Protect your horse from the sun

Horses need protecting from the sun, just like us! Imogen Mercer, head groom for Sam Griffiths, explains her top tips for keeping your horse safe in the sun. 

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Protecting your horse's skin from the sun is important, not only to keep flies away, but also to stop dry skin, coat bleaching and sunburn.

Prevention is better than cure, so you could use a light cotton sheet or a fly rug and mask to cover your horse's body and face.

We do this and find that our horse's skin is in much better condition than if we leave them without a fly rug on. 

Bugs tend to irritate horse's skin, so as well as protecting the skin from the sunlight, a fly rug will also keep biting insects at bay.

Try to turn your horse out in a field that has plenty of trees to provide a natural shaded area for him to stand in if he gets hot.

You can also turn your horse out at night rather than in the day. This means there will be less insects around to bite him, and less sunlight to cause any skin and coat damage.

It's also a good idea to use fly spray when heading out on a hack.

Spray it all over your horse so he's well covered. 

Prevent your horse suffering sunburn

Use a fly mask that has a muzzle attachment on it to protect your horse's nose from the sun. 

Equilibrium does a very good one where the muzzle is attached by Velcro, so you can choose to leave it on or take it off. 

Shires Equestrian, Horseware Ireland and Masta also make great fly masks that will help to protect your horse against sunburn and flies.

You can also apply sun cream to your horse's nose before he's turned out. I use factor 50 on this area as the skin around the nose is really thin and sensitive.