Long days, warm nights, positive vibe in the air – who doesn't love summer, right? But this comfy season also brings high, sometimes way too high, temperatures. And while you can fix yourself a cool drink or jump into a pool, our furry friends don't have the luxury. So what can we do to make our horses comfortable during heatwaves?
1) H2O: Just Add Water
Showering is a popular way to keep horses cool. However, you need to be careful because fast cooling with cold water may cause a shock. Always start with all four legs, and after some time, slowly move upward. You can see the zones of proper cooling in the picture below.
2) Keep in Mind the 150 Rule
This is a rule to recognize when it is too hot to go riding. If you add the values of a current temperature (F) and humidity and get more than 150, pay attention. Above the threshold of 150, it is dangerous for your horse to go working as they are unable to cool themselves properly.
Always provide access to clean water! If you want to make sure your horse gets plenty of fluids, feed some mash. Horses usually love this liquid treat, and getting extra fluids is definitely a pro!
4) Be Active in the Morning
Avoid the warmest part of the day. Waking up early can be annoying, but you will be rewarded with extra hours of comfortable temperatures without omnipresent flies. Of course, late evenings can work for you too. Anyway, if you choose to ride, lunge or turn out your horse early or later during the day, they will definitely be happier!
5) Use Electrolytes
In hot weather, a heavily working horse might sweat up to 14 liters of sweat per hour. Along with water, horses lose many minerals. This is the reason riders supplement their four-legged partners with electrolytes during hot weather or following hard work. Also, do not forget to put a block of salt into the stable or paddock!
6) Add Some Ice
Adding ice to water can help horses to cool faster! Some people believe it can cause shock for the horses, but on the contrary – it helps horses feel better on hot days.
7) Use a Fan
It is a trick widely used by competitive riders at shows. A fan in the stable causes the air to move, and the airflow provides a better and more tolerable environment during critical days. It is definitely worth giving it a try!
So, what will be your way of helping your horse when the next hot day arrives?