Warm Weather Care Tips for Horses
- Alter turnout times.Early morning or later evening will be cooler and more comfortable for horses to have paddock time.
- Provide shade.If your horse lives outdoors or if he must be outside during the day, provide relief from the sun.
- Provide fresh, cool water and an electrolytesource.Make sure your horse has plenty of fresh, cool water. If your horse is sweating a good bit, electrolytes are essential to help keep the body in balance. Choose an electrolyte that suits your horses needs and taste. For example, don’t add electrolytes to his drinking water if it means he wont drink. Instead consider paste application straight into the mouth with SuperlytePaste or adding a highly palatable electrolyte to his feed like Isopro.
- Slow down the work.This is valid for both horse and rider. Again, look at the time of day you exercise, early morning or late evening may provide some cooler temperatures for you both to work in. If you have to work your horse in the heat, lighten the work load and cool down slowly. Once you dismount remove tack immediately, hose down with cool water and offer frequent sips of cool water (don’t let your horse gulp too much water too quickly)
- Avoid sunburn.Horses, especially grey horses, can suffer from sunburn. Even those with white socks, heels, blazes and pink noses can be susceptible. Again, ensure shade is available and apply sun block to areas that are likely to be affected. If your horse does get too much sun apply TRM’s barrier cream Equizalto help sooth any irritation.
Know your horse and signs of heat stroke.Heat stroke can happen anytime your horse is exposed to excessive heat that his body cannot handle. Signs of heat stroke can include:
- An elevated heart rate that does not return to normal in a reasonable period of time
- Excessive sweating or lack of sweating
- Temperature that persists above 39°C
- Depression and/or lethargy;
- Dehydration: dry mucous membranes, poor capillary refill, and poor skin turgor.
If you are concerned that your horse is suffering from heat stroke, call your veterinarian immediately and get your horse into a cooler environment.