When the three digit temperatures roll in, how can you keep your horses cool through the heat of the summer? Keeping horses cool in the summer can be helped with a few simple tips:
1. Make sure your horses have access to a shaded area and plenty of water. Staying hydrated will help your horse stay cool and is especially important when temperatures are high enough to cause the horses to sweat through the day.
2. If you are concerned your horses may not be drinking enough, consider electrolytes. It is possible for a horse to receive harmful effects of electrolytes so don't supplement with them unless your horse is in heavy work during the heat, or during the days of summer when your horses are sweating even at rest.
3. In addition to powder electrolytes, you can increase your horse's water consumption by offering a bucket of flavored gatoraide or soaking your horse's hay for 30 minutes before feeding.
4. Consider setting up a sprinkler in your pasture during the heat of the day. In the wild, horses will swim in a water source, then climb out to let the water evaporate. The evaporating action helps cool a horse. Setting up a sprinkler in your pasture can help your horse reap the same benefits and is also a great tool for despooking!
5. Consider barn-cooling options to keep your horse cool in the summer. If your horses spend time in a stall or loafing shed, consider fans (ranging from box fan type to overhead fans which can lower a barns temperature up to 15 degrees!) There are also cooling mist systems that can be installed with a garden hose and can lower the temperature of a barn or loafing shed as much as an overhead fan.
Follow these tips on keeping your horse cool in the summer and carefully watch your horses during the hottest days of the summer and your horses will stay safe, comfortable, and cool throughout the summer.