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How To Care For Your Horses During Hot Weather: Sunny days can be an exciting time around the stable. Warmer months are ideal for spending time in the pasture where your horses are free to roam around, graze, and rest outdoors. Also, the spring and summer seasons are considered the best time for horse riding. However, there are some precautions you need to consider to ensure the safety and protection of your horses against intense heat.

Like humans, horses can suffer from exhaustion, dehydration, and heatstroke during hot weather. Despite having a thick coat and mane, their skin is also susceptible to sun damage. Given these factors, you’ll need to take the necessary steps to care for your horse’s health and well-being as you have fun outdoors with your furry pal. To do this, here are some suggestions you may find helpful.

How To Care For Your Horses During Hot Weather

  1. Provide Sun Protection

To protect your horse against the heat of the sun during a hot day, you can use heavy horse rugs specifically designed for larger breeds. A horse rug can provide sufficient coverage to avoid too much sun exposure but won’t make the animal feel too hot because of the light and breathable materials used.

Horses also need protection from sunburn, especially those that are light-colored or have white blazes. To do this, you’ll need to apply sun cream to the nose, ears, and exposed skin around the hooves. There are sunscreens specially formulated for horse use. However, some horse owners also use sunscreen for humans and find it effective. As a precaution, it’s essential to check for any allergic reaction before applying it to its skin or consult the vet as needed.

2. Place Them Under A Shade Or Shelter

Keeping your horse in the stable all day may not be ideal during very hot days as this may make them feel too constricted and uneasy. As such, you may need to allocate more turn-out time so they can freely roam around the pasture. However, they’ll still need to be protected from extreme heat.

As a solution, you can prepare a shade or shelter where your horse can comfortably enjoy the breeze outdoors. There are portable field shelters available that are made from various materials, making it easier and more convenient to place them in the field when and where needed.

3. Ensure Proper Ventilation

Keeping your horse stables well-ventilated is essential in warm temperatures. To do this, you’ll need to ensure that the air in the stable rotates and won’t turn stale. You can open the vents or windows and strategically position fans to help the air circulate better.

You can also make your horse feel cooler by using a misting system to keep their skin and coat moisturized. If you don’t have a misting system in place, you can also wet them continuously using a hose as needed. This way, you’ll maximize the cooling effect of ventilation and keep the stable at a comfortable temperature.

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4. Keep Them Hydrated

It’s essential to keep your horse access to cool and clean drinking water all day, especially in hot weather. You may need to adjust the positions of your water troughs so that they won’t be too exposed to heat and that they’re easily accessible to your horses. On the other hand, you can also consider putting an automated water supply in place to make it easier to provide water for your horses.

You can also consider adding salt and electrolytes to your horse’s diet to encourage better hydration. There are several ways you can incorporate more salt and minerals into your horse’s food and drink. For instance, you can put salt cubes near the water trough for easy access. On the other hand, you can incorporate electrolytes in the drinking water for more comfortable ingestion. Lastly, you can soak the hay in water before feeding your horse to increase its water intake.

5. Adjust Riding Time Accordingly

Horseback riding date ideas for students 5

If you have to take your horse out for a ride during the day, it’s best to get an early start when the temperature is at a comfortable level. On the other hand, you can also consider a late afternoon ride when the sun is about to go down, so the heat won’t be too intense to handle.

Aside from adjusting your riding schedule, you can also shorten each session to lighten the horse’s workload. This is because hotter temperatures can quickly cause exhaustion, which increases the risk of heatstroke. To make it more manageable for your horse, you can schedule short exercises during the day instead. This way, your horse has enough time to regain strength and stay hydrated during the day.

6. Protect Against Insects

Bugs, mosquitoes, flies, and midges thrive during warmer months. Because of this, you may see these insects more often in the stable. This isn’t ideal as they attack horses and other animals, which could cause pain and discomfort. To prevent insect infestation in your barn or stable, remove any standing water sources which might serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. If this isn’t a convenient solution, you can also change water buckets more often.

Maintaining cleanliness in the horse’s stall is also vital to avoid attracting flies and bugs. Regularly clean any horse manure using water and detergent to remove any smell that might attract insects. You can also use fly masks or equine fly sprays for added protection.

7. Prevent Heatstroke

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Horses who work under humid conditions may suffer from hyperthermia or heat stroke. In extreme situations, heatstroke can be fatal for horses. The owner must identify the symptoms and give appropriate treatment promptly.

Here are some of the common symptoms of heat exhaustion in horses:

  • Rapid pulse
  • Difficulty breathing or loud panting
  • Sweating
  • Immoderate salivation
  • Unusual redness in the mouth and tongue
  • Warm body temperature
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Muscle spasms
  • Inability to stand straight
  • Loss of consciousness

If you notice any of these signs, it’s vital to apply treatment as quickly as possible. You’ll need to pour cold or iced water over the horse’s body and add more ventilation around it to alleviate the heat. Also, a veterinarian will be required to provide medication and other necessary treatments.

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Horses no matter what their breed are need to be given proper care to stay healthy during hot weather. To properly care for your furry pal in the heat, you’ll need to keep them under close supervision and make adjustments to their environment as needed. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy sunny days together. Your horses can still enjoy bright and pleasant summer days outdoors provided that they’re given the care and protection that they need.




Horseback riding date ideas for students