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With the arrival of summer, your horse is likely experiencing hot temperatures and lots of sun. They may be at risk for getting sunburned! Much like a person, some horses have sensitive skin that easily blisters and peels under too much sun. There are a few key factors to consider.

Who can get sunburned?

Some horses are at more risk than others. These horses usually have pink or light-pigmented skin. Sometimes, it’s only certain areas of the body, such as the muzzle and around the eyes. A few coat colors like cremello, perlino, and pintos experience a greater likelihood of getting sunburned.

What does a sunburn look like on horses?

The skin of a sunburned horse will be red and hot to the touch. At some point, they may experience blustering and peeling. It can also be painful for them. They may move away from your touch or act uncomfortable.

Treatment & Prevention

Those with a sunburn should be kept away from the sun, until it has healed. This may mean keeping them inside or putting on a long fly mask. You may also need to apply an ointment with aloe in it. For prevention, a kid’s sunscreen may be applied to light-colored areas. You should also ensure your horse has access to shelter.

I’m sure you know how painful a sunburn can be. You likely don’t want your horse to have to go through that! It’s important to take preventive measures for those at a greater risk.