How Do Horses Sweat and Cool Down

how do horses sweat

Most of the times when we see a horse, it looks like they’re always dry and with their skin nice and slick. Besides the times when they take a bath, they’re always dry. So some of you might wonder if horses sweat. And if they do, then how do horses sweat? Because we never seem to notice.

Surprising or not, the truth is that horses do sweat. It surely doesn’t seem so, but unlike your cat, horses do have sweat glands into their skin, so they can cool themselves off during hot summer days or while doing intense activity like race training.

How Do Horses Sweat

When temperatures rise, horses begin to sweat to lower their temperature back within normal limits. What’s more, horses sweat as well when they’re in pain, or have health troubles and even when they’re under duress.

Horses use breathing and their skin as a way to let off the accumulated heat in their bodies, but if that’s not enough, their sweat glands are put in use.

Unlike other animals, horses have sweat glands in their skin, which will begin pumping out sweat when the other means are not enough for that. In some conditions, you might notice that your horse has lather, or a white foam on its skin. That means that the respective horse is sweating and losing electrolytes, which are contained in a horse’s sweat. Together with electrolytes, horses also lose a lot of water when they sweat. For example, a horse that’s exercising can lose up to four gallons of sweat per hour, which is quite a lot.

Given that information, you should always provide enough fresh water for your horse, especially in hot weather and when participating in intense training. Most horses will drink up to 20 gallons per day, sometimes even more depending on the horse’s size and activity.

How Can You Help Your Horse Cool Off

A horse sweating usually means a healthy horse, but sometimes, when he’s the sweating becomes excessive, it can also mean health problems for the horse, so you should always be careful and watch for signs of that and consult a vet if that’s the case.

In hot and humid weather or after exercise, you can also help your horse cool off. There are a few ways in which you could do that. The first thing you can do is to walk the horse for a while after training, until his breath becomes normal again. That may take longer depending on the outside air temperature, the exercises your horse did and its overall fitness level.

In addition to that, you could give your horse a bath to help him cool off faster. If you have the means, you could also buy a horse shower, which has the advantage that you could wash your horse with warm water anytime, and that helps cleaning the sweat remains from its body. That will ensure that your horse stays clean and healthy all the time.

About the author

Jennifer Pitts

I love pets and I love animals. I have 2 dogs and 3 cats and it's not enough for me.