Summer is here! For those of us that are horse people, this is a great time of year. Silver gets to eat fresh grass, and roll around in the dust just after you’ve bathed him. However, you do want to take a few steps to keep your equine buddy safe and healthy in the heat. A local Dahlonega, GA vet discusses summer horse care below.
Ventilation is very important all year, but it’s especially crucial in summer, when the air can get humid and stagnant. We recommend having some mounted fans. Make sure your hooved pals can’t reach the cords.
Spritz or hose Silver down on scorching days. Or, if you want to really pamper your equine pal, put in an automated mister!
Your horse should always have access to shade and water in his turnout area. A three-sided shed is a great option for this, as it will provide protection from weather all year.
Keeping Silver hydrated is very important. Your vet may recommend adding a second water bucket, with something that contains electrolytes. Be sure to keep those buckets really clean! (Tip: add a few drops of food-grade peppermint oil to the water.)
Horses need turnout time to stay healthy and happy. Nibbling on grass and moving from spot to spot is what they do naturally. Silver can get restless or even sick if he’s stuck in his stall too much. However, in summer, he may get too hot out at pasture during the day. Put him out in the mornings or evenings, or even overnight.
Salt is also important to keeping your horse properly hydrated. Make sure that your horse always has a salt block available. Another trick is to spritz salt water over your horse’s hay.
Consider giving Silver a summer haircut. Some horses, especially those with thick coats, will be much more comfortable with a cool summer ‘do. Keep up with mane/tail trims as well.
We recommend adjusting your riding schedule. When it’s really hot out, avoid vigorous exercise. Or, ride Silver earlier or later, when it’s cooler out.
Cooldowns are always important, but they’re extra critical in the heat. Don’t put your horse away until you’re sure that he’s completely cooled off!
Please reach out to us, your Dahlonega, GA vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!