Texas summers are no joke! The heat can be hard on both people and horses. Read on for some great tips on summer horse care from a local Helotes, TX veterinarian.
Making sure your horse gets enough turnout time is very important. Horses really aren’t made to just stand around in their stalls all day! In summer, put him out in the mornings or evenings if you can. Or, better yet, turn him out overnight.
Speaking of turnout, your horse should always have access to shade and shelter when he’s out. A three-sided shed is ideal. Trees are better than nothing, but they may not provide shade all day, as the sun will move.
Ventilation is key to keeping sheds and stables cool. Just make sure the cords are safe, secure, and in a spot your horse can’t reach.
If you really want to spoil your hooved buddy, install an automated mister. Otherwise, spritz or hose him down when it’s really hot out.
Making sure your horse always has fresh, clean water is crucial no matter what season it is. In summer, you may also need to add a source of electrolytes. Use a second bucket for this. That way, if your horse doesn’t want the electrolytes, he’ll still have fresh water to drink. Remember to keep those buckets clean! You can also check for dehydration by doing the skin pinch test. Ask your vet to demonstrate if you haven’t done this before.
Remember to keep a salt block available! You can also try spritzing your horse’s hay with salt water.
On sweltering days, stick to light rides and/or ride in the mornings or evenings. A good cooldown is also a must!
Horses do best when they’re on a steady routine. If you make seasonal changes, adjust the schedule slowly in spring and fall, rather than randomly changing things up.
Did you know that horses can get sunburn? This is an issue with paler horses. Ask your vet for tips on using sunscreen or fly sheets.
Your equine pal may be more comfortable with a summer haircut, especially if he has a thick coat. Ask your vet for specific advice. Mane and tail trims are also important.
Do you have questions about horse care? Contact us, your Helotes, TX vet clinic, anytime!