While summer can be a great time to enjoy your horse, the hot summer heat can take a huge toll on your horse. The heat can be dangerous for your horse and lead to dehydration, fatigue and even colic. With high temperatures that can reach into the 100s, it’s important to take extra steps to ensure your horse remains comfortable and healthy.
To help keep your horse healthy this summer, follow these summer horse care tips from equestrian riding trainer Dan Valentine:
- Provide ample shade – During the hot summer months, it’s important that you provide ample shade for your horse. While trees can be a good source of shade, remember that as the sun moves, so will the shade. Make sure your horse always has shade to provide relief from the hot sun. During the hottest part of the day, it’s best to move your horse into a run-in shed or barn.
- Offer plenty of water – Provide plenty of water to ensure your horse stays hydrated. Along with a water trough, provide your horse will an extra bucket of fresh, cool water. Change the bucket frequently and keep it out of the sun to prevent it from getting hot and stagnant. Also be sure to clean the trough at least once every week because they get dirty quicker during hotter months. Your horse will be sweating more than usual during the warmer months. Adding electrolytes to the horse’s water can help restore electrolytes that were lost from sweating.
- Prevent sunburn – Just like us, your horse can get sun burned. Horses with white socks and blazes, pink noses or hairless patches are especially susceptible to the sun’s harmful UV rays. A fly sheet can help safeguard your horse from sunburn, as can applying sunscreen to your horse’s exposed skin. Providing plenty of shade and keeping your horse out of the sun will also help.