With the summer quickly approaching, the days of heat and humidity will soon be here. If you live in an area that experiences a hot summer, then it’s important to help your horse stay cool. Here are six ways that you can help your horse beat the heat.
Ride in the Evenings or Early Mornings
Riding in hot weather means that your horse’s body temperature will rise. Try to schedule your rides for the cooler parts of the day, like the early mornings or evenings. When it’s terribly hot out, it may be best to forego your ride entirely. When you do ride, be sure to monitor your horse for signs that he is getting too hot.
Turn Your Horse Out at Night
Consider turning your horse out at night instead of during the day to help him beat the heat. Nighttime turnout is cooler for your horse, and the bugs will also be less active. Horses can see quite well in the dark as long as their eyes have time to adjust, but leave your horse’s fly mask off during nighttime turnout to allow him full use of his vision.
Hose Down Your Horse
Hosing down your horse can help to lower his body temperature and make him more comfortable. Hose your horse off after each workout to help him cool down. You may also want to hose your horse off midday during the hotter days. When you hose your horse off, run cool water over his body, scrape the water off, and repeat the process until your horse’s skin remains cool to the touch.
Provide Plenty of Cool Water
Make sure that your horse always has access to cool water during the summer. Put his water trough in a shaded area to help keep the water cool, and monitor your horse to make sure that he continues drinking appropriately.
Offer Your Horse a Fan
You may want to bring a fan into the barn to keep air moving through your horse’s stall during the summer. If you bring in a fan, make sure it is a fan intended for barn use. Standard household fans do not have enclosed motors; if the motor becomes clogged from the dust in the barn, it can burn out and fall through the fan into the shavings below, potentially starting a fire.
Always Provide Shade
Whenever your horse is outside in the heat, he should have a way to get into the shade. You may want to put a horse shed in your pasture for this purpose, or design your turnout so that your horse can freely come into his stall when he chooses. Being able to get out of the sun will help your horse to stay cooler.
What are some of your favorite ways to help your horse beat the heat each summer?