Hot Weather Tips


     It's cool to know what to do for your horse when it's hot!
   
      Horses like it best when the temperature is about 55 degrees, so when it's hot, it can really be hard on your horse's health and disposition.
  
      The first hot weather tip is "provide plenty of fresh, clean, cool water."  Horses can go for days without eating, but in hot weather it's hard for them to go hours without a cool drink.  And if you are working your horse in hot weather, stop and give him a drink at least every half-hour.

      Be sure your horse's water is in the shade.  Believe it or not, too many stables place buckets or automatic waterers in the direct sun.  The water can get so hot that not only can't the horse drink it, but he can scald his lips.

      When working a horse, you wear a hat and wipe your face and the back of your neck with a cool damp cloth.  Well, your horse can't wear a hat, but loves to have his head and face sponged off with cool water.

      Stop working frequently, loosen the girth, sponge your horse, and then give him a drink.  When his breathing has returned to normal you can start riding again.  When finished riding, walk the horse to cool him out; moving muscles dissipate heat better than resting muscles.

      It's a good idea to be sure your horse has plenty of "free choice" salt during hot weather.  Most horses will sweat enough to need about 4 ounces of salt a day.  Salt blocks aren't the answer; just toss plenty of table salt on his hay and he'll eat what he needs.

      If you use electrolytes, but sure they are formulated for horses…then follow the directions.

      Heat stroke is a real possibility in some climates.

      If your horse has a heavy coat, clip him.  If you can, stable your horse during the heat of the day and turn him out in the cool of the night.

      Use fly spray or wipes on your horses to keep them from being irritated by flies.  Without the aid of an insect repellant, a horse will stand in the sun to keep bugs away; that can be dangerous for the horse.

      If your horse has a lot of white on his face, use zinc oxide cream to avoid a sun-burned nose.

      If you travel, get fans in your trailer, offer cool water drinks often and sponge the horse's head and neck during rest stops.  If you are going to travel during the day, it is a good idea to put wood shavings on the trailer floor.  Wet the shavings thoroughly before starting the trip; the damp shavings will keep the horse's feet cool.

      If you're hot, your horse is hot

      Do what's cool for you and your horse!



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