Keeping Your Horse Cool During Hot Summer Temperatures

With the summer heat in full force across much of the country this week here are some tips for keeping your horse cool during the hot season:

#1- Choose cooler turnout times– Overnight is ideal, but if that’s not possible, have the horse go outside as early as possible during the day.

#2- Provide shade- A run-in shed is best. Make sure that, regardless of the time of day, available trees also offer shade.

#3- Move the air- Fans are a great way to keep air moving in the barn, but your horse will benefit most if the fan is pulling hot air out of the stall, not pushing hot air into the stall.

#4- Mist your horse– As the moisture is absorbed from your horse’s skin, it will take some of the heat. Frequent mistings are far more effective than a single dousing with a hose.

#5- Provide fresh, cool water and an electrolyte source– If your horse doesn’t seem to be drinking, provide a salt block or mist hay with salt water.

#6- Slow down the work– If you have to work your horse in the heat, lighten to the work or spread it out over a couple of short sessions.

#7- Stick to a schedule- Within the parameters of keeping your horse cool, try to stay as close as possible to a normal schedule. Too much change at one time can be an invitation to colic.

#8- Avoid sunburn- Using a fly scrim can help. In addition, applying sunblock such as zinc oxide to small, particularly vulnerable areas can be effective.

#9- Clip horses with longer hair coats- While some coats provide insulation and protection from the sun, a long, thick coat tends to hold heat and makes it difficult for the horse to cool down.

#10- Know your horse and signs of heat stroke- Heat stroke can happen if exercising in hot conditions, but be aware that it can also happen if standing in a hot stall or trailer.With the summer heat in full force across much of the country this week here are some tips for keeping your horse cool during the hot season:

#1- Choose cooler turnout times– Overnight is ideal, but if that’s not possible, have the horse go outside as early as possible during the day.

#2- Provide shade- A run-in shed is best. Make sure that, regardless of the time of day, available trees also offer shade.

#3- Move the air- Fans are a great way to keep air moving in the barn, but your horse will benefit most if the fan is pulling hot air out of the stall, not pushing hot air into the stall.

#4- Mist your horse– As the moisture is absorbed from your horse’s skin, it will take some of the heat. Frequent mistings are far more effective than a single dousing with a hose.

#5- Provide fresh, cool water and an electrolyte source– If your horse doesn’t seem to be drinking, provide a salt block or mist hay with salt water.

#6- Slow down the work– If you have to work your horse in the heat, lighten to the work or spread it out over a couple of short sessions.

#7- Stick to a schedule- Within the parameters of keeping your horse cool, try to stay as close as possible to a normal schedule. Too much change at one time can be an invitation to colic.

#8- Avoid sunburn- Using a fly scrim can help. In addition, applying sunblock such as zinc oxide to small, particularly vulnerable areas can be effective.

#9- Clip horses with longer hair coats- While some coats provide insulation and protection from the sun, a long, thick coat tends to hold heat and makes it difficult for the horse to cool down.

#10- Know your horse and signs of heat stroke- Heat stroke can happen if exercising in hot conditions, but be aware that it can also happen if standing in a hot stall or trailer.

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