During the summer months, and especially on hot days, it is important to provide your horse or pony with extra care to keep them cool and hydrated at all times.
Keep your horse hydrated; in hot weather equines can easily consume double their normal water intake, that’s a lot of water! It is very important that you provide your horse with a constant supply of clean fresh water to prevent dehydration. You must also remember to take plenty of water along with you if you are travelling your equine anywhere.
Access to shelter; shelter for your equine is essential in hot weather your animal needs to have somewhere he can get out of the direct sun and into shade. Well-ventilated field shelters are good to ensure your equine can get away from the sun and stay cool or if possible bring your equine into his stable during the hottest parts of the day. Trees are also a good source of shade but you must remember as the sun moves the shade will too!
Sun Protection; yes, equines need sun cream too! White markings (non- pigmented skin) can burn easily, especially on their muzzle and ears. Most animals don’t like you applying cream to their face so altering the times of day you do this can help along with offering plenty of reward when application is successful.
Exercising your horse in the hot weather; don’t want to do much in this heat? Your equine feels the same way too! In hot weather you may find your equine is quite lethargic. It’s a good idea to ride either early in the morning or later in the evening when the weather is at its coolest, this will prevent your equine from overheating and keep them as comfortable as can be. Hosing down after riding is also a top tip to keep cool and your equine will appreciate it very much.
Those are some tips to help keep your equine cool during the hot weather; however please be aware that heatstroke could happen even with precautions.
If you think your animal is suffering from heatstroke you must contact your Veterinarian Surgeon immediately and get your equine into a cooler place. Here are some symptoms of heatstroke to watch for-
Remember if you have any concerns for your horse or pony during the summer months contact your Veterinary Surgeon for advice and support.