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Summer Horse Care Tips

July 1, 2023

Summer has officially started! For many of the equestrians out there, this time of year means lots of shows and trail rides. Swimming with Silver is an added bonus for some of you. Of course, you’ll need to make some tweaks to your horse’s care regimen to account for the heat. A Dawsonville, GA vet offers some tips on that below.

When Is It Too Hot To Ride?

Horses are pretty hardy when it comes to temperature. However, they are by no means immune to the effects of extreme weather. Use extra precautions whenever temperatures go above 80. Once that thermometer hits 90, keep rides to a minimum, and be super careful not to overexert your horse. If temps get to 100 or over, play it safe and nix the riding altogether.  

Cooldowns

Silver will get hot more quickly in summer, and he’ll also have a harder time cooling down. Sponge or bathe him regularly, and every time you work him. If you know or suspect that your horse is too hot, cool him down by keeping a continuous spray or flow of water going over his head, back, legs, and rear. You can use ice to cool the water you use on his head, neck, and torso, though you shouldn’t use ice water on his back end. Don’t blanket a hot horse: the fabric will interfere with evaporation. 

Ventilation

Horses give off a lot of body heat. That’s a good thing in winter, as it keeps the barn warm even on frigid nights. In summer, it means the barn can reach sweltering levels very quickly. Making sure there is always good airflow is very important. This also helps prevent mold from forming on hay and grain. If you don’t have fans in the barn, we’d strongly recommend getting them.

Be Cautious of Overheating

Horses can overheat from overexertion at any time. However, in summer, Silver can overheat just standing in his stall. Make sure that your hooved buddy always has clean water. You’ll also need to Keep an eye out for signs of dehydration and/or overheating. These include profuse sweating, heavy breathing, lack of energy, staggering, loss of skin elasticity, elevated pulse, discolored gums, and staggering. Contact your vet right away, if you see any of these red flags.

Do you have questions about horse care? Contact us, your Dawsonville, GA pet hospital, today! 

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