How to keep your horse cool in hot weather

Lady walking a horse on a hot summer's day

Keeping a horse cool on a hot summer’s day is important to prevent heat stress and dehydration. Here are some tips to help keep a horse cool:

Provide access to shade Ensure that your horse has access to a shaded area, such as a run-in shed or a tree-covered spot, where they can seek relief from the sun’s direct heat.

Use fans or misters
Install fans or misters in the horse’s stall or in the vicinity where they spend time. These can help create a cooling breeze or provide a fine mist to lower the ambient temperature.

Offer fresh water
Ensure that your horse always has access to clean, fresh water. In hot weather, horses may drink more frequently, so monitor their water intake and refill buckets or troughs as needed.

Provide electrolytes
If your horse is sweating heavily due to the heat or exercise, consider supplementing their water with electrolytes. Electrolytes help replace the essential minerals and salts lost through sweating.

View our Electrolyte Range

Limit turnout during the hottest hours
If possible, adjust your horse’s turnout schedule to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Allow them to graze and exercise during the cooler mornings and evenings, and keep them in a shaded area or stall during the peak heat hours.

Use fly sheets and fly masks
Fly sheets made of lightweight, breathable fabric can protect your horse’s skin from the sun’s rays while also keeping insects at bay. Fly masks with UV protection can shield their eyes and sensitive facial areas.

Hose or sponge your horse
Use a hose or sponge to wet your horse’s body, especially their neck, chest, and legs. This can help cool them down through evaporative cooling.

Avoid intense exercise
On extremely hot days, it’s best to avoid strenuous activities or rides that can raise your horse’s body temperature. If you do need to ride, choose cooler times of the day and keep the duration and intensity of the exercise to a minimum.

Monitor for signs of heat stress
Keep an eye on your horse for any signs of heat stress, such as excessive sweating, rapid breathing, weakness, or lethargy. If you notice any concerning symptoms, contact a veterinarian immediately.

Remember, horses have individual preferences and tolerance levels for heat. It’s crucial to observe your horse’s behavior and make adjustments based on their specific needs.

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