7 tips to protect your horse from heat wave

In recent days, we have been affected by a wave of intense and lasting heat. Several regions were placed on heat wave alert with above normal temperatures. Like us, horses suffer from heat.

Whether they live in a barn or a meadow, it is important to show some common sense. Here are some tips to protect your horse in case of extreme heat.

1. Keep him hydrated as much as possible

Hydration is vital in both horses and humans. On average, your horse drinks between 20 and 40 liters of water per day. In case of high heat, he doubles his consumption and can absorb up to 100 liters of water. Therefore, make sure your horse has plenty of clean and fresh water. If your horse lives indoors, remember to check his drinking trough. It should always be full and clean as water stagnates quickly with heat. Beware, however, of very cool water that can cause colic.

2. Provide electrolyte sources

Despite the intense heat and heavy sweating, some horses do not hydrate themselves sufficiently. Put a salt block at his disposal. Licking the salt will encourage your horse to drink more and prevent the risk of dehydration. You can also give him water with a little bit of salt, or electrolytes available at your veterinarian and in tack shops.

3. Shower him regularly

Water is one of the best ways to refresh your horse's body. In order to relieve him and lower his body temperature, do not hesitate to shower him several times a day if necessary.

4. Think about his comfort

If your horse lives in the meadow, be sure that he can protect himself from the sun under trees or under a shelter. For horses living indoors, keep the stables doors or the shutters of the stalls half-opened to prevent the heat from entering while letting the air circulate. Fans are a great way to help keep the air moving in the barn, but use them wisely. If you can, take him out at night. Thus, he will enjoy the nocturnal freshness, and will be less disturbed by insects.

5. Apply sunscreen

Some horses are more sensitive than others to the sun, especially those that have a depigmentation of the skin. These horses are more likely to get sunburn and must be protected from UV radiation. Protect them with SPF 50 sunscreen on the affected areas (nose tip, socks).

6. Protect him from insects

In case of high temperatures, the horse self-regulates his body heat by sweating. Insects such as flies, mosquitoes or furs particularly appreciate this sweat because it is very salty. To help your horse protect himself from these pests, consider insect repellents, fly-masks or fly sheets.

7. Limit his efforts

It is better to slow down the pace of work with your mount. High temperatures combined with an intense effort could put your horse's health at risk. It is best to do shorter workouts, at the coolers hours of the day and follow your horse's heart rate closely (it should be around 120 bpm). Preference should be given to indoor arena rather than outdoor arena. It is also an opportunity to go for a walk to cool down through the undergrowth.

See you soon for a new article,

The Seaver team

20th June 2017