Equine athletes of all sorts work and play year-round, regardless of temperature, and when it comes to horse care in summer, extra care is needed for your beloved horse! High temperatures and high humidity create all sorts of challenges, but high temperatures and low humidity can cause just as many problems. Proper drink and feed are important at this time of year and can sometimes be a challenge to meet.
When best to train the Equine Athlete
It’s best to work your horse in the early morning and early evening, you’ll feel better, your horse will feel better. It’s, unfortunately, not always practical summer horse care solution, so if you’re working that dusty ring or running on a track in the middle of the day, lots of water should be available. Cool water is your best choice. The rule of thumb of ‘six sips and walk’ is a great guideline for a cool down routine between or after events and exercise. Loss of fluid can lead to colic or worse! Heat stroke can be as deadly for horses as it can be for humans!
Horse care in summer – cut back on the carbs!
When it comes to food time, what works in the cooler months won’t work in the summer. It’s recommended that you cut back on the highly digestible fiber feeds and add in a fat sourced feed. High fiber hay can produce more heat in digestion than lower fiber hay, so it’s either cut back or spread it across an extended feed period. Fat produces less heat in the stomach, but, has higher calories, so one has to keep an eye out on how much is being fed. The best hay for your summer horse care would be an early cut grass or a grass-legume mix. It’s essentially hay that is fine texture and relatively soft to touch. Smaller, frequent feedings, if possible, are the way to go. It not only helps with digestion, but it keeps the inside temperature from digestion down. It’s considered best to avoid high levels of protein as the excess nitrogen can increase fluid loss, something we don’t want for our horses in this heat.
Water, water and more water: Hydrate
Horses are going to lose electrolytes as they exercise and perform, and it absolutely should be replaced as fast as possible. You can try a loose trace mineral salt feeder for free choice feeding, keeping it well protected from any rain. You can also try electrolyte supplements for horses after a competition or exercise, but make sure to give them with lots of water!
Summertime is horse time, and horse care in summer is about taking proper care of you, and your horse so you both can make it the best time. It’s not always easy, but a healthy horse is a happy horse!
Abler equine pharmaceuticals brought Horse care in summer – Abler has been caring for horses since 2008.