Summer is a fun time for horses and those of us who enjoy riding them. Silver gets to enjoy eating fresh green grass, rolling around in the dirt just after you washed him, and possibly exploring some trails. However, the heat can be hard on him. A local vet offers a few summer horse care tips below.
Making sure your horse always has clean water is absolutely crucial. Horses can lose 2 gallons of sweat per hour when being worked on hot days! Be sure to scrub those buckets, so dirt, bugs, and germs don’t build up in them.
Having proper airflow in a barn is extremely important at this time of year. It not only keeps air moving, but also helps keep flies out!
Watch For Signs Of Overheating
Overheating can be caused by many different things, such as being ridden too hard or too long; humidity; poor ventilation; obesity; and lack of access to shade. Keep a close eye out for warning signs, such as stiffness, lethargy, and rapid breathing. If you do notice anything amiss, hose Silver down, get him out of the sun, and call your vet for further instructions.
Make sure that Silver always has access to shade. If you have a paddock that doesn’t have trees or a barn, put up a three-sided shelter or a canopy.
Proper cooldowns are even more essential than usual in this type of weather. Walk Silver out until his breathing is even and his chest is cool. After that, your equine buddy will likely appreciate being bathed. Just don’t let him drink too much water until he’s fully cool.
Dangers increase when it’s really hot out. You may need to skip riding Silver some days. Or, just schedule your ride for morning or evening.
Be extra careful transporting your horse in summer. Just like cars, trailers can get dangerously hot in just a few minutes!
Certain diseases, such as West Nile Virus and Potomac Horse Fever, are more prevalent when it’s hot, thanks to everyone’s favorite pest, the mosquito. Drain or treat standing water to prevent mosquito nurseries from forming. You can also protect Silver from mosquito bites by using netting. You may also need to give him a booster shot for West Nile Virus. Ask your vet for recommendations.
If your hooved friend is moving from another climate, you’ll need to pay extra attention to him as he acclimates. This will take at least a few weeks. Ask your vet for specific advice.
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