Actively Cooling Horses


If your horse is not up to date with their Hendra virus vaccinations and is not overheated due to recent work, please call your vet before handling or touching your horse.

A lot of worried people have called in with horses with high temperatures so we thought we would cover some cooling methods. If your horse is up to date with its Hendra vaccinations:

  1. Take rugs off.
  2. Hosing: you need to continually hose water to maintain running water over their skin to effectively cool. This method may not be extremely effective in humid weather due to reduction of evaporation under these conditions.
  3. Ice Slurry Method: use a bag of ice in a bucket of water and towel/sponge horse down continually.

Please note: During active cooling the horse’s temperature needs to be monitored every 15 minutes. Excessive cooling can induce hypothermia which can cause further stress to the horse’s already damaged system.

At what temperature should I stop cooling?

Once the temperature reaches between 38.5 and 39 degrees.

How long should I actively cool my horse for?

If the temperature does not drop at all within an hour or is continuing to rise, or you are concerned, you should call VEVs on (07)5543 1213