Horses’ excessive sweating a concern for show exhibitions

I have an Appendix Quarterhorse Gelding. He's 9 years old and I just purchased him about 5-6 months ago. Everytime I ride him he just sweats excessively. I mean we can just go around the ring a ...I have an Appendix Quarterhorse Gelding. He's 9 years old and I just purchased him about 5-6 months ago. Everytime I ride him he just sweats excessively. I mean we can just go around the ring a ...

Story originally posted by: Maggie FlowersHorseCity.com Training Director

Hello, my name is Ali Turner and I have an Appendix Quarterhorse Gelding. He’s 9 years old and I just purchased him about 5-6 months ago. Everytime I ride him he just sweats excessively. I mean we can just go around the ring a couple of times and he’s already started to sweat. I want to show him, but I’m kind of concerned about this. I really need to know away to control this sweating. Please, please help me. Thank you.

Dear Ali:
Some horses are natural sweaters, but even in these cases the problem of sweating can be controlled by simply changing the feed, using supplements and feeding the right kind of hay.

Let’s begin with the hay. Good quality hay is all a horse needs to really maintain his weight (two pounds of good hay per 100 pounds) and is the only thing they can over eat and there is no harm in feeding larger amounts.

If you are feeding a ‘hot feed’ such as sweet feed, you may consider cutting ration to half. Corn, whether crimped or crushed, is also heat producing. Whole oats are also considered as such, but if you are working your horse hard, 4-5 hours per day, you need the oats to maintain his energy level. Pleasure horses, however, are rarely worked this hard. In this case you may want to consider using the so-called "complete rations" that are out in the market that contain grain and ground alfalfa in a pellet form along with salt and minerals. This ration supplies your horse with everything he needs except good, clean water. When using these complete rations, follow the manufacturers feeding recommendations, to keep your horse looking good without developing a "hay belly".

Also, as workload increases some sweet feed or oats may be mixed with the pelleted ration. In some cases, a horse may have a simple case of nerves. Your horse is an Appendix Quarterhorse and he may have the nerves due to the environment he was previously exposed to. If he was raced, he will automatically begin to sweat because of the anticipation of the workout he is about to do. His adrenaline is pumped. If this is the case, consider adding a product called ‘Quietex’ by Farnum which comes either in a paste or powder, or ‘Calmex’ by Farnum which only come in powder form. These products are formulated to calm your horse before or during any type of activity to reduce his anxiety without making him drowsy or leaving a residual effect.

Besides hay and water, salt is the only thing that a horse absolutely needs. Make sure you supply your horse with a salt block year round, during hot weather, if you are doing a lot of riding. Horses sweat a lot and will need salt added to the grain, about two tablespoonful at a time once or twice a day. Horses being trained and used for eventing or cross-country need even more salt and perhaps an electrolyte mixture. Your veterinarian can help you select the right ones, along with the correct minerals or vitamins needed for specific needs.