Tips To Keep Your Horse Safe In Summer Heat
Now that the spring rains seem to have ended, most of us are now feeling summer’s heat and humidity, and are seeking ways to keep comfortable.
As we try to cool ourselves, let’s remember our horses. The heat affects them, too.
What can we do to help them stay comfortable in the summer heat? Here are some tips:
– Make sure the horses have access to plenty of water at ALL times. Even the healthiest horses can suffer from dehydration, and heat stroke if overexposed to the heat.
– Apply fly repellent intended for horses. Flies and other insects can be bothersome and may even transmit diseases from one horse to another.
– If your horses are kept in a stall, keep doors and windows open for air circulation. Include a fan at each stall if possible. This will not only help keep the horses cool, but it will also help to keep the flies off.
– If possible, exercise your horse during the cooler hours of the day, either the early morning or in the evening, avoiding the hottest part of the day.
– Hose down your horses when possible, especially after a workout. If hosing is not possible, have a sponge and bucket of water on hand. It will cool them down and they will feel more comfortable.
– Make sure there is shade available, when the horses are turned out, to get out of the heat of the sun. The shade could be either trees, an overhang from the barn or even a run in shed.
– Give your horse plenty of breaks when working. If he is exhibiting at a show or on a trail ride, allow him to have plenty of water to keep hydrated. Gatorade (or its equivalent) may be added to the drinking water to aid in replenishing the minerals lost.
– When storms hit, if possible, allow your horses to stay out with shelter available. With the possibility of tornadoes, the horses will fare better on their own. If the horses are stalled, there is no escape if the building gets hit.
– BE PREPARED!! Have an emergency plan on hand in case a disaster should strike. Develop an evacuation plan well ahead of time in case you are forced from your property in an emergency.