Tips on caring for your horse in hot weather
Summer is a great time for Equestrians, there’s no better feeling than finishing work and heading straight to greet your horse in the field to enjoy an evening ride! There are always plenty of shows and events in Summer and warm days are a perfect excuse for pulling on your riding boots and heading to the beach or to a local show.
However, Summer can be a dangerous time for your horse. What screams barbecue in the garden to us, can result in dehydration, lethargy and general malaise.
If your horse is living out over Summer, simple care precautions such as making sure that there is shelter or shade in the field as well as having available water are easy to have in place. However, if you’re riding, away from home or at a show things become harder to manage consistently!
We have put together some tips on keeping your horse cool, hydrated and comfortable this Summer to ensure that you and your Equine friend have fun in the sun!
Staying hydrated and cool at a show or event
Water is of course essential to keeping your horse hydrated!
Drinking water should be available to your horse at all times, when at a show this could mean either taking along water and a bucket with you or making sure in advance that there is an accessible water supply that you can use.
Unless your horse has been performing at galloping speeds, it is fine to allow them to drink. If your horse has been in heavy work and is sweating a lot, it’s safest to make sure your horse is drinking in small amounts rather than to allow them to guzzle the water!
You could add Baileys Aqua Aide to your horses water to boost essential salts and minerals and aid recovery.
Useful tip: to monitor your horses heart rate, you can work out the heart rate by finding the pulse and count the beat for 15 seconds, then multiple that number by four which will give you the beats per minute.
This may seem obvious, but if at all possible it is a good idea to travel your horse early to avoid the hottest time of day. Horses will not only over heat when exercising, but they may also become too hot and sweat standing still in a horsebox or trailer.
Don’t underestimate the importance of salt!
It’s also important to keep salt levels in mind; if your horse is sweating a great deal then they will be losing electrolytes (the main losses being sodium, chloride and potassium).
Supplying a salt lick for your horse to enjoy can be a good way to replace these losses, you could also consider giving your horse a supplement of electrolytes after work such as Topspec Electrolytes!