What is an Anti-Sweat Sheet For Horse? Why Do You Need One? 

Are you a new horse parent and wondering if you need an anti-sweat sheet?

I had the same dilemma when I got my mare, a few years ago.

Anti-sweat sheets have several benefits for horses.

Read this guide to discover what is an anti-sweat sheet for horses is and why you might need one.

What is an Anti-Sweat Sheet for a Horse?

A horse anti-sweat sheet is a lightweight, breathable covering made of a material and variety of fabrics that wick away or soak up the sweat on your horse’s coat.

It is usually composed of cotton, Irish knit,  or a blend of cotton and other fabric constructed into a mesh that allows proper breathability and ventilation. 

The ventilation in the sheet allows hot air to escape, while the woven mesh helps protect your horse from chills while they are drying off. [1]

If the sheet fibers become too moist, they will stop absorbing moisture and make your horse more susceptible to chills. To prevent this, change out your current sheet for another.

Like most sheets for horses, anti-sweat ones aren’t waterproof or insulated, but they do have water-resistant features to prevent the horse’s coat from accumulating more moisture as they dry off.

I use my horse’s anti-sweat sheets when they need help cooling down after a workout in the summer heat.

Here’s a great blanketing guide video.

And don’t forget to check this horse blanket vs horse sheet comparison guide!

What is an Anti-Sweat Sheet Used for?

Anti-sweat sheets for horses absorb the sweat from a horse’s coat after they have been exercised, so they are dry and ready for turnout or stall time.

This keeps your horse warm, which is especially important during the winter  (and colder weather)  because if a horse is wet in the cold weather, it will not regulate its body temperature properly.

Anti-sweat sheets also dry clipped horses off before putting an insulated blanket on them to provide them with additional warmth. Clipped horses are more prone to getting chills than horses with a full coat.

Horses cannot wear a blanket if they are sweaty because the sweat will get stuck underneath it and affect their ability to regulate themselves.

I use my anti-sweat sheet on my horse whenever they are extra sweaty and need help dry their coat.

This way, they are not susceptible to skin conditions caused by moisture such as rain rot, and their coat stays healthy. 

Why Do Horses Sweat So Much?

Horses sweat to expel body heat and cool themselves down, just like we do. [2]

When horses sweat a lot, it is because they have been through an intense workout or are coming back to work after a few months off and are unfit.

Horses have a large body composition and expend a large amount of energy working out, so they produce a lot of sweat to bring their body temperature down. 

On the other hand, horses can sweat excessively if they have a high fever or are stressed.

When improperly managed, sweating too much can lead to dehydration which can cause other health problems.

My horse constantly sweats after a heavy workout; I always make sure to give her some electrolytes and put her anti-sweat sheet on to help her feel better and get her temperature back to normal.

She loves her cooldown time and is ready to relax or play with her pasture buddies when she is done.

Check out this cool video!

Why Do You Need an Anti-Sweat Sheet?

Anti-sweat sheets are essential because they dry up the sweat on your horse’s coat to help them control their body temperature after workouts.

Additionally, when horses are sweaty, they will be more inclined to roll, but the dirt they roll in will easily stick to the coat. Anti-sweat horse sheets help keep your horse clean if they do roll.

This saves you time because you will not have to groom them.

As the proud owner of a grey mare, I know how hard grey horses are to groom and keep clean.

Anti-sweat sheets kill two birds with one stone for me because they help my horse dry off while keeping their coat clean and in good condition.

Without an anti-sweat sheet, you will have to towel dry your horse or find another way to cool them down.

READ MORE: Best Horse Rain Sheets

Does an Anti-Sweat Sheet Really Work?

In my experience, anti-sweat sheets do a great job of absorbing moisture and keeping my horse comfortable and dry.

Cotton fabric and wool can soak up a lot of sweat and will prevent your horse from overheating, getting chills, or otherwise becoming sick.

The ventilation through the holes in the sheet also promotes airflow and allows your horse to cool down faster.

You can even layer an anti-sweat sheet under a blanket for additional warmth to keep your horse cozy in the winter if necessary. It is a multipurpose piece of equipment that can be used in various ways.

I love my anti-sweat sheet and encourage all equestrians to consider purchasing one for their horse if they haven’t already. They are great for cool-downs and will save you time while keeping your horse happy.

FAQs

Why can’t you put a horse away wet?

The water will act as an insulator when a horse is stabled while its coat is still wet. [3] It will trap heat in the horse’s coat and put them at risk of overheating.

What is the difference between an anti-sweat sheet and a cooler?

What makes a cooler different from an ant-sweat sheet is that a cooler dries up moisture and prevents cold drafts without ventilation, while an anti-sweat sheet allows air to escape as the coat dries. [4]

In Conclusion

An anti-sweat sheet is a lightweight, ventilated covering for your horse made of cotton or wool in various colors woven into a mesh.

They are accustomed to cooling horses down after a workout, and although not waterproof or insulated, can be layered under other blankets for warmth.

References 

  • 1. Johnson KS. What Season Do Horses Wear Blankets? [Internet]. Pets on Mom.com. [cited 2022 Jan 27]. Available from: https://animals.mom.com/season-horses-wear-blankets-3869.html
  • 2. thal. Database Record Viewer [Internet]. Horse Side Vet Guide. [cited 2022 Jan 27]. Available from: https://horsesidevetguide.com/drv/Observation/461/sweating-excessively/
  • 3. Kovatch K. Fact Check Friday: “Don’t Turn Out a Wet Horse” [Internet]. HORSE NATION. 2018 [cited 2022 Jan 27]. Available from: https://www.horsenation.com/2018/07/06/fact-check-friday-dont-turn-out-a-wet-horse/#:~:text=Never%20turn%20a%20wet%20horse
  • 4. Gude L. How to Select and Use a Cooler For Your Horse [Internet]. Expert how-to for English Riders. [cited 2022 Jan 27]. Available from: https://practicalhorsemanmag.com/health-archive/how-do-i-c2adselect-and-use-a-cooler-for-my-horse
horse eating anti sweat sheet

Do you use an anti-sweat sheet for your horse? Please share with us below!

Bryanna Tanase
Bryanna Tanase

Bryanna is a 23-year-old Florida-based Grade 1 Para-dressage rider based in Florida and she has been riding for 5 years. Horses are her passion and her ultimate goal is to be selected for the US Para-Equestrian Team and represent the US at the Paralympics. She rides at Quantum Leap Farm and Emerald M Therapeutic Riding Center and her equine partners are Shane, an American Paint Horse, and Cappy a Welsh x Thoroughbred. When she is not helping at the barn, riding, or training, she is learning about horses, writing articles about them, and using her social media platforms to raise awareness for therapeutic riding and para-equestrianism, shares her journey, and advocates for greater inclusion of para-equestrian in the media and equestrian sport at large.
Follow on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK
Read her Latest articles
Learn more about HER

Leave a Comment


SUBSCRIBE OUR NEWSLETTER

Want The Best Care For Your Horse? Subscribe to our EXPERT RIDER Tips