Throughout the year, weather tests all horse owners, not only just with the riding and exercising of them but the daily care of them. As much as though the Winter months are hard, Summer is also challenging.
We often make mistakes when bathing our horses whether it’s the time of day, around exercising or turning out. Depending on our horse’s job or uses, bath times can vary and they can go from once a year or to a weekly pamper bathing session. Removing dirt, dust and dried sweat is the main reasons why we tend to bath them. After riding, our horses usually get sweaty and that can be the main cause of coat discolouration without us not even realising. We should bathe them to fully remove the sweat off, or if you don’t have time for that, then you at least need to rinse off the coat with some water. Drying is very important too, as exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun will cause the melanin in the coat to break down or worse case, destroy it. Light reflects off the hair, causing the colour change. There is plenty of ways to limit this and their exposure to the sun, i.e. turning out in the evening.
Having a horse with pink skin and especially a pink nose can be hard to maintain throughout the Summer. Not having the correct protection can badly damage the skin and cause terrible burns, most common around the muzzle area. We can protect their skin by using sun cream that we would use on ourselves or paste/powder which are specifically designed for them. Putting certain creams on those areas may actually be causing more damage without you realising as they contain oils, this is something to keep in mind when shopping for sun protection. Fly masks with a nose protector can really help and tend to be less messy!
Whilst our horses are turned out throughout the Summer, we are constantly having to keep an eye on the grass growth. Whilst nice, lush, green grass can cause our horses grow lovely shiny and silky coats, the same lush green grass can cause our horses to gain weight at the drop of a hat and then cause anything from bloating, colic to laminitis. Controlling your horse’s diet and turn out time is something you have to factor into not only the Summer months but throughout most of the year too. Muzzles can be something you can use to cut down the amount of grass in take, turn out time can be shortened or broken up throughout of the day or cutting other food out of their diet like their hard feed can really help with maintaining a good weight and balance.