Jun 24, 2018 3:10 PM
Heatstroke is a potentially deadly condition that can come on suddenly with little warning. Heatstroke occurs when heat production outpaces heat loss. A horse's normal temperature is 100 to 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures beyond 103.5 challenge his metabolic processes. Beyond 105 degrees, it may show signs of subtle uncoordination or lack precision and regularity in its paces. The horse may be fretful and irritable, less attentive and sluggish in its work. If its temperature stays over 105 for longer than a few minutes, the horse's sweating mechanism starts to shut down, and it loses interest in eating and drinking. All that internal heat dulls its brain's cognitive functions, leading to disorientation. If the temperature is not brought down within five to 10 minutes, or if it rises to 108 or beyond, the horse likely will collapse, suffer convulsions and die. At temperatures over 111.2 degrees, tissues can literally break down.
Heat production even during gentle exercise can increase by 10 to 20 times over resting values. Sprinting results in an increase of 40 to 50 times over resting values. At work levels of 150 heartbeats per minute, a horse's temperature will go up 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit every three minutes.
Working your horses in a steamy climate significantly increases their susceptibility to heatstroke. High humidity compromises the evaporative process because up to two-thirds of the heat-releasing sweat will roll off of the horse's body before it can evaporate and cool the horse. This means efficient sweating is not always synonymous with efficient cooling.
The following rule of thumb has been devised as a guide. If the sum of the temperature and humidity is:
· Less than 130 - no problem;
· Greater than 150 - use caution, especially if the humidity is greater than half of the total;
· Greater than 180 - use extreme caution, since normal cooling is almost ineffectual and horses may resort to panting.
Effective Date: Saturday, May 16, 2020
The suspension of USPA Tournaments and Events will be lifted for USPA Member Clubs in locales where hosting polo matches and tournaments is permitted under applicable state and local laws, executive orders and similar decrees. The USPA Member Clubs in these locales are encouraged to follow all such requirements of their state and local authorities with respect to polo operations. In addition, we also encourage all USPA Member Clubs to take the precautions recommended by the CDC. We are preparing a detailed list of best practices for USPA Member Clubs as they return to hosting USPA Tournaments and Events and plan to circulate these guidelines within the next week. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and will notify you if we determine a different course of action is necessary.Read More