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How to keep your horse happy in the heat

The weather is to break records!

The news reports say we will have the hottest day ever recorded in July. It is due to hit 38C by the end of the week, surpassing the previous record of 36.7C in July 2015.

While a few may get to the beach, for the majority it will most likely end up in a work environment. Hot and bothered with some suffering from heat stress a lot like our horses.

Horses will most definitely be uncomfortable in the added heat. The good news is we have created a little reminder of how to keep your horse happy.

Keep Hydrated

Hydration! The most important aspect of keeping your horse happy.

Like us a horse will drink more than normal in the heat. The general rule of thumb is to prepare for your horse drinking double the amount they normally would. Although not always possible fresh is best. You wouldn’t want your horse to not drink anything at all due to the water being too warm. You may even want to consider electrolytes in the water if your horse sweats a lot.

Sun Lotion

As you will have seen from our social media posts sun cream really isn’t just for us humans. Light and pink skinned areas are the highest risk so protection is a must. They are horse specific sun cream and blocks available but there is nothing wrong with using you’re own factor 50. Naturally staying out of the sun is preferred but isn’t always an option.

Shelter

As mentioned above staying out of the sun isn’t always an option but a shelter from it will work wonders. Field shelters offer the highest level of protection from the harmful rays although shade is a good substitute. Trees and outbuildings can block the sun but it is worth remembering that when the sun moves so will the shade they offer. Try to ensure there are shady areas whatever the angle the sun is at.

Change the routine

Riding in the heat will naturally cause stress when it’s too hot, again not dissimilar to our reaction if someone jumped on our back! Consider changing your routine by riding in the early morning or in the evening when it’s cooler, avoiding the hottest part of the day. Ensure the work is light, that your horse is not overworked and that there are plenty of regular breaks. It is important you are aware of your horse’s physical fitness as overweight horses may find it more of a struggle.

In Summary

Think about how you would react to the heat and what you would do;

Would your fluid intake go up? How much?

Do you need sun lotion?

Would you want to be out under the hot rays all day?

How would you feel if pushed to your limit?

Although a horse has the same needs as us they can’t physically do it themselves. So lets ensure we help them to be as happy and comfortable as possible in the heat, just like our friend below.

Join in the conversation, is there anything you would like to add? How do you help your horse cope?

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