it out until almost dry-it should be too hot to handle comfortably without rubber gloves, as it will lose heat quickly. Place one hand behind the towel and rub it quickly through the roots of the coat.

The hair should not be wet, but dirt and scurf will quickly blacken the towel. When the towel begins to lose its heat, dunk it and wring it out again. Continue the area until it is clean. If the coat is becoming more damp than you would like, rub with a second, dry towel immediately behind the hot towel.

This procedure feels good to most horses and produces a clean coat very quickly. It is a good procedure to use before body clipping or when the horse needs to be extra clean.

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