Did you know that keeping your horse properly hydrated during the summer months may require more than simply providing fresh, clean water at a cool temperature? In fact, you may need to provide your horse with some additional supplements and assistance in order to ensure it stays hydrated during the hot Arizona summer. Here are a couple additional steps that you may need to take in order to keep your horse properly hydrated this summer.
Your horse’s number one way to stay cool in the summer is to sweat. Unfortunately, sweating results in the loss of important electrolytes such as potassium, sodium and chloride. If your horse loses too many electrolytes, it may develop muscle cramps, colic and fatigue. By adding supplements to your horse’s feed or water, or by administering pastes to the back of the tongue, you can help your horse recover from the loss of these electrolytes.
Offering salt for your horse will also help with preventing dehydration. Your horse’s diet should include at least 1 to 2 ounces of salt each day. If your horse is sweating a great deal, more salt may be necessary. Providing a salt block is the most common way to help get more salt into your horse’s diet. Most experts recommend starting with a plain white salt block rather than a mineralized salt block, as the minerals often have a bitter taste that some horses do not enjoy. You may also consider offering loose salt. Your horse will limit its consumption to the amount that it needs.