Having been around so many yards the one thing I have picked up on my travels is the question of ‘what is best to do with my horse in this heat?’. We waited so long for this Summer to arrive after what felt like an never ending winter of rain, snow, and a lot of mud, and when summer did arrive it this year it’s been an unusually hot one for us in the UK.
This heat can be dangerous for our horses or ponies, often causing dehydration, lethargy or generally uncomfortable conditions, which in severe cases of heat can bring on stress that can sometimes cause diarrhoea and colic.
I am hoping I can offer some top tips that may help your horse or Pony below:
Choose cooler turnout times, if you have a stable bringing in during the day or hottest parts of the day will help, turning out overnight is ideal for your horses. The summer can also have a big impact on the fields and reduce the quality of grazing, feeding hard feed maybe required to keep condition and energy on them. If you do not have access to a stable providing some shade in the field giving them chance to stand out of the sun.
The most essential is your horse or pony has access to cool water all the time, buckets can get warm very quickly if left in direct sunlight try and place them by the hedge or shaded area as horse may not drink warm water. Watch out for sunburn too.
Try riding early in the morning or later in the evening the sunrise and sunset is lovely to watch whilst riding too!
I have seen Ice blocks with apples, carrots etc in i think these are a lovely idea for your horse to enjoy and hydrate at the same time, My horse loves a carrot ice block!
And we must not forget the dreaded horse flies, fly rugs, fly masks and fly spray are essential too this pesky flies are everywhere irritating and nibbling away, and don’t forget to spare yourself, I recently did a photo shoot and 8 horsefly bites later i now carry spray at all times!!
Signs of heat stroke can include: Excessive sweating, heart rate higher than normal and doesn’t return back to normal, high temperature, lack of energy, dehydration, if you have any concerns contact your vet.