Tips to Keep Your Horse Cool in Hot Weather

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The hot days of the summer can take a toll on both horse and rider. You can help keep your horse cool and comfortable in a number of ways. These ideas will help you get started.

Provide Shade

Shade is an important element of keeping your horse cool. Whether you are riding your horse or he is turned out in a pasture, providing him with shade will help to offer him relief from the sun’s heat. Make sure that your horse’s pasture includes plenty of trees to provide shade. If no trees are present, then consider installing a man-made shelter.

When riding your horse, choose an arena that is in a shaded area. You can also ride during the early morning hours or during the early evening hours so that the sun is not out in full strength at the time.

Turn Out at Night

During the hottest times of the summer, it may be wise to turn your horse out at night instead of during the day. Nighttime turnout saves your horse from being out in the worst heat of the day. Bugs and flies are also less present during the night, so your horse will not be as bothered by them as he would be during the daytime. Horses can see well enough at night to make nighttime turnout a safe option.

Keep Cool Water Accessible

It is important to provide your horse with plenty of water during the summer so that he stays well hydrated. However, horses prefer cooler water over warmer water, so keeping the water cool can help to encourage your horse to drink. Replace your horse’s water frequently during the summer to keep it clean and cool.

If possible, locate water troughs in shaded areas to prevent the sun from heating them. You can also freeze one-gallon jugs of water and drop them into your horse’s water trough. As the ice melts, it will continue to keep the surrounding water cool.

Maximize Ventilation at your Stables

The summer is the time to open up all of your stable windows and doors. Consider using fans that are made for stable operation to provide additional air circulation to cool your horse. Using a stall guard and leaving your horse’s stall door open will also increase the air circulation within his stall.

During the hot summer months, your horse may be affected by the heat. Keep him cool by using a variety of strategies and you will also be keeping him healthier.

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