Keep Your Horses Healthy Comfortable in Hot Weather

During the winter I put up a post on how to keep your horses comfortable in cold weather. Here is your post on how keep your horses healthy and comfortable in hot weather.

I think hot weather concerns are actually more important than cold weather. I know what some my be thinking. “What about wild horses”? “They don’t have anyone to fuss over them in hot weather.”

I would say that wild horses are probably a lot smarter than we give them credit for. They know a tree is not just for scratching their butts when the need arises. Trees mean shade and wild horses know when they need that shade. Our domestic horses don’t always have trees for shade.

Here is an article written by an online friend of mine who is certainly qualified to tell us all how to keep our horses healthy and comfortable in hot weather. Enjoy her article then be sure to read her bio. You will see what I mean by “certainly qualified.”

by Lynn Baber

Your horse’s health may be more at risk in oppressive heat than excessive cold. As heat and humidity begin to crank up follow these tips to keep your horse happy and healthy. Use this formula to determine if it is safe to work your horse:

Temperature (degrees F) + Humidity (%) – Wind speed (MPH.)

Example: 90 (degrees) + 70 (percent) – 12 (MPH) = 148

If the result is close to, or above 150, too much work could put your horse’s health in jeopardy. Learn how to monitor your horse’s heart and respiration rates. Also become familiar with his normal sweating pattern.

Water

The most important element of equine health in hot weather is plenty of clean, cool water. No matter what type of watering system you use check it at least once daily. Automatic waterers can quit, water lines break, horses sometimes confuse their water bucket with the manure bucket, and playful horses knock over barrels and tanks leaving everyone without water.

If you horse goes off his feed, the first thing to check is the quality of the water. There are three things you need to check when evaluating your horse’s water supply:

•  Quantity – is the bucket or barrel full?

•  Smell – does the water smell clean?

•  Taste – If the water passes the smell test dip your finger in the water and taste it.

•  Note: If you don’t like it neither will your horse.

Flavor the Water

A trick used by horse owners/trainers who haul frequently is using flavored water. When your horse drinks water at home flavored with Gatorade, apple juice, or Kool-Aid – you can usually get them to drink any potable water. For double duty from the water bucket, add either apple or orange flavored electrolytes. This encourages your horse to drink more and keeps them balanced.

Sometimes a horse’s muzzle will peel and look dry and sore from sunburn; other times it can be improved by balancing their micro-nutrient intake. Use sunscreen and try putting a soft block of trace minerals in your horse’s feeder to see if the situation improves.

Insects

Horses come with varying degrees of sensitivity to insects. The menu of options to protect your horse against biting and disease- carrying insects range from the new pour-on topicals that last for two weeks to stall confinement in the most severe cases.

The only way to determine the best approach for your horse is through trial and error. Be careful not to overuse fly sprays and don’t let a residue build up on your horse’s coat. Some horses can develop chemical burns from layers of fly spray.

Fly sheets vary widely in design and material. Choose a fit that won’t rub your horse and provides adequate air flow. Don’t leave fly sheets on for days at a time. Use them during the day or overnight, whichever bests protects your horse from sun and insects. Rinse fly sheets regularly to keep your horse comfortable and lengthen the life of the sheet.

Warning Signs

If your horse develops any of these conditions, take action; properly diagnose and treat the problem immediately.

•  Hives or welts
•  Hair loss
•  Dried sweat on their coat
•  Itching
•  Watery eyes
•  Unexplained weight loss

Grooming

Horses require more frequent grooming in hot, humid months to keep their skin and coat healthy. Sweat builds up on the skin and horses are subject to rain rot, scratches, and fungal infections. Rinse your horse thoroughly to get the sweat out of their hair as well as to remove old fly spray from their skin.

Use particular care in hot weather to keep leg wraps, girths and saddle pads clean. Whenever possible use a separate cinch and pad for each horse.

Turn Out

Some horses do well turned out during the day if there is adequate shade available. Others do better out at night and stalled during the day. For gray horses or those with light skin and susceptible to sunburn, it is recommended to limit the time they are out during sunny hours.

Whether the topic is personal success or training stallions, Lynn Baber brings years of experience to readers and audiences.

HighlyLynn Baber credentialed in issues of leadership, relationship, and most things equine, Lynn has a unique perspective not found elsewhere.

Read excerpts from Lynn’s latest book, “AMAZING GRAYS-AMAZING GRACE: Pursuing relationship with God, horses, and one another” at http://www.AmazingGrays.us.

It may also be found on Amazon.com. Lynn is a retired equine professional and is a director of Amazing Grays Ministry.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lynn_Baber

About your horse…….

“She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your horse. You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart. You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion.”  ~~Unknown

So keep an eye on your horses this summer and keep your horses healthy and comfortable in hot weather and I know how hot summers can be across most of this country.


About The Author

Bill Beavers, brings you pet products that provide improved Quality of Life for You, Your Family and Your Pets.

You can connect with Bill on Twitter or Facebook and follow his latest projects. For Fun, Facts and Love for our pets follow this blog for informational and entertaining posts and cool tips.


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