b'FARMCALL TheHorse.com/Farm-CallFly Sheets in SummerQ When is it too hot for my horse toOwners should consider the amount of wear a fly sheet? My friend and Ishade they can provide for their equine both use fly sheets on our horses,companions, whether they are located but she leaves hers off if the weather getsin an area that has a natural breeze, or if really hot and humid. Should I do thethey will be stalled with fans on them.same? I dont want to hurt my horse. Finally, you can check the heat index by Christine, Tampa, Florida going to your preferred weather website or app and looking over the temperature A This is a multifactor question forand humidity chart, because humidity ISTOCK.COMwhich you must take into accountcan increase the heat index significantly.the fly sheet, the breed and colorI would recommend anything under 90 of your horse, whether there is shadedegrees heat index would be tolerated in available, your horses body conditionThe horses breed and its bodya normal-weight, sweating horse in the score (BCS), the air temperature, and thecondition should always be taken intoshade with a breeze or fan on them. Over humidity. So lets break this down. consideration when it comes to over- 90 degrees I would recommend providing Fly sheets are made in different materi- heating a horse. For example, a drafta cool environment in order for them to als and weights. Those with larger meshhorse with a BCS of 8 will have moretolerate the fly sheet and heat well.and loose straps will breathe much betterdifficulty with a heat index of 90-plus de- Erin Denney-Jones, DVMthan those that fit closer to the hair coatgrees than a light-breed horse with a BCSFlorida Equine Veterinary Servicesand are a finer mesh. of a 5, with or without a fly sheet. Clermont, FloridaSenior Care at Shows or coughing, and even consider taking his body temperature. When housing your horse at the show, again, if possible, Q My healthy senior gelding still goes to horse shows tominimize contact with other horses and make sure he has give young riders good first experiences on a trustwor-thy mount. Are there any special considerations I needclean, fresh water at all times and a clean stall environment. to make when hauling, housing, and showing him that areAlso make sure hes on a good nutritional program, includ-different than ones I make with younger horses? ing quality forage, which is all-important in maintaining and Shelley, via email supporting the immune system. These senior horses often get attached to their buddies. If this is the case, consider stalling him next to a familiar horse at the show, as this will A I think it is wonderful for these senior horses to stillhelp minimize stress and, in turn, help out the immune have a jobits good for their mental and physical health. With this being said, dont forget they are stillsystem. senior, which means their immune systems are not function- When trailering your horse, also consider the same ing quite like they used to. So its critical to make sure yourbiosecurity measures, provide clean water and forage, and senior horse is up-to-date on all core and, perhaps, some ofconsider the buddy system in trying to minimize stress. the risk-based vaccinations to help protect him when hes outTrailering can be stressful to horses and reduce their im-mingling with other horses. Practice good biosecurity, espe- mune response even further for up to 21 days after transport. cially with these seniors, again because their immune systemSo when returning home, again monitor his health status is likely not as robust as it used to be, and warding off infec- closely and provide a healthy and low-stress environment in tions that wouldnt have posed problems when they werewhich to recover from the show and trailering.younger is now more challenging. So use your own waterAmanda Adams, PhDbuckets, dont let your horse nose other horses, and keep aGluck Equine Research Centerclose eye on him during the shows. Look for nasal dischargeLexington, KentuckyThis column features readers questions on specific illnesses, diseases, and conditions, with answers from American Association of Equine Practitioners members or their designates.Send questions to FarmCall@TheHorse.com, or The Horse, 2365 Harrodsburg Rd #A200, Lexington KY 40504-3331. Questions will be edited for publication and must includethe authors name, address, and daytime telephone number. Farm Call is compiled by Managing Editor Alexandra Beckstett.50August 2019The Horse | TheHorse.com'