Metabolic Heat Related Illness

The Human “BEAN”

Hot and humid weather not only affects our horses, it can be equally debilitating to some riders. If you are competing in hot weather be aware of the insidious signs of an impending heat related illness. If you experience any of these symptoms take action immediately to avoid a medical emergency.
Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion:
  • Cramping
  • Fainting
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Chills (goosebumps)
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Collapse
  1. Get out of the heat or at least under shade
  2. Drink plenty of fluids and replace electrolytes
  3. Rest
Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke
  • Body Temp over 104 degrees
  • Red, hot, dry skin
  • Rapid Pulse
  • Headache (throbbing)
  • Dry tongue
  • Inability to sweat (you’ve sweated it all out)
  • Collapse
  • Organ shut down & death
  1. Extreme medical emergency: douse the body with cool water continuously, call EMS to transport to a hospital.
To read source document click here.

Equine Heat Related Illness:
Signs of heat exhaustion of the horse:
  1. Temperature 105 degrees or higher
  2. Rapid breathing, rapid pulse
  3. Stumbling, weakness, depression
  4. Refusal to eat or work
  5. Dry skin and dehydration

In severe cases, a horse may collapse or go into convulsions or a coma.


  1. Ice packs on pulse points
  2. Cold water application
  3. Replenish electrolytes and fluids.
  4. Veterinary intervention
  5. Get horse out of the sun
  6. Fans to help the evaporative cooling process.

When is hot too hot?

When heat and humidity combined are above 130 there is significant risk of heat related illness.

To read source document click here.

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