Though most horses adjust readily to hot summers days with high humidity, it's important to keep an eye on how each horse is handling the warmer temps and to make adjustments as necessary. Keeping tabs on vital signs, weather forecasts and horse behavior can help avert potential heat-related complications, reports The Horse.
During hot weather, a horse should be sweating, which allows him to get rid of extra heat from exercise or warm temperatures. The horse is cooled off as the sweat evaporates. Access to clean, fresh water at all times is imperative to helping him replace fluids lost from sweat. Salt should also be available; ingesting this will encourage him to drink more.
Riding and shipping during the cooler parts of the day is advisable, and every horse should have access to trees, a shed or a stall to be able to escape the sun. Even with precautions in place, horses can experience heat stress from overheating. Signs of heat stress include:
- Sweating profusely or not at all
- Elevated temperature
- High heart and respiratory rates that don't return to normal
It's imperative that a veterinarian be called when a horse has heat stress; heat stress can lead to heatstroke and death. If a horse is overheating,
- Remove any blankets, saddle and boots
- Hose him with cold water, removing excess water in between hosings
- Offer cool water to drink, no matter how hot he is
- Cover him with isopropyl alcohol, which dissipates heat
- Place him in the shade under a fan
Read more at The Horse.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2020 Paulick Report.