How to Care for Your Horse during Extreme Hot Weathers



Hot weather poses an increased risk for horses as like sustaining infectious diseases to dehydration. It is essential to ensure extra care to your horses during hot weather conditions to keep them healthy and active. Quick tips are:

  • Provide enough shade and ensure adequate airflow.
  • Ensure free access to clean water.
  • Avoid riding much.
  • Sponge the body with cool water and instantly scrape it off.
  • Try and reduce stress.
  • Consult a veterinarian in case if there are symptoms of a heat stroke.




If your horse is exposed to extreme heat for an elongated period, it may result in problems like:

  • Heat stroke
  • Heat stress
  • Dehydration
  • Muscle cramping
  • Colic.
  • Diseases like Potomac Horse Fever or West Nile Virus etc.

Causes of overheating:

 Overheating may result not only from hot weather, but even when your horse is exposed to high humidity, poorly ventilated barn, prolonged exposure to sun, overwork, improper transportation, being excessively obese, etc.

Experts say that summer is the time when body heating related issues are on the peak at horses. Here are some tips to keep your horse cooler and more comfortable during such seasons.

Ensure free access to water:

 During summer, offer you horse unlimited access to cool and clean water. An adult horse may need about 7 to 10 gallons of plain water daily. They may drink even more during hot working conditions. So, it is essential to allow your horse to take in a few gulps of fresh water every few minutes to reduce the adverse impact of heat.

It is also important to clean the buckets and tanks to fill water frequently during hot weather. This is to prevent the formation of algae and bacteria. In case of slow running streams and small ponds, blue algae toxicity is so common during hotter months and dry weather. Thus, proper cleaning is also critical in terms of ensuring horse health.

Reduce the ride time and ride intensity:

 Heat stress may already on the horses, which is more intense on older and obese horses. However, in the case of young foals also, it is ideal to avoid intensive riding or for the extended time period, which may end up in dehydration or heat strokes. Also, avoid riding completely if the combined temperature, as well as relative humidity, go beyond 150. If it is unavoidable to rid during hot, humid weather, then note the following points:

  • Adjust the riding schedules accordingly, early morning and late evening preferably.
  • Keep work to a minimum and also ensure frequent breaks to allow the horse to cool down.
  • Stop if the breathing rate of the horse gets elevated.
  • Watch for any abnormal sweating.
  • Work the horse in the shade as far as possible and create adequate airflow also by using fans.
  • Give access to water frequently while at work.
 It is also important to call for a veterinarian in case if you notice the horse stop to produce sweat or breathes heavily. Lethargy, distress, and non-coordination also may be adverse effects of heat, and all these require immediate care by a veterinarian in order to not worsen further. Visit TVG to know more.
How to Care for Your Horse during Extreme Hot Weathers How to Care for Your Horse during Extreme Hot Weathers Reviewed by Pravesh Maurya on October 10, 2018 Rating: 5

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