It’s official: that sweltering Texas heat is at full blast. Summer can be both uncomfortable and dangerous for horses. You’ll need to take some steps to keep your hooved buddy cool as temperatures soar. Read on as a local Helotes, TX vet offers some advice on keeping your horse cool.
Horses really need time out of their stalls. It’s good for Silver both physically and mentally to be able to graze and move around a bit. However, you don’t want him baking in the sun. If you don’t have trees or a three-sided shelter available in your pasture or paddock, you can get a canopy or shade canvas made for horses and livestock. You may also want to adjust his schedule: let him out in the morning and evenings.
Good airflow is always important, but it gets critical this time of year. You may need to install fans in the barn to keep the air moving.
Make sure that Silver always has plenty of fresh water. You can add some electrolytes to it on hot days. Be diligent about keeping troughs and buckets clean.
One of the best ways to help your hooved pal stay cool is to hose him down frequently. This will also help with flies, as they are attracted to sweat. It’s a good idea to give Silver a bath after every ride in hot weather.
Speaking of riding, you may need to adjust your schedule a bit when it’s hot. Take Silver out in the mornings and evenings, when it’s a little cooler. If the temperatures go above about 95, it’s best to keep your hooved buddy indoors.
Dust and dead fur can make Silver even hotter! Brush your hooved pal daily.
Extra weight is bad for horses for several reasons, one of which being that it makes it harder for them to cope with high temperatures. If your four-legged pal is getting a bit round, talk to your vet about adjusting his diet.
Feed can spoil more quickly in the summer heat than it will in cooler weather. You may want to consider getting a small or old freezer to store the grain in. Just make sure no one can get stuck inside!
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