9 easy ways to keep your horse safe from the sun

When the temperature soars you’ll need to think of simple ways to stop him overheating and getting burnt, so we’ve come up with nine that will keep both of you chilled

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As the summer months heat up, so will your horse and if he spends time out in the field, in the school, travelling, or even standing in his stable, then his health maybe at risk.

Trying to keep him safe can be tricky if you’re not properly prepared, so we have nine ways to make sure he stays cool.

1. Keep him hydrated

Because of his size your horse drinks a lot, particularly when the temperature rises. He’ll lose water when he sweats, so you’ll need to make sure he always has access to clean water.

An automatic filling water trough is the best option so your horse never runs out - but you still need to check that it's working properly twice a day.

If you still think he’s not drinking enough water, then try adding a splash of apple juice, or add cold water to his feed.

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2. Slap on cream

Many horses have pink patches of bare skin on their face and other areas of their body if they have the Cremello gene. These are areas of thin skin, which need protecting from harmful UV rays if he's outside for any length of time. 

It’s important to apply a high factor sun cream to these vulnerable areas when your horse is going to be exposed to the sun and remember to re-apply regularly throughout the day.

3. Grab a thermometer

It can be a good idea to check the temperature of your horse’s stable if the heat soars. The temperature in his stable should either be as cold as the temperature outside, if not cooler.

Too cool it down, use a fan to circulate air around the stable or if you have windows, get them open!

4. Check he has shelter

One of the best ways to keep him safe in the field, is to ensure he has shelter. Trees, bushes and man-made shelters can all work, but if your horse is out with others, make sure there is plenty to go around.

The night will always be cooler, so try turning your horse out overnight and bring him in during the day so he misses the heat of the day.  

5. Replace and replenish  

When he sweats your horse will lose minerals, so you’ll need to replenish them. Signs of a deficiency include sunken eyes, general listlessness and dark urine.

Add an old-fashioned salt block to your stable or paddock or supplement his feed with electrolytes if he sweats buckets.

6. Cover his face

Using a well-fitting mask to cover your horse’s nose and ears can help to block UV rays and protect him from flies too.   

7. Keep him cool

If your horse suffers from sweet itch, or you want to use a fly rug to keep insects off him, then bear in mind that he high temperatures he may sweat up - opt for breathable fabrics and sun reflecting colours to help him stay cooler.

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8. Sponge him down

Whether you’ve been out for a nice long hack, working hard in the arena, or he’s come in sweaty from spending time out in his field in the sun, then giving him a cold bath can help to cool him down and make him more comfortable.

Pay special attention to the areas with large blood vessels, like round his belly, legs, neck and face.

9. Use aftersun

Preventing sunburn in the first place is key, but should he burn then aftersun products have many healing properties that are safe for horses and will help soothe any nasty burns.   

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