Eight Tips to Ensure a Better Summer for your Horse

Woman and horse in field

With summer right around the corner, it is important to get your horse back out into the field. Due to the mild, hot, dry weather, you need to make sure your horse is healthy and taken care of. Below are eight tips to ensure a better summer for your horse. 


1. Provide Plenty Of Water

It is vital in the summer weather to keep your horse hydrated. The water you provide should be clean and cool; the buckets and tanks the water is placed in should be cleaned, at minimum, once a week. Make sure to have multiple areas in the field and around the stable where the horse can easily access the water. There is a test you can follow if you believe that your horse is dehydrated. If you pinch the horse’s skin and it stays pinched for multiple seconds, your horse may be dehydrated. If so, give your horse electrolyte supplements. 


Vet vaccinating horse

2.Vaccinate Your Horse

There are extremely fatal diseases, such as EEE, WEE, and WNV, that your horse could potentially catch; these diseases commonly show up in August or September. In order to combat these issues, your horse should be vaccinated in the early summer months. One vaccine that you may want to give your horse is the tetanus shot; horses are prone to injury in the summer so this vaccine will help to keep your horse healthy. Another vaccine is the rabies vaccine; Your horse may encounter a wild animal while roaming in the field. 


3. Shade Management 

There is no better time to figure out a shade management plan than in the summer. Your horse can overheat, become dehydrated, and get sunburnt in the summer. Make sure that you have some sort of sun protection out in your field; this protection can be from trees in the field or you could build a shade shed. If neither of these options works for you, take your horse out at dusk instead. 


Horseback riding along trail

4. Easy Rides

If you want to take your horse out on rides in the summer, make sure wherever you go has some sort of shade or shorter trails. A substantial cool down after the ride will be extremely beneficial for the horse as well. In addition, you should adjust your ride schedule based on the weather for the specific day you want to ride. The best times to take your horse out in the summer are early mornings or late evenings. 

5. Protectant Via Spray 

Summertime is when the bugs come out once again; flies and mosquitos are especially nasty during this time. Flies can cause discomfort and also carry diseases that can be transmitted to the horse. Mosquitos can inflict pain and can carry disease as well. There are a few precautions you can take to decrease, and control, the number of bugs in your horse’s environment. First, adding predator parasites to eat larvae in the manure will decrease the fly population. Add bird feeders for birds like barn swallows and purple martins that eat mosquitoes and flies. The last way to protect your horse is to stock your pond, if you have one, with dragonflies; these bugs will consume mosquito larvae. The best fly spray to use is RK Topical Fly Spray. It is 300% stronger than any fly spray in tack shops and effective against flies/ticks/mosquitoes, gnats.


Woman grooming horse

6. Groom Your Horse

Even in the summer, it is necessary to groom your horse. Dirt and dust can collect more easily due to the dry weather. You should trim your horse’s mane, tail, and coat. This will allow your horse to stay cool in the sweltering weather. After trimming your horse, you should proceed with a sponge bath that includes shampoo and other cleansers. The bath will prevent fungal hair loss, cool down your horse’s body temperature, and aid sweating. You should make sure to invest in a quality grooming kit; the kit should include shampoo, conditioner, hair polish, gloves, multiple sponge sizes, and a sweat scraper. 

7. Hoof Care

Hoof care is very crucial since the ground is whitered and there is less rainfall in the summer. A horse’s hoof needs the proper, persistent moisture levels; if the levels aren’t persistent, the hoof can expand. This leads to hoof abscesses and wall loose nails. One tip to take care of the hoof is to add supplements to your horse’s diet. You can add zinc, calcium, or sulfur to strengthen the hoof. Another tip is to pick your horses’ feet daily; bugs, pebbles, and dirt can cause irritation and cause hoof abscesses over time. 


Woman putting saddle on horse

8. Use Less Tack

It would be beneficial for the horse if you use less tack. You should choose to put a lighter saddle on; this will cover less of the horse’s body and the lightweight gear will be more comfortable in the warmer weather. Don’t blanket your horse if you decide to travel since the blanket could cause overheating. 

These tips should be helpful to look at while planning out your summer schedule for your horse. Visit our website for more information on health services, drugs & medications, and diseases & conditions.