The warmer summer weather is great for being outdoors with your horse but have you thought about the extra care your four-legged friend may need?
During the summer horses are often out grazing for longer, whether they are turned out to grass completely or just enjoying longer days in the field before coming back into the stable at night.
To ensure your horse is comfortable, happy and healthy let’s take a look at some areas of care that may be needed…
Ensuring your horse has access to plenty of clean, fresh water is essential whether in the field or the stable. During the hotter weather horses are susceptible to dehydration which can lead to further problems such as heatstroke and even colic.
If you horse shares a field with others it is better to have more than one water source available too.
You can also add extra water to the diet by feeding soaked or steamed hay, as well as feeding a mash-type fibre product. To find out more about hydration click here.
During the summer months you may need to keep an eye on the temperature outside and think about riding early in the morning or later in the evening when it is coolest.
If you are riding in the heat remember to take more breaks too and allow access to water once finished.
After riding you can help your horse to cool down by washing them off with some cold water.
Flies are definitely a nuisance for most horses throughout summer. Fly repellent sprays can help deter those pesky flies whilst thin fly sheets and masks can help keep your horse comfortable and more protected.
Sweet Itch may also be a potential problem if your horse has an allergic reaction to midge bites.
Keeping your fields and stables tidy by removing droppings is also another way to minimise the number of flies.
Providing some shade or shelter for you horse if they are turned out is advisable. This could be natural shade such as trees and hedges or an actual field shelter.
Stabling you horse in a well ventilated stable during the hottest part of the day is also an option, providing the stable isn’t hot and stuffy.
Horses are prone to sunburn too, especially those with pink skin on their nose. It may be worth investing in some high factor sun cream to apply once a day to stop the skin from burning. Masks and nose nets with UV protection are also available.
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