It's summertime, and that means the heat is on! Horses can suffer from heat stroke just like people can, so it's important to take steps to keep them cool during the hot months. In this blog post, we will discuss 10 tips for keeping your horse cool during the summer. Follow these tips and you and your horse can stay comfortable and safe during the hottest months of the year!
1. Provide shade
Make sure your horse has access to some type of shelter from the sun's rays, be it a stall or a canopy. In the wild, horses seek out natural shade like trees and hills, so provide them with something similar in their home.
Access to clean water is essential for keeping your horse cool during the summer months. Ensure that there is plenty of fresh water available at all times and check it frequently to make sure it isn’t getting too warm in the heat.
Installing fans in stalls can be extremely helpful in keeping air circulating and your horse cool on hot days. Place the fan high up so that it won't bother your horse and make sure it is set to low or medium speed.
Exercising your horse in the morning or evening, when temperatures are cooler, will help keep them from becoming too hot during the day. Engage in light activities such as walking or trotting for short periods of time instead of more strenuous activities like jumping or galloping.
Regularly brushing your horse's coat can help remove excess dirt and sweat that can trap heat against their skin. A good grooming session can also help increase circulation, which helps cool the body naturally.
6. Cooling blankets
A cooling blanket (or even a damp sheet) placed over your horse after a workout can help to cool him down quickly. Make sure to use only lightweight materials that won't cause excessive sweating and remember to remove it once the horse has cooled down.
7. Ice packs
Placing ice packs or cold compresses along your horse's legs can help reduce inflammation and swelling caused by heat exhaustion. Wrap them in lightweight cloth before placing on your horse, and make sure they are not too cold.
Provide electrolyte supplements during hot weather to keep your horse hydrated and replace lost minerals from sweating. Offer small meals throughout the day instead of one large one so that their bodies don’t have to work as hard digesting the food in the heat.
For a quick cool down, let your horse stand in a shallow pool of cold water. This will help lower their body temperature and keep them feeling refreshed during the summer months.
10. Monitor closely
Check on your horse regularly to make sure they are not showing signs of overheating or heat exhaustion such as excessive sweating, increased respiratory rate, lethargy or staggering. If any of these symptoms are present, move them to a cooler area and contact your veterinarian right away for further instruction.
Following these simple tips can help keep your horse safe and comfortable during the hot summer months. Keeping an eye on their temperature and making sure they have access to plenty of fresh water and shelter from the sun is key in making sure they stay comfortable and healthy.
We would love to hear from you if you have additional ideas or tips to share on how to keep horses cool during the hottest months of the year. Be sure to leave a comment below so we can continue this conversation! As always, be sure to contact your veterinarian with any questions or concerns regarding your horse's health and wellbeing. Happy riding!