A hot day can take a toll on your horse. If unable to escape the blaring sun, he could be at risk for heat related health problems. While some may be an easy fix and relatively minor, others can be very dangerous and even fatal. Make sure to give your horse a little extra attention when temperatures begin to soar. Follow these tips and you’ll have a happier horse!
- Keep him hydrated! Fresh, clean water should be available at all times in your horse’s stall or field. He should be offered water on the trail or at a show. And after each ride lead him to water to see if he’ll drink some. You should be monitoring the amount.
- Avoid the hottest parts of the day. Plan your rides in the early morning or late evening, after the sun has gone down. If you have to ride in the middle of the day, give him breaks and save the strenuous work for another time.
- Hose him off. Continuous water running on his body will quickly lower his temperature. It’s a good idea to wash him off after each ride in the summer, especially if he’s sweaty.
- Turnout overnight. If you can’t offer shade or a run-in, consider putting him outside during the cooler night hours. During the day, a fan blowing on him while he’s in his stall can help to keep him cool.
- Increase air circulation inside the barn with large fans in the aisle.
- Be careful when trailering him. Open windows so air can flow in and out. Avoid travelling on the hottest parts of the day.
- Keep an extra eye on senior horses and foals. The heat may burden them much more aggressively.
Know the signs your horse isn’t handling the heat so well. Check for dehydration and extreme fatigue. Summertime can be a lot of fun for both you and your horse. Remember these tips to keep him safe and feeling his best!