Hot Weather Cool Downs for Your Horse
It’s over 40 degrees in the baking sun and you can’t even walk outside without feeling like you’ve been drained of every ounce of energy you ever had. If you feel this way, imagine how your horse feels. Pretty much the same. If you are hot, so are they.
Horses like weather in the 55-degree range and during the height of summer 55- degree days are fairly rare. What can you do to help cool your horse down?
Always have plenty of fresh, clean, cool water on hand. It’s hard for them in heat like that to go too long without a drink. It’s usually a good idea not to work them too hard in high heat and humidity. It’s really punishing for their systems. And if you do work them, be VERY careful about letting them drink when you are done. Only let them have small quantities and space those quantities out over a period of time. If you’re working them slow and easy and they are not sweated up and heaving, give him a drink at least every half-hour.
You might think this sounds funny, but think about it. Don’t put your water bowl out in the full sun. Why? Because the water in it can get so hot it can scald your horses lips. Put the bowl or bucket in the shade.
Another cool down tip, your horse loves cool bathes – not ice cold – but cool spray from a hose all over their back, legs and chest. Some are fussy about water on their heads, so avoid that area. The first thing a horse usually does after being sprayed is roll in the dirt and make themselves a nice bug screen coating on their coats. The bugs are fierce in hot weather. If you don’t have a hose with a spray attachment, then sponge his head and face off with cool water.
Even if you have a salt block out, it’s not enough for those brutally hot days. You need to have extra salt available. All you need to do is add some table salt to his hay or feed. He will eat what he needs. Most horses sweat about enough to need 4 ounces of salt daily in hot weather.