As the flowers start blooming and the daylight stays for long, we count the days till we can take our horses on long rides again. Equine Friends, We love the spring and the summer thanks to the endless sunshine and fantastic weather. However, how much does your horse enjoy being out in the heat? Summer is always a busy time for the horses and the horse owners. So here are a few tips to keep your summer safe and enjoyable –
Keep your horse hydrated
Did you know? Horses need about 5 gallons of water on an average day. In the summers, if you are taking them on a ride, be sure to have plenty of fresh water handy. If you are planning to take them for long trots, you might want to keep some apple juice on you since horses do not like the change in taste of water. If your horse seems exhausted from the heat, ensure he has about a gallon of water every 15 minutes or so. Speak with your vet for offering your horse electrolytes on a particularly hot day.
Prevent heat exhaustion
Horses can suffer from sunburns and heat exhaustion irrespective of their breed and age. Even the best of the racehorses you see on TVG are susceptible to heat exhaustion. Their body temperatures can quickly rise above 104-degrees Fahrenheit during high humidity and hot conditions. It is especially possible during exercise and long rides. Other risk factors include poor health conditions, obesity, and dark coat color. Keep them in the shade as long as possible and douse them in cool water. It will help you bring their body temperature down to about 101-degrees Fahrenheit.
Offer them sun protection
We are not the only ones who need sun protection. At the same time, all human sunscreen (even the high-end ones) are not suitable for horses. Pick one that does not have para-aminobenzoic acid. These are safe for humans and their equine friends. You need to protect them from the harmful UV-A and UV-B rays of the sun. Did you know? Horses with a pinkish tinge around their eyes and nose have a high predisposition to skin cancer from continuous exposure to the sun rays.
Vaccinate them against infectious diseases
The hot summer days are ideal for the spread of respiratory disease-causing influenza, strangles, and other airborne viral infections. Some of them can travel over 100 feet through the air and others can pass from apparently healthy carriers. Therefore, preventing nose-to-nose contact and cleaning the stalls is not enough. You need to keep their vaccines up-to-date. Speak with your veterinarian today to find out which vaccine is due.
Carry first aid
Always carry a first aid kit while going on a trail ride. The summer might not increase the likelihood of injuries, but you should prepare for the worst cases nonetheless. Always carry anti-inflammatory drugs, gauze sponges, gauze rolls, antiseptic liquid and ointment, gloves, thermometer, clean towel, leucoplast, broad-spectrum antibacterial cream, electrolytes, artificial ear and eye drops, and whatever else your vet suggests.
Before heading to the outback this summer, pay a visit to a horse expert for a thorough checkup. Although it might seem unnecessary, a little precaution can save you a lot of heartache and hassle in the long run.