When it comes to caring for animals in hot weather, it’s essential that you’re providing them with the care they’ll need to keep cool and prevent heat-related illnesses. The same applies with looking after your horse – although they may need slightly different care to other animals throughout the summer months.
Horses are larger animals so their big bodies tend to struggle to cool down as well as other pets can. In some cases, horses are too large to fit under small shaded areas in your paddock and could develop heath conditions such as dehydration, colic and heatstroke.
In this guide, we’ve shared five simple tips that you can use to help your horse and hot weather get along! You will also see why it’s so important to take extra care with your horse throughout this time:
Change their exercise routine
Even though many horses love having a routine, you may need to consider changing your horse’s exercise plan in the summer months to prevent them from becoming exhausted in the heat.
If you’re wanting to continue horse riding in summer, changing the time of this activity can have a huge impact. For example, riding earlier in the morning or later in the evening when the temperature is much cooler is healthier for your horse and limits their exposure to the hottest sun rays at midday.
Create shaded areas
Large, open paddocks can help create shaded areas for your horse to relax in if they become too hot. Providing these spaces will help prevent sunstroke in horses and give them the opportunity to control their own temperature.
Provide fresh water regularly
Just like humans, horses need to keep hydrated in hot weather. You can make sure that they’re getting enough water by providing them with a fresh bucket at various points throughout the day.
When horses sweat, electrolytes that balance their body’s cells, are lost. You may want to add supplements to your horse’s water supply to replace these and ensure that they’re kept healthy.
Remember that horses may need their water supply topping-up every few hours throughout the summer.
Give them a shower
Because horses struggle to cool down their skin surface area, you have the chance to do this for them by grabbing a hose pipe and giving them a shower!
Using cold water will help to quickly reduce their body temperature. You can also use this as an opportunity to groom your horse as well as bond with them
Apply horse sun cream
Some horses love nothing more than playing in the sunshine but unfortunately, horses and hot weather don’t always work well together. Extreme exposure to the sun’s rays can cause your horse’s skin to blister, so consider applying horse sun cream regularly throughout the day to protect their skin.
Once you’ve followed these steps to protect your horse in the hot summer months, we’re sure that they’ll love the fresh water and chance to cool off. Don’t forget that you should have horse insurance to protect against any illnesses they may develop as a result of over-exposure to the sun, helping to get your pet back into great health without costing a fortune.