Summer is just about here, and there are plenty of activities you and your horse can enjoy while soaking up the sun! That is why it is very important to provide extra care and attention to your horse during these up-and-coming hot summer days! To reduce stress and maintain your horse’s health and well-being, follow these quick tips on caring for your equine throughout the warmer months.
1. Monitoring Time in the Sun
It is important to make sure you are limiting your horse’s time in the sun this summer. Be sure to provide adequate shade from trees or buildings to provide your horse relief from the sun. Be cautious of shade changing throughout the day, or buildings blocking natural airflow. It is also crucial to look for signs of sunburn, especially on horses with white or light-colored coats. Masks can also help protect your horse from sunburns!
2. Keeping Horses Hydrated
In the summer months, it is very important that your horse has access to cool water at all times during the day. Monitor the temperature and sanitation of the water consistently throughout the day and provide a couple of different water sources for your horse to drink from.
Tip: Try putting a salt block near the water source to encourage them to drink more water throughout the day!
3. Traveling with Horses
If you need to travel with your horse this summer, try to leave early in the morning when the temperature is cooler. Make sure to provide as much ventilation as you can in the vehicle so your horse can be as comfortable as possible. Keep all vents and windows of the trailer or lorry open to provide airflow. Make sure your horse is well-rested and hydrated before traveling, and be sure to provide water after arriving at your destination. Try to keep travel times short and only travel if necessary during hot months.
4. Paying Close Attention to Distress
Horses can also develop heatstroke, which is why following these summer horse care tips are so important. Symptoms can include:
Continuous elevated heart rate and temperatures above 103 degrees
Too much or no sweating
Lethargy or exhaustion
Signs of dehydration such as poor performance, stiffness, elastic skin, weariness, and more
5. Deciding when to Exercise your Horse
Try to avoid exercising your horse during the hottest hours of the day and/or keep sessions short. In periods of intense heat, try and pick the coolest time of day to ride your horse. After riding in the heat, make sure your horse is cooled down. You can do this by hosing them off or sponging them down with cool water.
The summer months can be a very exciting time for you and your horse, with countless activities to take advantage of. This is why it is imperative that you keep them as safe as possible by monitoring their time in the sun, keeping them hydrated, safely traveling, watching for signs of distress, and deciding when to exercise them. Make sure to follow these tips to ensure you and your horse have the safest, healthiest, and most enjoyable, summer ever!