During the summer in both Florida and Indiana, it can get pretty warm. With temperatures averaging between the high 70s and high 90s, keeping our horses cool during work is super important. When it becomes too hot, it is best to just spend the day by hand grazing and a nice cool bath.
Just like humans, when horses get super sweaty, they become dehydrated. Dehydration occurs where there is excessive water loss from the horse’s body. Most times, dehydration symptoms are overlooked and can include but are not limited to dry skin, depression, thick and sticky saliva, dullness in the eyes, etc. If your horse does exhibit any of these symptoms, administering fluids and electrolyte solutions are extremely important to stabilize them. But, like with any medical needs, it is always best to consult with your vet. Over-administration of fluids can lead to what is called water intoxication. Some horses don’t suffer such severe complications, but it is vital to be informed on how to handle the situation if it arises.
Baths are vital to helping your horse cool off after a hot ride. It helps to lower the horse’s internal body temperature and cooling them off. Plus, it feels really good for them (and more often than not, you too because the hose almost always ends up spraying your face or body). It also provides the opportunity to white-n-brite your pony if they are grey or have any white markings.
My favorite way to cool my sweaty beast, Carina, is a cool bath with cold soaking on her legs. Cold soaking helps to reduce heat and inflammation in the legs. I find it to be vital for Carina and keeping his tendons and muscles healthy so he can perform at his best. If you don’t have the time to stand there and soak 4 legs, there are tons of great alternatives. Ice boots are what I use in Florida and all the ponies adore them! Soaking boots are also an option if you have a horse that isn’t wiggly and can stand still with them on.
These are the just some of my tips and tricks to keep your horse cool during the summer heat! If you have any tips that I didn’t mention, feel free to DM me on Instagram @equestrian.syd !
Until Next Time Preps,
Sydney & The Ponies