With UK temperatures set to rocket this week, it’s important to make sure your horse is coping as well as possible.
Make sure he has access to plenty of water
Ride early in the morning or late in the evening, avoiding the hottest part of the day. This will also help to avoid the worst of the flies.
Also consider the length of time you’re riding. Instead of doing an intense ride in the arena, perhaps go out for a relaxed hack.
Take care when riding on hard ground and check your fields for dangerous rutted areas that could cause your horse to trip.
Cold hose your horse after activity to help him cool down and reduce the risk of heatstroke.
Make sure your horse has access to shade/shelter when in the field.
Also consider ventilation in the stable. Keep windows open and use fans where necessary.
Make sure any pink noses or heels are protected from the sun. You can use sun lotion, but a stickier gel product will stick better as your horse grazes.
If transporting your horse to an event make sure he is allowed out of the horsebox/trailer as quickly as possible. Don’t leave him shut in it for long periods of time and keep it well ventilated.
Park in a shady spot to keep your horsebox cooler for your return journey.
Feeling hot, hot, hot
Symptoms of heatstroke in horses include:
Rapid pulse and breathing
Redness of the tongue and oral area
High body temperature
Erratic heart beat
Stumbling gait, and in extreme situations, collapse
Find out more about looking after your horse in hot weather with advice from vet Alistair Love, in our next issue.
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