Summer can be a great time for equestrians. Trail riders get to explore beautiful spots, and shows and rodeos are also going full steam ahead. However, you will need to take some precautions to protect Silver from the heat. A Derby veterinarian offers some advice on that below.
Make sure Silver always has clean water. Be diligent about scrubbing buckets, as they can quickly gather dust, germs, and bugs in the heat.
It’s crucial to keep air flowing in a stable, especially when it’s hot out. You may need to install large fans to ensure proper ventilation.
Try to schedule rides and turnout times for mornings and evenings, when it’s not as hot out. If you do turn Silver out during the hottest parts of the day, make sure he always has a cool, shady shelter to go to. If your pasture or paddock are separated from your horse’s shelter, erect a shade canopy on one end for a quick DIY option.
Silver will not only lose water when he sweats: he’ll also lose salt. Offer a good salt lick. If your equine buddy doesn’t care for regular ones, try Himalayan salt or a mineral lick. Ask your vet for tips on this.
Bugs can make horses (and people) absolutely miserable in the heat. In addition to using things like fly covers and sprays, there are things you can do to reduce the number of flies in and around your barn, such as having manure picked up regularly. You can also order beneficial insects that eat flies, such as parasitic wasps. (Don’t worry: they’re harmless to both horses and humans.) You’ll also need to be diligent with worming and parasite control.
Are you planning to hit the show or rodeo circuit? Keep temperatures in mind when traveling. Trailers can get hot very quickly, particularly when they’re sitting. Consider doing most of your driving at night, or plan stops along the way.
Remember to hose Silver down regularly. An after-ride bath can go a long way towards keeping him clean and cool. Depending on your location, you may even want to take your hooved pal swimming. Just use caution: choose a safe spot, one with a gentle slope. Ask your vet for recommendations.
Please contact us, your Derby animal clinic, for your horse’s care needs. We’re here to help!