Baby, it’s hot out there…
Humidity has reached us in central Kentucky, and like you, we’re noticing that our horses are less than thrilled with the change. That’s why we love these ten hot weather horse care tips, courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. Check it out:
- Choose cooler turnout times, ideally during the overnight hours. If that’s not possible, turn out your horse as early as possible during the day.
- Provide shade if your horse lives outside. A run-in shed is best, but trees can also provide relief from the heat.
- Move the air with fans, making sure all cords are out of reach of curious noses.
- Use a mist system on your horse if available. Frequent mistings are far more effective than a single dousing with a hose.
- Provide fresh, cool water and change the water frequently. Old, warm water is not as tasty to your horse as cool water to drink on a hot day.
- Slow down. If you must work your horse in the heat of the day, lighten the work load to make sure he’s safe. This is especially important when the humidity is high, contributing to the poor quality of the air your horse is breathing.
- Stick to a schedule. Within the parameters of keeping your horse cool, try to stay as close as possible to a normal schedule.
- Avoid sunburn. Horses, especially white horses, can suffer from sunburn. Even those with white socks and blazes, pink noses, or hairless patches from scarring can be susceptible. Using a fly scrim can help, as can the application of sunblock to particularly vulnerable areas.
- Clip horses with longer hair coats. While some coat can provide protection from the sun, a long, thick coat tends to hold heat and makes it difficult for the horse to cool down. Be careful not to clip the hair too close, as it provides some protection from damaging rays.
- Know your horse and signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke can happen anytime your horse is exposed to excessive heat and its body cannot handle it. Know your horse’s normal temperature, heart and respiratory rates.
Personally, we love a good splash in our nearby swimming hole as you can see. Stay safe out there, folks!