Horse Health Tips – Just like you… horses can get dehydrated or even sunburnt in hot sunny weather. You can protect your horse from the summer heat hazards. Here’s 5 top tips to help you keep your horsey best friend healthy and happy in the warmth!
Hydration is paramount always so hot days are no exception for horse health. Make sure your horse gets enough clean water every day by keeping a constant source of water in their pastures, stalls, and paddocks. Check the troughs each day and fill (or dump, clean, & refill fresh when algae appears). If you have automatic waterers, test them once daily just to make sure they are working. You can also try the Redmond Equine new Rein Water product to help encourage your horse to drink more while also giving them natural essential trace minerals and electrolytes.
Sunblock is not only for you but for your horse’s health too! I keep a tube of SPF 30 in the barn and put it on myself AND my horse before training. It’s just part of my grooming and tacking process now. I use an All Natural Biodegradable Sunscreen instead of rubbing harsh chemicals into my skin. 😉 If your horse has a blaze or other white markings, apply sunscreen to those locations as well as their muzzles. For turnout, I put on a Kool Coat UV protected sheet and neck cover and I avoid turning them out between 11-3p on the sunny and hot summer days. Depending on the horse, I can get 2 to 3 seasons out of the Kool Coats so it’s a great bang for the buck.
Worms thrive in rainy, hot weather I deworm regularly through the warm months to maintain health. Parasites can weaken your horses immune system upsetting their sensitive digestive system and decrease performance in training. Ask your vet which parasites are common in your area as to whether you buy an Ivermectic, Fenbendazole, Pyrantel, or other type of dewormer. If your vet is already out for annual shots or general farm call, you can easily ask they take and test a manure sample.
Flies, knats, and mosquitos bug your horses causing unnecessary stress to their daily lives. Cull that stress by debugging your stable life. Using Fly Predators will stop the flies before they start by dramatically decreasing the amount of flies in and near your stable. Fly Traps complement Fly Predators as they’ll get the flies coming from neighbors. For Horse & Deer Flies, use the H-Trap it collects almost 4x as many flies at the Horse Pal trap and over 2x as many flies as the Nzi trap! If you’re traveling to a location that doesn’t use Fly Predators then be sure to bring along some Fly Spray with you and last but not least… To improve horse health and protect from disease, I put out Mosquito Torpedos every 2 months. I prefer the Mosquito Torpedos over the dunks because they do not break apart like the dunks and they sink to the bottom making it easy to clean the troughs. For general debugging practices, standing water makes for ideal breeding areas so keep these areas in check. Keep your stable clean with daily mucking, use an odor eliminator like Bye Bye Odor, rinse and refresh water buckets, and keep feed bins clean to avoid attracting flies.
Rinse your horse off with water at the end of a hot day. This will remove the sweat which can attract bugs + your horse will likely find it refreshing. Not only is important to keep your horse clean but likewise maintain clean tack and grooming equipment. Wipe down bits after each use, keep saddle pads washed and always use a fresh pad with each training, AND remember to keep your grooming brushes clean too. Fill a bucket with warm water and some shampoo then give them a swish around the bucket, rinse the shampoo out and set them in a shaded, breezy area. Direct sunlight can decrease the life of bristles and make wood brush handles hardened and cracked.
Cheers happy horses and health!