Summer is one of the best times to enjoy your horse. However, the weather and conditions can pose challenges for horse owners. Here are our top tips to help best care for your horse during the summer season.
Access to Fresh Water
This is one of the most important feeding principles and it becomes even more important in summer. Horses must have unlimited access to water, whether in the stable or out in the field, to help prevent dehydration. Water is incredibly important for digestion so restriction can lead to unwanted problems in this area (such as colic).
Access to Shade
If horses are outside in a paddock, it is important to provide some form of shelter to help keep them cool. Shelter is provided by hedging, trees or manmade field shelters and they provide a space to escape the sun. If shelter is an issue, adjust your turnout routine to avoid the hottest part of day and utilise your stable with the same idea if this is available to you.
There is a direct correlation between flies and sunny weather. Fly protection is essential during the summer months and there are various options available; from fly protection sheets to sprays and gels. It is matter of personal preference and what best suits your horse to help provide welcome relief from these little flying pests!
Hot weather brings unique challenges to horse owners and exercise is one that can be easily overlooked. Horses need to acclimatise to warmer weather and this takes time, which owners should be aware of. Exercise regimes should be adjusted slightly to combat the heat and to reduce the risk of heat related issues (such as dehydration).
Dehydration is one of the most serious issues that can arise in summertime. It is where loss of water and essential salts exceeds intake; loss can occur through sweat, urine or dropping in horses. Electrolytes (such as Nutrilyte) are vital to replenish the water and salts lost in dehydration, especially if lost through sweating. Electrolytes replace the essential salts (such as sodium and potassium) to ensure normal bodily functions, such as digestion and muscle function. Electrolytes are advised for competition horses to compact water and salt loss through sweat and become even more important in the summer.
For more advice and information, please call our expert team on 051 304010.