Protecting Your Horse From the Summer Heat
Summer heat can be just as exhausting for horses, especially those who spend the majority of their days out in the pasture. In protecting your horse from the summer heat, you’ll need to make sure that your stable is well-equipped to shield them from the sun’s harsh rays as well as accommodate them while they’re out in the field or on a ride.
Following these tips will ensure that your horse is always cool and comfortable, giving you two more time to bond and take in the best of what summer has to offer.
Pay Attention to Turnout Times
For horses that spend parts of their day outside, make sure that you adjust their turnout time to meet the coolest parts of the day. The sun is brightest and hottest between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M., so you should let your horses spend most of the day safely tucked into their air-conditioned stalls while they are free to roam the pasture in the evenings. Doing this will allow them some time in the sun while helping them avoid the times when the sun is most powerful.
Also, consider how the hot temperatures will affect the quality of the grass; you may need to supplement with more food if there’s too little grass for adequate grazing.
Install the Proper Equipment
Farm sheds can shield your horses from the sun while they are free to extend their heads from their stalls. You also want to provide plenty of shade in the pasture, be it with big trees or pasture shelters. A corral shelter can give your horses some relief when they’re outside, allowing them to get plenty of exercise and take in the weather without being overheated.
Always Make Sure There’s Water Nearby
Hang buckets on pasture fences, fill basins, and make sure that your horses are always able to get fresh, cool water when they need it. Change the water sources regularly throughout the day to ensure that it remains clean and a cool temperature. If water is left out for too long, it stagnates and does not refresh your horse the way it should.
You can also mist hay with water to dampen it and add some extra hydration to your horse’s meals.
Use a Fly Sheet and Sunblock
Protect your horse from sunburn by applying a small amount of sunblock before they head out into the pasture. Fly sheets are an excellent way to deflect sun in light-colored horses but make sure you do not pick a cover that is a dark shade. Avoid leaving your horse outside for hours-on-end without any shade, and make sure that long-haired horses have their manes and tails braided or trimmed.
With the right equipment and a good schedule, protecting your horse from the summer heat is possible. If you notice that your horse is drinking less water, refusing meals or has severe sunburn, contact your veterinarian right away. Consulting with your vet as well as stable staff can also help you make sure that your horse is well-tended and comfortable throughout the summer season.
“Protecting Your Horse From the Summer Heat”
Guest Writer: Ani O.
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