When temperatures go up, everyone prefers to keep cool and comfortable. That goes for our horses, too. Here are some key tips on keeping your horse healthy and happy in the summertime heat.
Just like humans, horses need plenty of water to keep cool. If you use an automatic watering device, make sure your animals are drinking enough. If you use buckets, keep them free of straw and debris, as some horses will stop drinking if the water gets dirty. If your horse isn’t drinking enough, try adding a salt lick. It tastes great, provides extra nutrients, and encourages them to drink more.
Your horse should be pastured during the cooler times of day, and avoid midday summer heat. Unfortunately, cooler hours are prime time for flies and other insects. Blanketing your equine friend with a fly mask, fly sheet and/or a neck covering will keep away. Leave the tail free to be her natural fly swatter. Before riding, cover your horse with natural fly ointment. In the stall, keep a fan running to blow air and keep flies at bay.
Summer Ride Mindfulness
Try to avoid riding your horse during the hottest parts of the day or when temperatures are above 30 degrees Celsius. Riding when it is too hot can cause heat stress, dehydration, and lethargy. Pay close attention to any signals that your animal is overheating:
-Excessive sweating (or lack of sweating)
-Dry mucous membranes
If possible, walk your horse midway through exercise so she can cool down. Try using a lighter saddle and harness to reduce the workload. If you do work your horse at the hottest times of day, try to provide as many breaks/rest periods as possible.
The Right Foods
During the summertime, food should be given in frequent, small meals. Eating too much at one time in the heat causes horse stomach ulcers. Supplements, with feed, boost your horse’s health. The right food and nutrition can help a horse stay healthy in the summer heat.
At Southern Equine Distributing, you will find treats and nutritional supplements your horse will love. Check out our selection today or call (905) 691-5141.