7 Tips to Keep Your Horse Stress-free In the SummerPrint
The summer heat can be quite stressful for horses, especially once the temperature starts hiking above 35 degrees. You need to take quick measures to ensure your horse is comfortable.
If you don’t take decisive action, your horse can be at risk of heat stress, which includes behavioral changes, breathing problems, profuse sweating, and many other health hazards.
Thus, it is essential to take preventative measures to keep your horse calm and stress free in the summers.
Here are a few tips for horse care in summers:
1. Water Intake
Your horse will need plenty of water during summers to keep up with its body’s water requirements. The body weight of a horse is made up of 60% water. Thus, they require at least 10 to 15 gallons of water to counter the scorching summer heat.
You can also take your horse for a quick swim in a pond or lake to keep it fresh. And if that’s not possible, a daily shower will help cool off your horse.
A shaded resting area is an absolute must during the summers. Shades can help provide areas of respite with temperatures that are around 10 degrees less.
Make sure to keep your horse under the shade or in the barn during the peak afternoon hours to avoid heatstroke and heat-related stress.
It is essential to keep your horse fit during the summers as a lazy or overweight horse tends to produce more heat. So, you need to make sure your horse performs enough activities in a day to keep fit.
Make sure to exercise your horse early in the morning. The exercise session should end ideally before 10 AM.
4. Less Tack
When preparing your horse for rides during the summertime, make sure to use less tack. Use less padding under the saddle and put light leg boots on them to avoid getting the horse sweaty. If possible, get cooling leg boots as the horse will feel much lighter and relaxed.
5. Pest Control
Summer brings harmful pests with it. Your horse can get irritated if it’s surrounded by flies hovering over it. Moreover, it can be dangerous for your horse’s health. Use a fly mask to prevent sores and irritation and make sure to find the one with the best fit.
Horses can also get sunburn like you. Horses that are white or have white socks and blazes or a pink nose and hairless patches are more susceptible to the negative effects of the sun.
You can apply sunscreen to the areas where the skin is exposed. The fly sheet can also come in handy to protect your horse from possible sunburn.
7. Appropriate Feed and Salt Intake
Many foods tend to make the horse produce more heat, including alfalfa, oats, and corn. Make sure to steer clear of such foods and instead feed your horse grass hay or pasture. Horses also like to have watered grass during the summers. You can soak the hay in water to absorb extra water. Make sure to use clean buckets for feeding to prevent a fly attack.
Horses also need extra salt and electrolyte intake during summers as they lose their essential minerals while sweating. You can add supplements like Topspec Calmer and Hilton Herbs Calm & Collected in your horse’s diet to keep them calm in the scorching summer heat. In addition to this, the Barrier Aloe vera Juice can help your horse get all the essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and proteins to promote health maintenance.
If you want to explore more options for horse supplements, visit Little Fields Farm.