Let’s be clear – no horse has ever died of heat stress on race-day in Australia. The hot weather has made a few people hot under the collar about heat stress in our equine athletes.
What exactly is heat stress? When a horse gets hot, they cool themselves down by sweating. This moves the heat out of the muscles and into sweat droplets which are secreted out the skin cells. When the sweat reaches the skin, it evaporates taking the heat away from the body. All horses after exercise will sweat to cool their body down, and in the vast majority of cases this works well and the horse’s breathing and heart rate return to their resting rate quickly.
Published in Breeding & Racing in 2014. Read it here.