Heat busters: Simple summer tips to help keep horses cool

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Splashing out: One of the cob mares shows her friend how to keep cool.
Splashing out: One of the cob mares shows her friend how to keep cool. © Blue Cross

A group of cobs at national pet charity Blue Cross have figured out how to keep their cool as the summer heat beats down on their field in Britain.

Their joy at water sports prompted the charity to share some simple tips on keeping horses comfortable when it gets too hot to trot.

As Mavis demonstrates, some horses may enjoy a cool, shallow water tray designed to safely take the weight of a horse.
As Mavis demonstrates, some horses may enjoy a cool, shallow water tray designed to safely take the weight of a horse. © Blue Cross
  • Make sure your horse has access to a shady area or shelter so they can keep out of the sun’s rays and the flies on hot summer days.
  • Try not to ride your horse at the hottest times of the day – choose the cool of early morning or evening instead.
  • Your horse will be grateful if you wash off sweaty areas which may attract the flies and become sore.
  • Some horses may enjoy a cool, shallow water tray designed to safely take the weight of a horse. Alternatively, a gentle cold hosing may meet with approval but introduce the hose to your horse gradually to start with, until they are comfortable with the flow of water.
Harriet, Edna, Mavis, Agnes and Barbara enjoying water play.
The group of cob mares enjoyed their water play. © Blue Cross
  • A constant supply of clean, fresh drinking water is essential to prevent dehydration and prevent heatstroke in horses.
  • A salt lick will help replace vital nutrients that horses lose easily through sweating.
  • You may also want to buy a fly rug, a UV protective face mask and a good quality fly repellent.
  • Avoid sunburn by protecting exposed, unpigmented, white and pink areas of the skin, particularly the muzzle, with a suitable hypoallergenic waterproof sunblock cream.
  • Horses’ feet can dry out in warmer weather so keep them well hydrated – your farrier can advise which products to use.
Harriet, Edna, Mavis, Agnes and Barbara are being assessed for the Blue Cross rehoming scheme.
Harriet, Edna, Mavis, Agnes and Barbara are being assessed for the Blue Cross rehoming scheme.  © Blue Cross

The five mares – Harriet, Edna, Mavis, Agnes and Barbara – are currently being assessed at the Blue Cross and should be ready for their new homes soon.

» Want to give a Blue Cross horse a home? Here’s how. Or consider supporting Blue Cross.

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