Preparing for Summer with Senior Horses

How do you ensure your senior horses stay comfortable when summer arrives?
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The weekend of the Preakness Stakes is always a busy one at my boarding barn. Not only do the owners host a Preakness Party for boarders and friends each year, it’s also the weekend we switch from day turnout to night turnout to help keep the horses comfortable in summer’s soaring temperatures.

Researchers and veterinarians have confirmed that older horses have decreased thermoregulatory abilities, essentially meaning they have a harder time keeping themselves cool and warm in temperature extremes. So while I can’t wait to leave the 70¡s in the dust, some owners of senior horses dread when the temperatures soar.

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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