Top tips for caring for a horse in the hot weather.

 1. Make sure you’re horse is kept in the shade. If your horse lives out, make sure there’s is as much natural shade as possible. If a horse is in direct sunlight, it’s not just uncomfortable for the horse, but could make them over heat and possibly lead to dehydration.

2. Keep the air circulating. Fans are the best for this when there is hot weather, fans dotted around an indoor barn or secured in the stable. But remember to do this carefully so horses cannot reach any wires or plug points.

 

3. Fresh, cool water with sources of electrolytes. Keeping an eye on your horses water and keeping it fresh and topped up every day is very important. Horses that are sweating through heat or exercise will need electrolytes. Salt licks are good to have dotted about it they aren’t drinking as much.

Another clever idea is getting their favourite treats and freezing them in water to make it more flavoursome.

4. Think about turn out times. We usually turn our horses out in the day, changing this to evenings or early mornings before or after the sun is out is very important and will really help keeping them as comfortable as possible in the hot weather.

5. Carefully work your horse. Even though your horse may be used to being exercised everyday, it doesn’t mean that when the weather changes, this won’t have an effect on them. Try and ride early morning or later in the evening when the weather is at its coolest, or try and keep exercise to a minimum or very light work.

 

6. Be aware of pink skin and sunburns. Let’s make sure those pink skinned horses and parts of their body that are effected by the sun are covered. A fly mask with a nose may help and apply plenty of sun screen to avoid sunburns.

7. Keep an eye on long coats. If a horse has a thick coat, clipping them maybe the best option. This will be another factor that can help to keep them cool, but make sure you don’t clip too close to the skin as this also can protect against the suns rays.

8. Heat stroke. Knowing the signs of this is so important, some symptoms can include a fast heart rate, high temperature, a horse that can appear tired, unresponsive and lethargic and be aware of the signs of dehydration.

9. Avoid travelling horses. It can be very risking travelling a horse in high temperatures, airflow in horse boxes or trailers can be limited. Planning trips and travelling when the temperature is at its lowest point is always a sensible option.

 

10. Washing your horse down. This will help when the weather is hot or after exercise by cooling them down. Always make sure you use a sweat scraper to clear off as much excess water as possible. Walking off gently with a cooler will also help them after exercise to reduce a sudden change in temperature.