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Tips to Keep Your Horse Cool During Hot Weather

Updated on February 21, 2016

Summer may be the best time to go out for a ride or even for some horse shows and competitions, but there’s danger should the temperature go incredibly high. Just like us humans, horses are prone to heat exhaustion and this can have an adverse effect on their health and in some cases, may even cause death.

Other effects of the heat are lethargy, colic, dehydration, and diarrhea so you better be on the lookout for any of these signs or symptoms.

That’s why it is very important that you know some tips and tricks on how you can keep your horse cool especially during the hottest of all weathers. If you think your horse is already showing these signs, you must call for a veterinarian immediately. For a more thorough discussion on this and other related horse health topics, read an equestrian community blog.

Here are some of the simple ways to help your horse beat the heat.

1. Provide some shade.

If it’s already too hot outside, don’t take your horse out for a ride or to graze. Keep him in the shelter or if he’s already out, tie him up under the shade of a big tree. But don’t let him alone for too long because the sun will change position and the shade your horse was previously enjoying may no longer be there. So be on the lookout for the sun and move your horse accordingly.

2. Give him plenty of water.

Water is the best way to help your horse stay cool. Dehydration is a very serious health condition so prevent it by providing enough water everyday. Use a water bucket whenever you need to give him a drink and if you will be going away for hours, keep a water trough nearby. Of course, always make sure that the water you are giving your horse is clean and free of any debris or insects.

3. Provide moving air.

Install an electric fan inside your horse’s shed to keep him cool. It doesn’t have to be pointing directly at him, as it would be more beneficial if the fan is moving the hot air outside of the shed. Also, make sure that there are no cords that your horse can reach and play with, to prevent him getting electrocuted.

4. Keep his coat short and clean.

Clip his hair including those located on his tail and mane. The shorter the coat, the cooler your horse will feel this is because a long coat can actually trap and retain heat for a long time. Also, apply some sunscreen on his coat especially if you will be taking him outside.

5. Give him a bath.

There’s no need to use very cold water, even room temperature water will do. Use a sponge and a brush to remove any debris on his skin and coat. There are also some horse shampoos that come with sunscreen to help protect against harmful UV rays.

Keep it cool.

You and your horse can best enjoy summer if he is in great condition. Keeping him cool and comfortable is the way to do it and most of the time simply sheltering him away from the sun will do the trick.

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    • tebo profile image

      tebo 17 months ago from New Zealand

      The heat of summer can be a problem for lots of animals including us. Lots of good tips here. I do not have a horse but many of your suggestions can be used for dogs and other pets. Walking early in the morning or later in the evening for example. We draped a wet towel over our dog during our hotter days this summer. It seemed to help with the puffing.