Light mornings and evenings, lengthy and relaxed hacks and a full schedule of shows – summer is a lovely time of year as a horse owner. However, it does bring its fair share of things to think about in terms of your horse’s heath. Here’s a quick look at what to keep an eye on.
Always ensure they have plenty of water
It’s vital that your horse has access to an ample and clean supply of water as they can become dehydrated in hot weather. So ensure your horse can easily reach their water and make regular checks to see that it stays uncontaminated by bugs, algae etc. If you’re out with your horse at an event, consider taking along your own water and buckets so you don’t have to keep taking your horse to shared troughs. This will not only save you the hassle, but also limit the risk of the spread of disease from other horses via shared water. And if space is at a premium, why not try out our collapsible water bucket, perfect for travelling with your horse.
Protecting your horse from the sun
Many horses love the warm weather and can spend hours grazing in the sun. However, make sure they also have access to a shelter or some shade so they can escape the heat. Horses with pink skin or white markings are at risk of becoming sunburnt. If this is the case for your horse, consider applying some sun cream – we stock Fly Away Sun Protection Cream which not only offers high protection from the sun, but also helps to heal burnt areas and acts as an insect repellent.
Dealing with flies
Flies can be a major irritant in the summer, and not only are they annoying for your horse, they can also lead to further problems; for example watery eyes can attract insects and result in eyes becoming inflamed and infected, and the same goes for cuts and grazes. There’s loads of fly repellent products out there if your horse needs protection see our selection here and you may also want to consider fly masks and sheets. Have a look at our selection of fly rugs here
Keep an eye out for Sweet Itch
Sweet itch is a reaction to the bites of some types of midges and can result in exceptionally itchy skin and intense scratching. If the skin becomes broken as it can be a magnet for other flies and lead to infection. Regularly check your horse for signs of scratching and use a sweet itch lotion (we recommend Dermoline sweet itch potion on any inflamed areas. You could also consider a fly rug if it is causing your horse a problem, some are specifically designed to deal with sweet itch, for example the Equi Theme Sweet Itch Rug
Looking after your horse whilst they’re working and competing in hot weather
Horses that are working or competing can get especially hot and sweat a lot. Sponging them with cool water after exercise and giving them plenty of water will help to regulate their temperature, and warm them down by walking them slowly to avoid stiffening muscles. You could also consider using electrolytes if your horse is sweating a lot. They replace the salts lost through sweat and help to rehydrate your horse.
Keeping an eye on all these things should ensure you keep your horse healthy during the summer. Now let’s just hope we get lots of sun!