Discover expert strategies for keeping horses cool and preventing overheating. With soaring temperatures reaching triple digits and little respite at night, it’s essential to follow special horse care routines during the heat of the summer.
Get ready to conquer the heat and ensure your equine companions thrive in even the hottest summers! 🐴🌞💦
Basic Tips to help your horses stay cool:
Keeping horses cool in summer heat involves more thant just making sure they can get to water, shade, and salt blocks. 😎💧🌿
Some of these tips may seem obvious, but they’re super important during the hot summer days!
🌞 Even if your horse can reach shade and water, you need to think about how the herd works. 🐎 Is there a boss horse that won’t let others use the shade or drink water? If you have a horse that gets bullied, you might need to give it extra care in the summer. 🤝💦
Here are some tricks to help your horses stay cool and hydrated!
|Tips to Keep Horses Cool and Hydrated||Pros||Cons|
|Make sure every horse can access water, shade, and salt.||✔️ Ensures horses have enough water and shade to stay cool and comfortable.||❌ May require managing the herd to make sure all horses get their fair share.|
|Provide breezy and shady stalls||✔️ Gives horses a cool and comfortable place to rest.||❌ Requires proper facilities and limits their natural grazing and movement.|
|Refill water troughs regularly||✔️ Provides fresh and cool water for horses to drink.||❌ Needs frequent checking and maintenance.|
|Consider adding electrolytes||✔️ Helps replace important nutrients lost when horses sweat a lot.||❌ Should be used carefully and with guidance to avoid any potential harm.|
|Soak hay to boost water intake.||✔️ Increases water intake and reduces dusty air for healthier breathing.||❌ Might change the texture and taste of hay, which some horses may not like.|
|Use ice treats||✔️ Gives horses a refreshing and enjoyable way to cool down.||❌ Should be given in moderation to prevent stomach problems.|
|Set up sprinklers||✔️ Mimics natural cooling methods and helps horses cool off.||❌ May not work as well in areas with high humidity.|
|Use mist systems||✔️ Helps reduce the heat inside the barn and keeps horses more comfortable.||❌ Requires proper installation and upkeep. Might not be as effective in areas with high humidity.|
|Install fans||✔️ Improves air circulation and provides relief from the heat.||❌ Requires proper positioning and maintenance. Might not be as effective in extremely hot climates.|
Make sure every horse can get to water, shade, and salt.
Make sure your horses can get to a shaded area and have plenty of water. These might sound like obvious tips but it’s actually something you want to pay close attention to during the heat of the summer. Even if the horse can physically access shade and water, you may need to pay extra attention to herd dynamics during this time of year. Is there an alpha horse in the herd that might keep a lower ranking horse from using the shade or accessing water? If you have a horse that is bullied you might need to give it special care during the heat of the summer.
If horses are sweating through the day and into the night they might drink far more water than usual, and they will need more salt to replace the electrolytes lost through sweating. Make sure that you are filling the water buckets or water troughs regularly and checking on them more often to ensure that they stay full. If your salt block is getting small or is looking unappealing, you may want to go ahead and replace the salt lick with a new one to encourage the horses to take in as much salt as they need to balance their excess sweating.
Tricks to Encourage Horses to Drink Water:
Make sure every horse can get to water, shade, and salt. 😎💧🌿 These tips may seem obvious, but they’re super important during the hot summer days! 🌞 Even if your horse can reach shade and water, you need to think about how the herd works. 🐎 Is there a boss horse that won’t let others use the shade or drink water? If you have a horse that gets bullied, you might need to give it extra care in the summer. 🤝💦
Here are some tricks to help your horses stay cool and hydrated! 😄
Refill troughs more often
You may want to empty and refill large troughs more often in the summer. Large reservoirs of water will heat up to the ambient temperature, making it less appealing for horses to drink. If you dump and refresh the water regularly, the water will stay cooler and most horses will drink a little more. Many of our tips for keeping water troughs from freezing in the winter actually work well to keep troughs cooler, more refreshing, and slower to grow algae in warm summer months.
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If your horses are drinking much more you’ll need to be paying attention to electrolytes. Most horses, most of the time don’t need additional electrolytes, supplementing them can potentially do harm. But if your horse is sweating intensely for long periods due to exercise or summer heat you may want to add electrolytes. They can be purchased online or at feed stories and added as a supplement to feed, but in the summer months, we prefer to offer electrolytes via Gatorade. Gatorade single-serve packets are a great way to add some electrolytes to a bucket at home or on the road.
Soak hay to boost water intake
One sneaky way to boost water intake is to soak your horse’s feed. Grain-type feeds can be soaked for anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours before feeding, but pelleted feeds will turn to mash if soaked (which may be unpalatable to some horses). If you are feeding hay during the heat of the summer ( placing horses in indoor stalls with hay during the heat of the day is a great way to combat potential overheating) you can soak their hay before feeding. Soaking hay reduces dust and ensures that the horses are getting a little more water to replenish the water they are losing from sweating.
Expert Hacks for Ways to Keep Horses Cool
Get ready for some out-of-the-box ideas to keep your horses cool during those sizzling summer days! 😎🌴 We’ve gathered some alternative insider tips that might make you raise an eyebrow or two, but hey, who doesn’t love a little quirkiness? 🤪✨ So, let’s dive into these unusual but effective strategies to ensure your equine friends beat the heat in style! 🌞🌈
🍦 Use Ice to Provide Cool Treats
You can’t bring your horses in the air-conditioned indoors, but you can help give them relief. Try freezing 2-liter bottles filled with water. These giant “ice cubes” can be added to the trough to lower the water temperature and (for particularly curious horses) provide some playful distraction.
Like humans, horses enjoy a frozen treat now and then. Many things that horses can eat as treats can be fed in a frozen state. When we had a peach tree, I learned how to freeze peaches and shared the harvest with our horses on very hot days.
❄️💨 Evaporative cooling
Sprinkler: In the wild cooling sometimes comes when horses swim in a large water source and then letting the water evaporate. The evaporating action helps remove heat from the coat. You can help your horses get the cooling action of evaporative cooling by simply setting up a sprinkler in your pasture. A sprinkler running for an hour or so during the heat of the day can help cool your horses down, provide stimulation for the herd, and help desensitize horses to having a startle response to sprinklers. As a bonus – if you move the sprinkler a bit each day – it can help your pasture grass grow a little faster.
Mist systems: Cooling mist systems are also growing in popularity and can help lower the temperature of a barn.
It is worth noting, however, that evaporative cooling only works effectively in areas with low humidity. In the high humidity of the US South, evaporative cooling can backfire. In a humid climate, the high humidity in the ambient air makes evaporation very slow. Using a cooling mist system in high humidity may actually make horses hotter by creating a layer of moisture that remains on the coat and insulates instead of evaporating.
Fans – There are lots of options to cool your barn off a bit during the summer. While you may not be able to climate control the space, you can add creature comforts ranging from box fans – which can cool a stall up to 15° – to supersize overhead fans that can cool an entire barn or indoor arena.
These tips can help you and your horse survive and thrive in the warmest temperatures of the summer and stay safe, comfortable, and ready to enjoy your next trail ride, horse show, or adventure!
In conclusion, it’s super important to keep your horses cool and comfy during hot summers! 😎💦 This article shared helpful tips to prevent overheating and bring relief when the temperature rises. Remember, basics like water, shade, and salt are crucial, but don’t forget about herd dynamics and individual needs. 🐎🤝
Here’s a recap of some unique ways to keep horses cool:
- 💧 Provide water, shade, and salt: Essential for beating the heat! 🚰🌞🧂
- 🌬️ Breezy indoor stalls: Create a cool oasis with shady stalls and fans. 🏰🌬️😌
- 🍨 Ice treats: Treat your horses to frozen goodies for a refreshing delight! 🍦❄️🍉
- 💦 Evaporative cooling: Sprinklers and mist systems help horses stay cool. 💦🌫️💦
- 🌡️ Barn cooling: Fans and other methods can cool the barn and arena. 🌪️🏇🏡
By following these tips, your horses will stay happy, healthy, and ready for summer adventures together! 🐴🌞💦