The long, hot days of summer are ideal for long rides and adventures. Unfortunately, hot weather can be very dangerous for your horse if you don’t take the proper precautions. If you’ll be riding, working or competing with a horse in hot weather, it’s essential that you follow some basic summertime care tips to keep your horse healthy and happy.Hydration is essential.
There are few things more important than a plentiful supply of fresh, clean water in the summertime. Most horses drink more than 10 gallons of water per day and many average-sized workhorses consume more than 25 gallons per day during 70+ degree weather.
If you are concerned about dehydration, you can perform a “pinch test” on your horse. Simply pinch the skin and let go. If the skin remains pinched, the horse is dehydrated.Supplement with salt.
Red, peeling skin is uncomfortable and painful for horses. Sunburn-related sores can become infected and require professional treatment. Although all horses can burn, those with white markings are especially at risk.
If your horse is kept inside during the day, ensure that there is adequate ventilation in her stall. Installing a fan will help keep her cool and reduce the number of flies and mosquitoes in the area, helping your horse be even more comfortable.
Remember that riding in hot weather can be very dangerous because horses can become overheated. If possible, choose to ride in the early morning or late evening to avoid the dangerous heat of midday.Prevent Insects
Pesky flies, mosquitoes and insects can annoy and endanger your horse. These bugs thrive in the summer by breeding in pools of stagnant water. Ensure that all buckets, troughs and other sources of water are regularly cleaned to avoid breeding. You may also want to use fly control products to further protect your horse. Don’t forget that mosquitos carry a number of dangerous diseases, so keeping them away means keeping your horse healthy.
What are your top tips for caring for your horse during the warmer months? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think!