Keeping Horses Happy in the Heat!

1 Jul

After the long, dark Winter it’s always a great relief when Summer arrives. When visiting your horse before / after work you can finally see him in daylight without having to wrap up in umpteen fleeces and jackets! Long, lovely hacks are easy to fit in and the standard “horse rider tan” (glove lines!) soon develops.

However Summer can bring its own issues and it’s important to keep your horse happy during these hotter months.

Just like us, water is essential for your horse to ensure healthy bodily functions and should always be available so your horse can replace any water lost and prevent dehydration.  This is something to think about when at shows as your horse may be out in the hottest part of the day.  The Wacky Practicals Pack Away Bucket – 7 Litres is great to offer your horse water and easy to store when out and about with your horses.

wackypracticals_bucket

Many horses (like mine!) enjoy dozing in the sunshine but it’s important your horse has access to some kind of shade, especially in the peak heat in the middle of the day. Lots of fields have natural shelter from bushes or trees or perhaps you are lucky enough to have a field shelter.  If your stable is cool it might even be an idea to bring your horse in during the daytime and turned out overnight.

For horses with pink noses its especially important to protect their muzzle to prevent sunburn.  Groom Away do a great sun protection cream. Your horse might not be very keen on having it applied but they’ll thank you in the long run as a red crispy nose is both unsightly and sore for your horse.

groom away sun protection

One of the biggest issues during the summer months are the flies!! They are such a pain!  Not only on a day to day basis but they easily cause further irritations and slow the healing of even small cuts and scraps so its important to treat these thoroughly and keep a very close eye on them.  For day to day care of your horse a good quality fly mask can make your horse’s life a lot more comfortable.

fly

Okay so they might make your horse look a little peculiar (the reactions from non horse friends is always quite hilarious!) but they help reduce irritation from flies around the face no end.

A top fly spray is an essential product for the summer.  You’ll have to find the best one that works for you and your horse – a lot have quite strong scents which I know horse owners can love or loathe!  We are big fans of Leovet Power Phaser Fly Repellent Spray 500ml which even seems to help combat flies when your horse sweats during exercise.

leovet phaser spray

Having previously owned a lovely cob with full feather I know how difficult it can be to keep them in tip top condition throughout the year, especially with mites during the hot seasons.  One product I would recommend is Lincoln Pig Oil Spray – Horse Coat Gloss, Conditioner, Barrier. This can be used to make the coat look glossy, as a useful skin barrier to protect against water and the environment and as an effective skin conditioner, plus will create an unpleasant environment for lice and other external parasites.

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Exercising your horse during summer also brings a new dimension.  Where possible, it’s best to avoid riding in the hottest parts of the day for both you and your horse – be careful to watch out for dehydration and the effects of the sun.  Horses often thoroughly enjoy a good bath after working to cool down their muscles and it’s important to take time to do this when your horse has sweated.  For this we love the Barrier Lavender Wash or the Absorbine Botanicals Body Rinse.  It’s quite refreshing for us owners too!!

botanical_bodyrinse

Lastly, we always make sure our horses have an available salt lick in their field or stable that they can take as needed.  You may even find that you need to offer your horse some electrolytes to replace lost mineral salts, depending on his workload.

Remember know one knows your horse better than you so its important to keep a close eye on him and his condition and if you have any concerns speak to an expert.  Most importantly enjoy your summer together and make the most of the glorious weather whilst its with us!

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