You might think the only connection our Clydesdale Tessa has with beer is her identical breed to the iconic team of Budweiser Clydesdale horses you see on television commercials.

But as you’ll discover, the adult beverage – specifically dark beer — recently became a dietary staple in Tessa’s daily feedings at Hope Reins.

Unusual? Perhaps, but very necessary and medicinal according to Equine Manager Elizabeth Kennon.

“A few weeks ago, Tessa was diagnosed with anhidrosis, which is the failure to sweat,” says Elizabeth. “We caught it early and although there’s no cure, it can be managed with fastidious care.”


The disease is especially prominent in hot, humid climates like we have in the south, according to Elizabeth, which of course makes sweating even more important to the health of the animal.  “It can afflict any breed at any age,” she says.

Aside from lack of sweating, anhidrosis is characterized by labored breathing, flared nostrils, increased heart rate, increased body temperature, fatigue and possibly collapse. The greatest risk with anhidrosis is from the onset of heat stroke, which can be fatal if not dealt with immediately. 

Thankfully, with the support of the Hope Reins Equine Wellness Team, Tessa has a well-choreographed treatment plan including oral supplements that support sweat glands, regular hosing down with cool water when needed, and of course, two dark beers with morning and evening feedings. “The alcohol in beer is a vasodilator and helps open capillaries to allow heat to pass through more readily, so it helps stimulate sweating,” says Elizabeth.

Once cooler weather arrives, Tessa’s care can be modified. “The best way to monitor her comfort is by watching the other horses,” says Elizabeth. “If the other horses are dry and comfortable, then she will be as well.” 

We are so thankful for our equine wellness team who work tirelessly to keep Tessa happy and healthy!  And, our kids thank you too!  Tessa, this Bud’s for you! 

Kids from our local partner, Refugee Hope, love Tessa.