Summer Hazards for Horses

Summer is a welcomed time for horse owners, as it means more rides and better quality grass. With the warm weather comes a few issues that can impact your horse’s overall health. Many of these risks are due to heat and its impact on a horse’s body. Here are the most common examples of summer hazards for horses, and some ways you can prevent them.

Pest Control

In the summer parasites become more of an issue to your horse’s health. Flies, ticks, and other types of bug bites can transfer diseases to your horse, or cause discomfort and irritation. Mosquitoes and flies, in particular, can cause stress to your horse, causing it to lose significant weight. Coupled with heat, horses are much more likely to lose weight over the summer. Many horses also react to bugs by stomping their hooves, which can cause damage to their hoof walls. 

Horse, bugs, pest control, horse pest control

The best way to avoid pests is with a spray. Many topical solutions on the market are made with harsh, harmful chemicals. RK Topical Spray Concentrate is an all-natural solution to pests that is three to six times stronger than other sprays on the market. RK Topical Spray combines natural oils with Pyrethrin/Pyrethroids to give real-world 8-hour protection. RK Topical Spray will help avoid skin damage due to summer eczema and hives, as well as decrease the risk of tick diseases and blood loss from bites. RK Topical Spray allows your horse to stomp less in the field so that they keep their shoes on and do not crack their hoof walls.

Mosquitoes breed near stagnant water sources, which is most likely where your horse may be getting their water. Make sure to keep drinking water moving, and remove any puddles of warm or stagnant water in your horse’s area of grazing pasture. 

If your horse is bitten by insects, rubbing those areas may cause infection. Rub these areas with mild antiseptic cream such as E45 and look for signs of severe allergic reactions. These may require veterinary assistance. 

Heat Stress

Your horse may have difficulties transitioning from the colder weather to the warmer weather. Rapid weather changes occur overnight in summer; one night it is 50 degrees, and the next it is 80 in the morning. Your horse may be wearing its hot wool blanket in this cold weather that changes warm overnight, which risks them overheating Make sure to pay attention to the temperatures and conditions that your horse is in and try act on them accordingly. It is also important to trim your horse’s coat to add increased temperature control as well as rid them of many parasites laying below the fur. 

heat stress, horse heat stress

Heat can cause a slew of problems to your horse. Much like us, horses can get a sunburn. Unpigmented areas of skin can burn or become photosensitive, which is an extreme form of sunburn. Photosensitization is triggered by the ingestion of plants, including some clovers, alfalfa, and St. John’s wort, and makes horses more affected by the sun. Avoid taking your horse out at the hottest and sunniest parts of the day and limit their grazing time in the bright UV rays. Make sure there is shade and water in your pasture and apply sunscreen to any sensitive areas. 

Dehydration is also a big risk that comes with the heat. Give your horses ample freshwater sources around the pasture to ensure that they move from place to place while they graze. It is also a good idea to include electrolytes into your horse’s diet. These minerals balance the pH levels of water in your horse’s body and regulate their hydration.


When the fields turn green, your horse’s mouth will start watering. While it is tempting to let them indulge themselves, it is paramount not to let them overindulge. Eating too much can lead to laminitis, a dangerous hoof condition that can lead to extreme lameness if left untreated. 

overeating horse

Read our other blog, How To Avoid Spring Laminitis Flair Ups to see how to manage your horse’s diet.

We hope we have helped you understand some of the dangers of the summer for your horse. Ensuring their safety and health is our number one priority, which reflects our line of products. Remember these tips to keep your horses safe and secure during the warm months!