Now that summer’s are on its fullest roll, your horse needs to be taken care of properly in order to make sure they keep well in this scorching heat. Summer season is the time when there actually are chances for your horses to face a hard time due to their unusual encounters with the sun and its heating temperature.
Summers not only give them physical strain, but at the same time can also affect their performance and lifestyle. With a thick cover of hair on their skin, they have a body type that suits winters and the fur works as a protecting skin to all the wintery chills.
But during summers, the same fur may literally make things tougher (and hotter) for them and when that is the case, it turns down to the responsibility of the owner to ensure that the horse is maintained well and kept in comfortable temperatures, around ideal surroundings.
Here are 5 mistakes that you should avoid in the summers when you care your horse:
1) Water Control
Summers call for water and the most important thing to do is to give your horse plenty of water and keep it hydrated.
Controlling the intake of water is the last thing you would want to do as it can lead to imbalance in their body and affect them adversely as their body is constantly losing a lot of water already.
In summers, horses at least need 5 gallons of water each day and the amount of intake increases on the basis of the amount of work done by them.
Keeping a tub filled with water for them is not the right thing to do, instead offer them water on regular intervals and keep checking them for any kind of actions/symptoms that indicate they are in need of water.
Fresh, cool water maintains their body temperature and keeps them away from problems. Additional to water can be added salt blocks or electrolyte if your horse’s temperature is higher than usual or if it is not drinking appropriate amount of water.
2) Covering With Clothes To Keep Them Cool
There is a vast difference between covering your horses with cloth pieces to keep them cool and layering them with summer-friendly, comfortable rugs that can protect them from the sun.
What needs to be known is the fact that not all the types of clothes do the work! There are selective types of clothes and a particular way in which the rugs need to be draped in order to ensure that the intended thing is happening.
If not rugs for keeping your horse cool, you can instead go for misting i.e. spraying water or rubbing cold water over them. What shouldn’t be forgotten is that the extra water must be rubbed off immediately after the process is done otherwise it can again lead to consequences.
Shades keep your horses away from sun and help them maintain a proper body temperature in summers, away from the sun, in a resting space with cooler surroundings. It can work better if instead there are internal shades.
Internal shades are comparatively cooler and better for the horses as they also ensure air circulation due to the fans and mist systems that can be installed within them.
Summers call for relief from the sun and shades and stables can work the best. If in case your horse is outdoors and needs a shade immediately, nearby trees can also work as natural shades that can instantly relief your horses and make them feel better.
A mistake to avoid is building shades that block air passage and do not support installation of fans. Horses need proper air circulation for them to breathe well and work well.
4) Making the Horse Work in Same Hours As Before
Change in season calls for a change in the schedule of your horse. Making them work in the torrid heat can be very harmful. A proper work time needs to be scheduled for your horse on the basis of the time when the heat is lowest and the surroundings are okay to work in.
It is not possible for your horse to do the same amount of work in summers (at the same time) as it did in winters. Take the work slow and it would be more convenient for the horse if the work is done at the time when the sun is not out. Working in the cooler times of the day will avoid water loss and overheating.
After they are done working, “post-work” care needs to be taken which includes giving them enough water, misting and salt block or electrolytes to recover the lost energy.
5) Summers are Normal for Them, Doesn’t Need Extra Care:
When talking about horses, a season change requires great deal of attention and if not managed well, it can adversely affect the health of your horse. Summer heat necessitates regular checks and extra care for your horse.
With the rising temperature, the risk of summer illnesses like heatstroke, sunburn, over-heating, temperature imbalance, etc rises and can potentially risk the life of your horse. You need to know your horse well, understand its actions and thus, you should constantly keep a check on them in order to catch any kind of unusual actions/symptoms.
If in case any kind of unusual symptoms are identified, you must immediately give your horse water, cool them and call for vet help right away.
As important as it may sound, if you have a horse with you, it is your sole responsibility to ensure their well-being and give them a safe and happy space to live in. Summers are on its peak and being a responsible owner, you must know what all needs to be done to keep them going good in this heating season.