5 Ways To Keep Horses Cool In The Summer Heat

Summer is finally here, but so is the heat. While the long sunny days are a bonus, the hot and humid weather can take a toll on our horses.

As the temperature increases, remember to avoid riding your horse when the air temperature plus relative humidity is over 150. Also, make sure your horse has access to clean, cool water and shade if they are kept outdoors.

Photo: Pixabay/Rebecca Scholz

Watch your horse closely for signs of dehydration and call your vet if you notice signs of heat stress like increased temperature, labored breathing, and lethargy. The heat is especially hard on senior horses, foals, and overweight horses.

Check out five ways to keep your equine friend cool below.

Sprinkler

As a kid I remember running through the sprinklers to cool off on a hot summer day. Well, this also works for horses. Place a sprinkler outside their pasture (because “naughty” geldings will think it is a toy for them). Some horses might be a little frightened at first but once they realize it is a continuous flow of cool water, they will park themselves right in front of it.

Fan

Adobe Stock: stefanos

If your horse is kept in a stable, consider swapping turnout to overnight and keeping them indoors during the day with a fan on. Fans provide air circulation and help cool down your horses. Just be sure the fan is out of reach for the horse.

Watermelon

Photo: Pixabay/ Aline Ponce

A cool and refreshing treat that is over 90% water is watermelon. The tasty fruit helps rehydrate both humans and horses on hot days and can even be made into a frozen treat for your horse. Simply take your horse’s favorite fruits (chop and remove seeds) and place them in a small bucket and then fill with water. Place the bucket in a freezer until frozen and voilà you have a horse popsicle. This will entertain and rehydrate your horse, a win-win!

Swimming

Photo: Pixabay/Pezibear

For those lucky enough to live near a lake or large pond, you could take your horse for a swim in the early morning hours. Jump on bareback and allow your horse to get a little exercise and cool off at the same time.

Bath

Photo: Pixabay/Christel SAGNIEZ

Another simple yet effective way to cool off your horse is to give them a bath. Use cold water and make sure you hose off his entire body. Take your time and let the cool water run continuously over his body. Don’t forget to use a scraper to remove any excess water and repeat as necessary.

Stay cool!

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