Hot Weather Calls for Cool Care of Your Horse

For riding enthusiasts, summertime necessitates paying extra attention to your horse’s physical needs.

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Hot Weather Calls for Cool Care of Your Horse
A cool water bath will help your overheated horse dissipate excess heat faster. | Photo: Erica Larson
In the good old summertime, it’s just plain old hot. For riding enthusiasts. this likely necessitates paying extra attention to your horse’s physical needs and changing your riding habits.

“Heat-related illness such as heat stress can quickly become heat exhaustion if preventive measures are not taken,” notes Glennon Mays, DVM, clinical associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

Hot, humid weather combined with overexertion and fluid loss can lead to heat stress. Signs of heat stress include dehydration, elevated body temperature, excessive sweating or no sweating, accelerated heart and respiratory rates, and sluggishness, says Mays.

“To check for dehydration, use your forefinger and thumb to pinch and pull the skin on the side of your horse’s neck; it should snap back in place when released. If the skin is slow to form to the neck again, your horse is dehydrated,” explains Mays

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