sitting writing this on a Sunny April afternoon, hoping this is the sign of a lovely summer to come. So what are the factors we need to consider over summer
1. Keeping our horse Hydrated.
To prevent dehydration and health problems, such as heat exhaustion or colic, we need to ensure our horse havea a good supply of clean fresh water, to do this I add an extra bucket into my field. Dont forget if you use a hose pipe the water inside can get very hot if it has been left in the sun, so run the water through pipe before filling the bucket. Horses can drink up to 12 gallons of water a day, and during the dryer weather there will be less water in the grass.
Tips to get more water into the horse
Feed a mash Sareacen do a revive mash
If feeding apples and pears keep these to a limit, especially with horses prone to laminitis
Adding some apple juice to the water can encourage horses to drink
Consider feeding electrolytes after hard work or in intense heat, Last year I did a 26 mile walk on one of the hottest days of the year, having some electrolytes in my pack saved me.
2. Protect Against Flies
Fly spray and or a cream
Use a fly mask
Fly sheets are brilliant for protection
There is one belief that feeding brewers yeast can help with fly bites, ashwangdna is known to help with fly bites
Ensure a shelter is available
I also read that hanging bunches of nettles around shelters and stables helps to keep flies away
3. Heat Management
Provide plenty of shade for your horse, trees and hedges make brilliant shade or a field shelter, if your turn out doesnt have any shelter consider turning out at night and stabling during the day.
Where possible exercise in the coolest part of the day or keep exercise to a minimum, in hand or a walking hack. Consider your horses fitness and normal work regime when deciding on when to work in the hotter temperatures.
4. Manage Sun Exposure
Horses with light coats or pink skin are at risk of sunburn. Consider applying Equus Health Ozvet Sun off to those areas or using a fly sheet to protect them from the sun. Again swapping the horses routine to being stabled during the day. can help.
5. Know your horse
Monitor their Water intake
Monitor the horse's droppings amount and Constancey
Watch for Signs of Heat Stroke
Look out for symptoms include lethargy or weakness, excessive sweating, rapid breathing, or a higher than usual heart rate. It's crucial to seek immediate veterinary care if you experience these symptoms.
6. Supplements to consider feeding your horse
Celery seeds act as a pick me up during hot weather or after exercise
Spearmint - can help tempt horses to drink water or eat their feed
Everyday Balancer - A broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals ideal to add to horses feed.
As a horse owner, it's essential to take extra care of your equine friend during the hot summer season. Practicing proper hydration, insect management, heat and sun exposure, diet management, moderation of exercise, and recognizing symptoms of heat stroke are all critical aspects of ensuring your horse's summer health.