Keeping Your Horse Healthy This Summer Part 3: Adjusting Schedules
Heat stress is a concern for horses that are older, out of shape or obese. Young foals can also experience heat stress due to hydration. To avoid heat stress, it is a good idea to make some adjustments to your schedule while also being continually aware of your horse’s condition.
During hot weather conditions, it is a good idea to adjust your schedule in order to put less stress on your horse. For example, it is better to ride early in the morning or late at night rather than in the middle of the day when the heat is the highest. If you can’t avoid working during the day, you should keep the work light while also incorporating frequent breaks to allow your horse to cool down and regain a normal breathing rate. Whenever possible, you should also create airflow with the help of fans and you should work the horse in the shade when you can.
Watching Your Horse
As you ride or work your horse during a hot day, you should be particularly aware of your horse’s breathing pattern. If your horse is breathing hard, be sure to take a break to allow your horse to regain its normal breathing rate. You should also watch for normal sweating. If your horse stops producing sweat, becomes lethargic or breathes heavily, you should call your veterinarian right away.