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Summer Horse Care Essentials

by Eland Lodge 16 Jun 2022 0 Comments

With summer just around the corner and temperatures set to soar, have you got everything your horse needs? We're here to help - take a look at our summer horse care essentials list to help keep your horse happy in the heat.

1. Fly Masks

In no particular order, first on our list of horse care summer essentials is a fly mask. Not only does a fly mask keep flies out of the horses' eyes, preventing irritation and potential infection, but it also protects their eyes from UV rays. 

From full face to half face and mesh to lycra fly masks, you can choose the type that suits your horse best.

Tip: full face fly masks include a nose net so they also protect the muzzle from flies and the sunlight, making them ideal for extra protection for horses with sensitive or pink skin.

Fly Masks

2. Fly Rugs

Fly sheets are also a brilliant option for summer horse care, keeping horse flies, midges and the sun off your horse. Not only do they provide protection to prevent the horse being irritated and bitten, it also protects them against sun burn and bleaching of the coat. 

From sweet itch and waterproof to zebra print and ride-on fly rugs, there's a range of options to suit all horses on all occasions.

Fly Rugs

3. Fly Repellents

Fly repellents do what they say on the tin and keep flies away from your horse. Available as a fly spraygelwash or tag, there's an application method suitable for every type of horse - even those that don't like spray bottles! 

Tip: You can use a fly tag or a sticker to keep flies away from other pets, such as outside rabbit hutches, or outside in the garden.

Fly Repellents

4. Cooling Wash

If your horse gets hot and sweaty, or simply needs to be cooled down, using a cooling wash is a great way to get their temperature down as well as giving them a deep clean, removing sweat and grime.

There's no need to rinse some of these off, which makes cooling your horse down even quicker!

Cooling Wash

5. Cooling Legs

Working your horse when it's hot or on hard ground? Using a cooling gel on their legs will instantly chill the legs, as well as soothe them with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Even better, these gels require no water so they're a handy option if you're out travelling or competing with little water available.

If you've got water or a freezer access, ice packs or cold water boots are also effective for reducing the heat in their legs, aiding recovery.

Cooling Legs

6. Hoof Dressing

Have you noticed your horse's feet are more prone to cracks in the summer? If the weather is very hot and try, the hoof may lack moisture which can cause cracks and chipping.

In addition to a good diet and regular farrier visits, a hoof dressing can penetrate and nourish the hoof deep down (as well as giving a lovely shine!). Using it regularly keeps the hoof wall from drying out and activates horn growth.

Hoof dressings also protect against dampness, so they're a useful product all-year round to protect your horse's feet.

Hoof Dressing

7. Garlic Supplements

Another method for repelling flies is protecting your horse from the inside out by supplementing with garlic. Added to their feed, garlic granules or liquid gives the horse's sweat a garlic odour that can be detected by flies, ticks and midges which deters them.

Alongside their repellent abilities, garlic is also good for general horse health with benefits to their skin, hair and respiratory system.

Garlic Supplements

 

8. Electrolytes

When horses exercise, they sweat more than they would if they were resting in their stable or field. If they're exercising in hot weather, they'll sweat even more to try and cool themselves down. Sweating not only loses fluid as it evaporates, but also essential body salts, particularly sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Failure to replace these body salts (known as electrolytes) can result in fatigue and, in extreme cases, damage to muscle, bone and cartilage tissue. 

To replenish your horse's electrolyte levels, electrolyte salts or liquids can be added to their feed to keep them feeling and functioning at their best. Salt licks also assist with electrolyte levels in horses, as well as acting as a fun toy to bust boredom in the stable or the field.

Electrolytes

9. Shelter & Shade

Shelter and shade is also important to offer your horse, especially when the temperatures soar. Whether it's a field shelter, a large tree or fetching them into a well-ventilated stable for the day, offering shelter and shade will protect your horse from the sun and the flies, keeping them cool and comfortable.

Tip: Keep flies away from your horse's shelter or stable by hanging up a fly tag. Leaving cobwebs up instead of brushing them away can also reduce the amount of flies.

Shelter & Shade

10. Water

As always, it's essential that your horse has constant access to clean, fresh water. 

If your horse doesn't drink much water, you could try:

  • Adding a bit of apple juice to their water bucket to give their water some flavour
  • 'Apple Bobbing' - put some apples into their water bucket to encourage them to take in more liquid
  • Creating an ice lolly by freezing a feed bowl with water with some apples and carrots in it - they'll lick the fruit and stay hydrated, as well as being a boredom buster.
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