Summer vacation may be over, but the hot weather is not! With high temperatures expected to continue for the next couple weeks, it’s important to make sure your equine friends stay cool and comfortable. Ideally, we would love to be able to only ride our horses in the morning or evening when it’s cooler outside, however most of the time this is not the case. If riding your horse in the hottest part of the day is necessary, there are plenty of steps you can take to make sure your horse stays happy in the heat!
Did you know… walking is an important part of your horse’s workout!
Taking plenty of walking breaks during your ride lets horses catch their breath and stay cooler. Walking them out at the end of your ride is also essential to let the muscles cool down after a hard workout.
Did you know… most people don’t use sweat scrapers correctly!
Sweat scrapers like the Deluxe Plastic Sweat Scraper are most effective at cooling your horse off after a hard workout if used during the bath, not after. Alternating between applying cold water and scraping it off will prevent the water from creating an insulating effect on your horse’s coat, which could raise their body temperature instead of cooing them off! Using a liniment such as Aborsbine’s CoolDown after a bath can help relax muscles and cool your horse down even more. Just add 1oz of product to a gallon of water and use a sponge to apply to your horse’s body and legs… no need to rinse!
Did you know… adult horses need at least 10-12 gallons of water PER DAY!
In hot weather, horses may drink even more, so be sure to provide fresh, clean water at all times. Always check water buckets and troughs every day to make sure there is enough water and are no shavings, hay, algae, or bugs floating around… horses don’t want to drink any of those! Fortiflex Flat Back Pails hold 5 gallons each and are the perfect size for stall water buckets.
Did you know… sweating is an essential part of keeping horses cool!
Sweating is a natural process that allows horses to release body heat, and horses that have trouble sweating (called anhidrosis) can overheat quickly in hot and humid temperatures. Supplements like One AC help promote sweating in horses with anhidrosis. Horses also lose large amounts of essential minerals when they sweat. Electrolyte supplements like StressDex replace these minerals and help horses feel their best!
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All Horse Systems Go, Loving, Nancy S. DVM, 2006 p. 355 – 361
The United States Pony Clubs Manual of Horsemanship Advanced Horsemanship HB-A Levels, Susan E. Harris & Pony Club, 2014 p. 430, 468