It’s important to be mindful of your horse’s health when riding and looking after them this summer, especially on hot days. If you’re feeling hot and uncomfortable, the chances are your horse is feeling the heat too. Excessive heat can be dangerous for your equine friends and could potentially lead to horses being lethargic, suffering heatstroke and dehydration.

How can we help our four-legged friends enjoy the sunshine outside without exposing them to danger? The Insurance Emporium has pulled together some tips, tricks, and precautions for keeping your four-legged friend happy, healthy, and cool on those warm days.

1 Water, water, water!

Fresh and clean water must be plentiful and readily available. Make sure your water source can’t be blocked by one horse and provide many troughs and buckets.

Outside troughs may heat up quickly in the sun so it’s a good idea to change the water regularly. You could even add ice cubes to cool it down. Encourage your horse to drink by placing apples and carrots in the water.

2 Replace lost electrolytes

As horses sweat, they’re continuously losing essential electrolytes from their bodies, therefore it’s important to maintain and possibly even supplement your horse’s electrolytes during hot days or when sweating more than usual.

Make sure fresh water is always available when feeding electrolytes and follow any manufacturers recommendations.

3 Source that shade

Shade is critical! Trees, hedges, and shelters out in the field are a great source of shade but be conscious of the sun moving throughout the day, which means you’ll need to provide more than one shady area for your horse to seek refuge in.

4 Turnout times

Think about turning your house out in the early mornings or evenings when it’s cooler and keeping them in the stable during the day to keep your equine friend as cool as you can.

5 Slow down the pace

You may find your horse gets tired quicker when it’s warm, therefore it can be beneficial to take any rides slowly and make sure there’s access to water.

6 Offer a cool treat

Incorporate your horse’s diet into chilled treats! Freeze some apples or carrots in water to create ice lollies.

7 Avoid riding at peak temperatures

Time your rides to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Try heading out early in the morning or late in the evening when you’re training and exercising.

8 Remember the sun cream

Sun cream isn’t just for humans. A horse’s skin can be just as sensitive as ours, so when the sun is out an equine-friendly sun cream should be applied, particularly to any hairless regions, pink-skinned areas, tips of the ears and over white leg markings.

Also consider putting on a muzzle protector, fly mask and fly rug to prevent the sun reaching your horse’s sensitive areas.

9 Give them a cold shower

Cold showers are a great way of reducing the body temperature of your horse. The more water you put on, the better.

Look out for signs of heatstroke

Heatstroke can affect horses, as well as humans. It’s important to know what is normal for your horse in order to notice any changes in their behaviour and well-being.

Hot and humid weather, overweight and out of shape horses along with intense exercise can all play their part in causing heatstroke.

Symptoms include:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Rapid and heavy breathing
  • Elevated heart and respiratory rate
  • Change in behaviour
  • Absence of urination
  • Rise in temperature
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Convulsions and potentially collapsing

If you are concerned your horse might be suffering with heatstroke, call your vet for advice.

Protect your horse with The Insurance Emporium

With these tips and tricks, you’re armed and ready to comfortably enjoy the summer sunshine with your horse.

Just like the weather, horses and their health can be unpredictable, so you might want to consider taking out suitable horse insurance to help protect you against the unexpected.

The Insurance Emporium’s Defaqto 5 Star Rated Horse Insurance includes cover for Death, Theft, or Straying as standard. You can then customise your policy with our Optional Benefits, such as cover for Vet’s Fees up to £5,000 per incident.

Get a horse insurance quote today.

*All content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only. The Insurance Emporium makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. We will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage caused to you or any third party as a result of reliance being placed upon it. This policy is subject to change at any time.

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