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Keeping Your Horse Healthy

Silvia Watson provides the ultimate guide to keeping your horse healthy in the humidity and heat of summer.

Summers are coming. It is a time for horse shows, rodeos, trail rides and all the fun and games. Before you peek out the window in search of the sun, you must remember that summers will be as busy for you as it is going to be for your horse(s). So here are a few tips for you to keep the summer months fun, safe and enjoyable for your equine friends as well.

Keep your friend hydrated

Horses need about 5 gallons of water and more during an average summer day. This quantity can easily triple when your horse is working or playing outside on a hot summer's day. So while travelling on a trail, always bring water for your horse. Sometimes, water away from home can taste different, and horses are picky about the flavours they like, even with water. Mix a little bit of apple juice with the water to mask the strange flavours. Offer about a gallon of water to your horse every 15 minutes.

Protect them from the sun

Human beings have high SPF sunscreen, but what do horses have to protect their muzzles and eyelids from the scorching sun? Horse skin can appear tough, but the areas around the muzzles and the eyes quickly turn reddish in the sun. Long-term exposure can make them more susceptible to cancer around the eyes. So, invest in UV-blocking fly masks like the kind you see around the Fairgrounds Racetrack.

Summer brings many diseases

Just as summers produce a plethora of diseases for human kids, they also cause many outbreaks for horses. Equine influenza strangles and rhinopneumonitis can pass from a carrier to a healthy horse via direct contact or shared equipment. So, go ahead and set up an appointment with your veterinarian for your horse's due vaccines. It is essential to go up for racing amidst other horses if he is scheduled to go up for racing.

Beware of heat exhaustion

A horse's body temperature can easily reach beyond 104-degree Fahrenheit when working out in the heat. Heat exhaustion can set in on humid days when sweat does not evaporate and the body does not cool. Obesity, poor fluid regulation, heavy muscling, and other factors contribute considerably to heat exhaustion. If you detect signs of heat exhaustion like increased body temperature, rapid panting, quivering muscles and flaring nostrils, immediately douse him with cold water and use a scraper to remove it immediately. Give your vet a call!

Taking care of your horse is a big responsibility irrespective of the weather. Summers call for stock up on first aid, including Oral Rehydration Solution for your horses. Horses that go out on trial rides frequently need other medication along with ORS. These include anti-inflammatory agents, antiseptic wound cleaners, zinc oxide creams, antiseptic ointments and self-sticking medicated bandages. You may have medical supplies and salts leftover from last year. Check their expiration dates before using them on your horse.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • WATSON, S. (2018) Keeping Your Horse Healthy [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Silvia Watson is a freelance content writer. She has written many excellent and informative articles on different categories. She is a featured author at various authoritative blogs and is currently associated as a blogger with