Showing posts from April, 2018

In which I revisit the issue of keeping a big dark horse cool

The best way to keep a hard-working endurance horse cool during a strenuous event is to begin with a small, narrow, grey horse. Preferably an Arab.

Fiddle is big:  16 hands, 1200 pounds.  She has a big engine,

and her engine runs hot.

During an endurance ride, cooling is a major issue for all horses.  Here's a quote from an article by Dr. Susan Garlinghouse, DVM:

During a fifty-mile ride in ambient temperatures, the average horse will produce enough heat to melt a 150-pound block of ice, and then bring that water to a boil. If that heat is not removed, the internal body temperature will quickly rise high enough to literally cook the entire body.

Please note that the numbers cited above are for an average horse.  Not a 1200 pound Dragon, who naturally produces even more heat.

And not a Moose, either.

Moose and his rider ran into metabolic trouble at the April Daze ride, which sent me scurrying to my blog archives to find the post I wrote about cooling a big dark horse.  Turns out that…

In which we go to the "Dry Side" to help out a bit at April Daze

When Fiddle strained a tendon two weeks ago I automatically erased the April Daze ride from her schedule

...but not from mine.
Gail Williams could probably run a ride just fine without help from me and Jim...but she hasn't had to do that for 15 years, so why take a chance? 
We loaded up the van with sleeping bags and dogs and headed over the pass to what we normally call the "Dry Side" of our state.  During the long drive, I amuse myself by taking photos of the dogs.

We had clear skies and dry roads coming through the pass on Friday, but the weather forecast was ominous for the Spokane area on Saturday:  100% chance of heavy rain and winds.

And guess who forgot to pack the barn boots before we left home?

Friday evening, the skies at Riverside Park were friendly and blue.

Saturday morning, not so much.

It started out raining, and then the weather really got the hang of precipitating.