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      7 tips to protect your horse from heat wave

      mardi, 20 juin, 2017

      Over the past few days, we have been affected by an intense and durable heat wave. Several areas, with much above normal temperatures, have been placed on heat wave alert. Just like us, horses are suffering from this unusual heat.

      Whether our horse is kept in stalls or in pastures, it is important to show some common sense. Here are some tips to protect your horse in case of extreme heat.

        1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

      Hydration is essential for horses just like for us. On average, a horse drinks between 20 and 40 liters of water per day. In case of high heat, this consumption doubles and the horse can absorb up to 100 liters of water. Therefore, it is vital that you provide your horse with clean water and in high quantity. If your horse is in a stall, think about regularly checking the water level of his bucket. It must always be full with clean water, and this is particularly important to check in hot weather conditions. However, beware of very cold water, which can cause colic.

        2. Give your horse electrolytes

      Despite extreme heat and an important sudation, some horses do not hydrate enough. Therefore, you should give your horse a salt block, which will help prevent dehydration, as the salt will encourage your horse to drink more. You can also put some salt in his water or electrolytes, which you can find at veterinarian offices or tack shops.

        3. Regularly shower him

      Water is one of the best tools to cool your horse’s body. In order to bring his temperature down and relieve him, do not hesitate to shower him a few times a day if needed.

        4. Think about his comfort

      If your horse lives outside, make sure he can protect himself from the sun under trees or in a shelter. For stabled horses, keep the stable doors only slightly open to keep the heat from coming in while still allowing air to flow. Fans are a good way to keep the air circulating, but they have to be used with caution. If you can, put your horse out at night. This will allow him to enjoy the coolness of the night, and he will be less disturbed by insects.

        5. Apply sunscreen

      Some horses are more sun-sensitive then horses, in particular those with skin depigmentation. These horses are more at risk to get sunburns and must be protected from UV rays. Applying high-spf sunscreen on the areas concerned (tip of the nose, socks) can help protect them.

        6. Protect him from insects

      In case of high temperatures, the horse can auto-regulate his body heat by sweating. Insects such as flies, mosquitoes and horseflies, are particularly fond of this salty sweat. To help protect your horse from them, think about using fly spray, fly masks, or fly sheets.

        7. Limit his efforts

      In such a situation, it is best to slow down on your horse’s training. Extreme temperatures combined with an effort could put your horse's health at risk. Ideally, you should have shorter training sessions at the coolest hours, and closely monitor your horse's heart rate (it must be around 120 bpm). Also, it is advised to ride in an indoor rather than an outdoor arena. A light trail ride in the woods is also a good idea to cool down.

      See you soon for another article,

      The Seaver team