Get Ready for Warmer Temperatures with your Horse!
1. Choose cooler turnout times. If your horse has a stall, but is turned out for part of the day, provide turnout during the cooler hours.
2. Provide shade. If your horse lives outdoors or if he must be outside during the day, provide relief from the sun.
3. Move the air. Fans are a great way to help keep the air moving in the barn, but use them wisely.
4. Mist your horse. Frequent mistings are far more effective than a single dousing with a hose.
5. Provide fresh, cool water and an electrolyte source. Make sure your horse has plenty of fresh, cool water.
6. Slow down the work. Don’t think that because your horse has been working intensely at 1:00 p.m. every day that it can take the heat when the temperature tops 90°F. If you have to work your horse in the heat, lighten the work or spread it out over a couple of short sessions.
7. Stick to a schedule. Within the parameters of keeping him cool, try to stay as close as possible to his normal schedule.
8. Avoid sunburn. Horses, especially white horses, can suffer from sunburn. Even those with white socks and blazes, pink noses, or hairless patches from scarring can be susceptible.
9. Clip horses with longer hair coats.
10. Know your horse and signs of heat stroke.
Signs of heat stroke can include:
· An elevated heart rate that does not return to normal in a reasonable period of time;
· Excessive sweating or lack of sweating;
· Temperature that persists above 103°F;
· Depression and/or lethargy; and
· Signs of dehydration: dry mucous membranes, poor capillary refill, and poor skin turgor.
· If you are concerned that your horse is suffering from heat stroke, call your veterinarian immediately and get your horse into a cooler environment.
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