Tips and Tricks on Cooling Down a Horse
In recent years, summers have gotten incredibly hot. Temperatures are soaring high, and it is tough to escape the heat and humidity. And if it is difficult to do so for us, imagine how hard it is for our animals. Horses are among these animals that are feeling the heat most of all. If they are out on the pasture, the blazing hot sun can cause trouble, especially if the shade is scarce. And if they are in a stall too, the heat can become suffocating and humidity will rise. So, either way, trouble looms above. Heat is difficult to escape, but as an owner, you have the responsibility to cool down your horse and prevent overheating, dehydration, and sunburns. But how do you approach this issue? Here are some tips and tricks you can implement to keep your equine friend cool and comfy!
Reduce the workload
First thing first – avoid great physical exertion during great heat. When horses are active and spend their energy, so does their body heat rise. If possible, limit their exercise, avoid heavy work, and avoid the hottest times of the day. However, if the activity can’t be avoided, then try supervising it, and implementing some of the following tips for keeping the temperatures down.
Avoid direct sunlight
Find adequate shade for your horse. During the hottest parts of the day, you should keep your horse away from direct sunlight. Shaded places contain cooler air, and shield the horse’s body from direct sun’s heat. Raising horses in a zero-shade environment can be dangerous, so always make sure that there is a tree nearby, an outcrop, or simply a well-built and insulated stall or stable. Anything helps as long as there is ample shade and ventilation. Of course, if your horse has to be kept in a stall or a stable, make sure that there is enough ventilation. Air circulation helps disperse hot air, and the cool breeze that is created will certainly keep your horse’s body temperature down. Make sure your stall building has ample windows evenly spaced and set at good heights.
Mist or hose your horse
Hose your horse down, or simply use misting fans. This is a fantastic way to refresh your equine friend in the summer. You can use a simple water hose and create a spray with your finger or a nozzle – both are ideal for lowering your horse’s body temperature. Misting sprays and fans are also great. They might require a small expense, but it is certainly worth it. Just make sure that there is a power outlet nearby, and you’ll have a hands-free and efficient way of combining both cool air and a fine water mist for keeping your horse cool.
Don’t forget to hydrate
Keep your horse hydrated as that is one of the key ways of lowering their body temperature. Excessive heat can quickly lead to thirst and dehydration. And the latter is one of the biggest threats to their well-being, as horses require a lot of fresh water daily. When the heat rises, make sure to offer fresh cool water more often, as this will help immensely with keeping your horse cool and refreshed. Remember that there are no side effects of offering cool water to a hot horse. Of course, don’t make it icy cold – it would be a shock to your horse's system.
In the end, it goes a long way to stay on your toes and make a busier care schedule during those hottest months of the year. Check up on your horses regularly, bring the vet over for regular checkups, and make sure that you adhere to all the rules and tips listed here. Carefully monitoring your horse and implementing all of the care tips above can greatly reduce and prevent any chances of overheating, dehydration, heat stroke, and other heat-related issues.
A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
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