Summer is a time for sunshine and smiles, but there can be trials and tribulations associated with the warmer months. We have put together five top tips help save you from summer stresses this season…
1. Choose your time wisely. For your own and your horse’s comfort try to avoid riding during the hottest part of the day; it is ideal if you can ride early in the morning or later in the afternoon or early evening. Not only will this be beneficial for your horse and limit excessive sweating, but also it keeps you out of the hottest part of the day. If you do go out for a long ride in the sunshine, make sure you keep yourself fully hydrated and protect your skin with sunscreen.
2. Thirsty work. One of the most vital elements of summer horse care is keeping your equine hydrated. Water is imperative to equine health and actually makes up 68-72% of their bodyweight! Soaking your hay increases the moisture of your forage to get additional H2O into your horse. Always make sure you have clean fresh water available and if you are at a show and your horse is a fussy drinker, take your own water from home and consider a water flavourer – such as Horse Quencher – to entice them to drink.
3. Beat the bugs. Protecting your horse with suitable fly gear can help improve your equine’s comfort and wellbeing during the summer months. Insects can leave horses itchy and uncomfortable but can also cause wounds to become infected. Fly rugs, masks and fly sprays will help to keep your horse happy and relaxed this summer, free from the irritation and discomfort of flies, insects and sun bleaching, whilst keeping your horse cool and clean. In addition,feeding Garlic Horslyx has been shown to help reduce the risk of irritation caused by insects thanks to the natural odours it produces.
4. Horses need sunscreen too. Horses with pink skin are more at risk of getting sunburnt – and it doesn’t even have to be overly hot for irritation to occur! If your horse has pink skin, particularly on the face, then apply an equine sun cream and make sure there is plenty of shade in your field when they are turned out.
5. Look after your horse’s legs. It may be tempting to head off on speedy adventures once the sun is out, but pick your ground carefully. Hard ground can cause concussion to the hooves and legs, as well as increase the risk of splints and injury to tendons and ligaments. Pick areas with good grass coverage or a sandy surface for cantering on and implement an aftercare routine – such as icing or cooling gels after exercise. Support hooves and joints with nutritional supplementation via a product such as Mobility Horslyx (SC please add link to Mobility), which contains glucosamine, HCl and MSM – as well as biotin, methionine and zinc.
Enjoy the sunshine without the stress!