With weather forecasts set to soar across many parts of the UK, it’s important to consider how you can keep your horse as comfortable as possible.
There are a number of steps we can take to keep our horses healthy and cool in the hot weather:
- Increase your horses water intake and make sure they always have access to clean, fresh water
- Consider introducing enrichment* such as frozen fruit blocks to help your horses stay cool
- Shelter or shade is preferable in hot weather
- Take steps to reduce your horses exposure to flies
- Apply SPF sun cream – especially on their nose
- Make sure you can identify signs of heat-related illness
*Supervise your horse when introducing new enrichment and always consider the following:
- Introduce new food over 10-14 days to reduce the risk of colic.
- Make sure your horse has good dental health to prevent the risk of choke.
Aim to ride in the morning or the late evening when the day is at its coolest. If you’re competing at a scheduled time and exercise during the warmest part of the day cannot be avoided, here are some top tips you can follow:
- Travel early and do not travel home until you are confident your horse has fully recovered
- Set up to stay cool – choose a well shaded area (although this could potentially change later in the day!)
- Plan a shorter warm-up or split your warm-up into shorter sessions
- Allow access to or offer water right up until the time you ride and as soon as possible after competing
- Monitor vital signs and behaviours, before, during and after exercise. Be mindful that your horse will likely tire earlier
- Consider feeding an electrolyte supplement to replace those lost in sweat
Prioritise recovery – remove tack, walk your horse in hand and cool them by continuously pouring cold water over their body. Read our full advice on exercising in hot weather.