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My two sisters live in Texas and even though neither of them are riders, they both have used the phrase “rode hard and put up wet” when they are describing someone who is working too hard and not taking enough time off.

The urban definition has me picturing some overworked city dweller commuting an hour or more to her job, putting in 8-10 hours of repetitious work, then the long commute home during rush hour traffic. Too exhausted to cook or eat, she collapses in her recliner still in the clothes she wore to work.


The phrase, as we horsemen know, was borrowed from the negative description of a rider working a horse to near exhaustion, then jerking the saddle off and turning the sweaty horse out with no grooming. Of course none of us do that but we might be guilty of not taking the time necessary to cool down a horse properly after work.

A cool down is especially important in the cold weather that seems to be blanketing the entire country. I’m hearing 4 degrees in Florida tonight?

When a horse that has grown any sort of winter hair coat is worked hard, he sweats more, has trouble cooling out and drying off so and is set up for chills, muscle stiffness, and overall blahs.

Some things to think about:

Use a quarter sheet to protect the hindquarters during work.

Consider a body clip and blanketing.

Use a body wash or brace to remove sweat before cooling and grooming.

Use a cooler when hand walking a horse to cool him out.

Have a great ride and take care of that good horse,

 

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Hi Cherry,

I believe that I saw a recipe for a body wash in one of your books, but now I’m not certain of the recipe and don’t remember which book it was in.  I do remember that it included liniment, baby oil, Calgon water softener, alcohol, and water, but I don’t remember the proportions.  I mixed up a gallon of it last summer and my horse seemed to really like it.  The amazing thing was that she didn’t roll in the dirt like she does when she is sweaty or rinsed with the hose.  Was this your recipe and could you send it to me?
Judy

Dear Judy:

Yes, the body wash you are referring to is on page 171 of Becoming an Effective Rider but my concoction doesn’t contain alcohol.  I like to use a brace to clean areas of a wet, sweaty horse after working instead of just letting the sweat dry and then grooming him.  And its better than hosing the horse every day.

Using water to hose down your horse every day is not a good long-term management practice.  It results in more problems than benefits.  Cold water can actually stiffen your horse’s muscles.  Also, the daily wet/dry situation can be extremely damaging to the structure of the hooves.  Horses’ hooves are healthiest when they are kept at a relatively constant dry moisture level.  Also, fungus and skin problems can occur when horses are frequently wet and aren’t allowed to thoroughly dry.

My solution (pun intended!) to cleaning a sweaty horse without hosing him down is to use a body wipe in specific areas such as the head, saddle area, the underside of the neck, and between the hind legs.  Body braces are available commercially, or you can make your own by filling a gallon plastic milk container with water, adding 2 tablespoons of Calgon water softener, 2 tablespoons of baby oil, and one ounce of your favorite liniment.  You can spray it on or sponge it on. Give a shake before you apply either way.

This mixture lifts dirt and sweat off the horse’s hair, conditions it, and stimulates the skin. If your horse is very sensitive, you may need to decrease or eliminate the liniment from the formula.  For any horse, do not use liniment near the eyes, nostrils, or on the anus.

Note: Calgon water softener is not the same as Calgonite automatic dishwasher detergent.  Don’t let the names confuse you when you are shopping.

Cherry Hill

Becoming an Effective Rider by Cherry Hill

Becoming an Effective Rider by Cherry Hill

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