Hot Summer Days

swimming.jpgHorses can suffer from heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Take care to know your horses normal temperature, heart rate and pulse. On extremely hot days be sure to keep a close watch over your horses condition. It is a good idea to ride early in the day or at dusk when the air temperature cools down. After your work out you must cool your horse out completely. The length of cool down will depend on the environmental conditons, amount of work and each individual horse.

Signs of a heat stroke include hot dry skin, high pulse and respiratory rates and a high temperature (101 is normal). Use the pinch test to check for dehydration, that is pinch some skin together and let it go, if it returns to normal immediately all is well, if it remains pinched, call your vet immediately.

Some horses have a condition known as anhydrotic, that is when the horses cannot sweat normally. These horses are prime candidates for heat stress and must be monitored closely on hot days.

Of course, make certain to have fresh water available to your horse all the time. Feed an electrolyte supplement in daily feed on hot days to encourage drinking. Horses drink 5-10 gallons of water a day and this is critical to maintaining a healthy horse.