Ensure your horse keeps its cool during a heatwave – Horses are a lot like humans.
Admittedly, it’s rare for us humans to carry a small man clad in garish colours on our back or tuck into a mound of hay – but when it comes to coping during a heatwave, horses and humans often have the same needs.
Consequently, whether you’re a seasoned veteran who’s seen it all before, or you’re simply looking around at horses for sale, with the mercury set to rise further, horses are at a greater risk of heat stroke and dehydration.
Read on and follow our simple tips to prevent your horse from overheating this summer …
Keep the horse hydrated
First of all, ensure your horse is well hydrated by providing a steady stream of fresh water. If you find your horse is sweating in the heat, add some electrolytes to their food or water, which will help replenish sodium and potassium supplies. Additionally, if you’re travelling with your animal during the warmer weather, take a water supply with you for the journey and cool your horse down with a hose, especially after riding.
Provide adequate shelter
Like humans during a heatwave, it’s sensible for horses to seek shade away from the burning glare of the sun. Keep the horse out of the rays during the hottest part of the day and ensure that the stable is well ventilated to avoid overheating. Also, coat your horse with a good fly repellent and cover with a thin fly sheet to prevent bites.
Recognize the signs of heatstroke
Again, like humans, the signs of heatstroke are similar in horses. Watch out for dehydration, an irregular heartbeat, temperature spikes, a racing pulse and excessive sweating. If your horse displays any of these warning signs, follow the advice above and seek advice from your vet to avoid the symptoms from exacerbating.
How to treat heatstroke
If your horse is showing signs of heatstroke and you’ve already called the vet, make sure the animal is kept in the shade until help arrives. If possible, stand the horse in some cold water and keep it cool by spraying with a hose. Keep offering drinks of water as it is crucial the animal stays hydrated until the experts arrive on the scene.