Seemingly Excessive Sweating?

Hey there.
My mare Mercy sweats. A LOT.
We can be riding at 6 am with little to no humidity and ten minutes in she will be DRIPPING with sweat.
She isn’t winded. Isn’t breathing hard. Doesn’t seem to be struggling in any way, just very VERY sweaty.
She does get electrolytes every day, and she drinks quite a bit so I’m trying to figure out if this is something hugely concerning and I need to call the vet or if it’s just the way she is and she naturally sweats more than other horses.
Does anyone else here have a horse that seems to sweat an abnormal amount? What steps do you take to help with that?

My young horse sweats much more easily than my mare. As long as your horse isn’t showing any signs of distress physically associated with it I really wouldn’t worry at this point if it were my horse.

I have never fed electrolytes because my horses consume salt well and drink plenty all the time.

The only thing I can think of is if your tack is not properly fitted or she is nervous about what you are asking it may be nerves related. Does she sweat easily when just out in the pasture on a hot/ humid day? My boy does.

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If there’s no weird pattern to it (like unusual patchy spots), then I wouldn’t worry about it. Rather have that problem than the opposite.


The horse I had as a kid would break a sweat on her neck in the first ten minutes hacking down the road. She was a forward little thing but super fit, healthy, and fantastic endurance. I never worried about it. She had water, salt lick, ok hay and sweet feed and went out for a big ride almost every day.

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Sounds like me, but as a horse.


I’d give anything for my light sweating (sometimes non-sweating) horse to have this issue.

And I’m with @Renn_aissance. I’m the human version of your horse, OP. It doesn’t cause me any issues. It’s actually nice when a breeze comes up. Nature’s AC.

Likewise. My sister’s late TB and my fellow used to take everything to extremes. The TB was a hard keeper, my guy lives on air. The TB was an exceptionally profuse sweater, my horse has anhidrosis. We used to joke about transferring half the one’s metabolism and sweat glands to the other and getting two “normal” horses.

Said profuse sweater didn’t have anything the matter, it was just his way of being. Did best on electrolytes. That said, if this is new for your horse, not a bad idea to ask the vet next time they’re out.

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How old is the horse and how long have you had her? Has she always been like this or is it something new? Does she only sweat excessively while being worked or does she also sweat a lot while just standing around?

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Is the horse hot when you feel her ( or take it’s temp) ? I have one mare that sweats a LOT but if you feel her body it is cool. A whole lot better than my Cushings pony that does not sweat much at all and stays hot.

Just make sure you have water and salt available at all times.

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Her tack has been fitted by a pro and doesn’t she doesn’t seem nervous about anything.
But she does swear quite a bit just in the pasture.
Which is why I rode her so early to try and get it in before she starts sweating out there

When we were still living in the mountains it wasn’t AS bad but I did notice an increase when we moved back to Missouri. I’m assuming it’s just the humidity.?

I’ve had her just under a year. She is five, coming six.
She does sweat quite a bit just out in the pasture. And it wasn’t terrible when we were still living pretty high up in the Rockies, but now that we are back in Missouri I’ve noticed it’s gotten a bit worse.
Again, her breathing is fine, she doesn’t seem labored in any way just… very sweaty.
She is in awesome shape, physically. That’s the only thing that seems a little off

Now that you say it, not she doesn’t seem overly warm. If I didn’t know better it almost feels like someone just hosed her down a bit

This is good! This means that her cooling system is working.

If this remains consistent, and her body temperature and respiration rise and fall in line with her level of exercise and recovery rate, she’s just a big sweater. :slight_smile:

Is she a quarter horse and perhaps Impressive bred?

The only horse we had that was such a heavy sweater that we wondered if something was wrong was a beautiful grey five year old Impressive bred gelding.
He also would at times lose it, start running sideways and try to take off while sweating buckets.
Never found a reason for all that, he was always very calm, no anxiety.
His papers said HYPP N/N, we wondered if that was wrong, but didn’t get him tested again.
Someone else wanted him very bad and bought him, even with warnings about his problems.

Your horse may just be a heavy sweater by nature, but just in case, a professional opinion, running bloodwork and see what your vet thinks of that makes sense, if nothing else to ease your mind.

I have noticed that the fitter horses tend to sweat more, most of time…possibly they have better skin circulation or just their body is always prepped for intense exercise, or even they are just giving more energy because it’s easier… I’ve particularly noticed this with ottbs, the first year they look like you just hosed them, then even just the second year when they haven’t raced, are maybe a little chunkier, and a year older, they are noticeably less sweaty.

Also, humidity makes the same sweat look like more. I went for a walk yesterday in almost cool temperatures after it rained and I was as wet as jogging on a much warmer but drier day. When it’s really dry all that sweat evaporates, when it’s humid it just sits there on you. And to make it worse, since it’s not evaporating, it’s not cooling you as much, so you’re still warmer and sweat even more.

I like the idea of your horse swearing quite a bit in the pasture! What is she so angry about?

(I know it’s a typo, but I couldn’t resist).

This can’t help. I am a fellow Missourian dweller and I find it has been overly humid this year.