10 Summer Horse Care Tips
Cameron Jensen - Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Summer is one of the best seasons to have fun with our horses but, in Australia, the heat can be extreme - leading to dehydration and heat stress. In this article, we outline 10 tips for caring for your horse during Summer.
1. Avoid midday heat
Exercise your horse during the cooler parts of day, such as in the early morning or late afternoon. Better yet, if the temperature is high, exercise at night if you have access to well-lit riding facilities.
2. Provide shade
Ensure your horse has plenty of shade throughout the day. Man-made structures are fine, but trees provide the coolest source of shelter when the weather is warmest.
3. Check for over-heating
If your horse is rugged, check them regularly for signs of over-heating. A white cotton rug on a dark horse can keep them cooler, but the opposite may be true for a white or grey horse.
4. Offer fresh water
Your horse should have unlimited access to fresh, clean drinking water 24 hours a day. You should also offer water after exercise, and replace any lost electrolytes after high intensity work or competition.
5. Avoid sunburn
If you own a white or grey horse, you may need to apply sunscreen daily to protect from painful sunburn. A light-coloured fly sheet can also offer some protection.
6. Hang a salt block
Salt is an essential mineral that is lost when your horse sweats. Hang a salt block at a safe, low height in your horse’s stall and paddock.
7. Be aware of dehydration
If you suspect your horse is dehydrated, do the pinch test. Any longer than two seconds is a concern. You should also be well aware of your horse’s normal vital signs.
8. De-worm regularly
Many parasites thrive in warm, moist conditions. Speak with your veterinarian about a faecal egg count for your horse to ensure you’re combating the parasites present on your property.
9. Keep the insects off
No one likes flies during Summer! A light-coloured fly sheet and fly mask can help keep your horse more comfortable. You may also consider using a fly repellant daily if they’re a burden.
10. Warm up and warm down
Especially during Summer, always warm up and warm down your horse when exercising. A cold hosing and thorough sweat scrape are also important if your horse has sweated profusely.
What other tips would you add to your horse’s Summer care?
At Running Cool, we genuinely care about your horse’s health and wellbeing. Our superior horse feed range supports your horse at every stage of life with well-balanced vitamins, minerals and protein for pleasure and performance. Click here to learn more.