The Effect of a Cooler on the Rate of Heat Loss from a Horse Post-Exercise
Gates, Megan; Perkins, Luke; Salvat, Regina; Tang, Zhouwen
Coolers are large wool blankets put on horses after exercising or bathing during cold weather. They are intended to allow moisture to travel away from the body of the horse while providing an insulating layer to help stabilize their body temperature and to prevent them from getting a chill. We tested the effectiveness of these wool coolers by comparing the rate of heat loss from a horse's skin with and without the added wool layer. Using the modeling software of FIDAP we were able to simulate the coupled processes of heat transfer from the horse?s skin and sweat evaporation. The model was run in FIDAP after determining an optimized mesh size and time step, which allowed accurate finite element modeling but maintained a reasonable run time. The model shows that the wool helps maintain a constant body temperature post exercise by providing an insulating layer. Since accurate diffusivity and conductivity values for wool and hair were hard to find, a sensitivity analysis was performed to determine the effect of an error on the temperature and mass profiles. After varying the diffusivities by one order of magnitude and the conductivities by 10%, the model determined that errors in these variables have little to no effect on horse body temperature approximations after one half hour.
Horses; Wool blankets; Exercise; Sweat Evaporation