Keeping Your Horses Safe This Summer

Keeping Your Horses Safe This Summer

 

Summer is the best time of year to load up your horses and enjoy the warm weather, with some outdoor activities. As the temperatures start to climb, it is important to be mindful of keeping your trailer as cool as possible as excessive heat can be detrimental to our horse’s health. Here are a few tips to keep your horses healthy while enjoying the beautiful weather this summer.

Hydration

Proper planning starts before loading your horses into the trailer. Hydration is key on hot days to keep your horses healthy. A simple trick to increase your horse’s hydration is to add water to their hay or grain which can be helpful for horses that don’t enjoy drinking water. Another factor to keep in mind is electrolytes, which can be helpful to add to your horse’s diet the night before a long trip. Horses need ample amounts of fluid in their system to keep their cooling mechanisms functioning well. To help prepare for your trip, it may be best to give bran mashes, or other wet feed sources to help curtail dehydration. For horses that don’t enjoy drinking on the road, it may be best to ask your vet to administer IV fluids before leaving for your trip.

Electrolytes

Electrolytes can be an integral part of ensuring proper hydration for your horses. To jump-start hydration, it is suggested that you start adding electrolytes to your horse’s water the night before a big trip. For horses that are picky with their water intake, you can add the electrolyte supplements to their feed to avoid adding any additional stress on them before a trip.

Timing

Hitting the road with your horses in the morning can help prevent heat-related incidents as temperatures are cooler. Travel can be stressful on horses, even in the best of weather conditions. Research has shown that horses can lose a pound of body weight per hour during travel. When it’s hot, the rate of weight loss would be intensified.  To make sure that your horses are at optimal performance, plan to arrive at your destination early to ensure your horse has ample time to recover from the trip. If you are traveling for 15 hours or more, it is best to allow at least three days for your horses to recover

Ventilation

Airflow is crucial to keeping your horses cool during the summer months. Opening every window and vent in your trailer can help pull hot air within the trailer and replace it with cooler air from outside.

Check For Dehydration

While on your trip, it is important to check your horse’s hydration levels to prevent any heat-related injuries. One quick way to do that is to pinch a small piece of skin in the shoulder or neck area. If the skin stays raised for more than a few seconds, your horse may be dehydrated.

Now you are all set to enjoy the great outdoors with your horses!