Hot, Hot Summertime: Heat and your Horse
As a horse owner, there are plenty of things that you need to watch out for, so that your horse doesn’t get sick. However, when it comes to hot weather, you are limited in what you can do to help your horse. Unlike a cat or dog, who you can simply keep inside when it’s too warm, you’ll probably only be able to take your horse into the barn to keep cool. However, that’s not to say that you can’t do anything- you need to stay vigilant when the weather is warm, be aware of how it is affecting your animal, and keep an eye on your horse to ensure that they are not suffering from heat stress.
Like all domestic animals, horses don’t cope well in hot weather. They need shade and water, but that’s not all. If you live somewhere that gets exceptionally hot in the summer months, then you need to take extra precautions to prevent heat stress in your horse, and to instead keep them healthy and happy. Luckily, though, there are a few simple steps that you can take to make the heat a little easier for your horse to handle.
Even if it isn’t particularly warm outside, exercise will make your horse hotter as they use their muscles and expend more energy than they normally would. When your horse gets too hot, that’s when problems start. That means on hot days, you should really rest your horse completely, and not demand any strenuous work from them. Putting your horse out to pasture is fine, because they probably won’t want to do much running around on a hot day, but you should certainly avoid riding your horse on days like these, as well as not making them do any work.
As with other animals, horses require access to fresh, clean water at all times. Keep your horse’s water topped up, and keep it cool. Warm water won’t have the same cooling effect as cold water, so you might want to change the water regularly as it naturally heats up.
Remember- your horse is counting on you to keep them safe, and that includes keeping them safe from the heat. Do your research so you know just how to keep your horse cool and safe in hot weather, and follow these methods to the letter to ensure your horse stays healthy and happy.