Summer is prime time for equestrians. Warmer, longer days means more riding and driving in the sunshine. This season does come with its own problems though so here are our top summer horse care tips.
In this blog:
Flies are a common issue in the summer months. They are not only annoying for horses but can bite and cause skin sensitivities such as sweet itch.
Some options to protect your horse against flies include:
Sometimes you will need a combination of products to find the optimum protection for your horse. Another option is to change up your horse’s turnout schedule. If you can keep your horse in their stable during the day when the flies are at their worst and turnout overnight instead, this can help limit the time spent with irritating insects.
The sunshine is one of the best parts about summer. However, overexposure to UV can cause problems like coat bleaching, sunburn and photosensitivity.
Coat bleaching typically affects darker horses, giving their coat a lighter appearance. Genetics play a part in this, as well as your horse’s diet and sun exposure.
The use of a summer sheet or fly rug can help protect your horse against harmful UV rays. Look for lightweight, breathable rugs that offer UV protection, like the Equilibrium Field Relief Fly Rug.
Light coloured horses and those with white socks or face markings may be more prone to sunburn. You can use a sun cream designed for sensitive skin on these areas, or the Barrier Sunburn Soother offers factor 25+ protection while also soothing any sore skin.
Keeping your horse stabled during the day and turned out in the field at night not only helps avoid flies but the hot midday sun too. If your horse is turned out though, make sure they have access to shelter and plenty of water.
Lush spring grass may have caused your horse to pile on the pounds. Horses that are overweight or prone to laminitis may need to restrict their grass intake. A grazing muzzle can help achieve this without limiting your horse’s time out in the field.
Summer Riding and Driving
Take care not to overdo it on particularly hot days. If possible, try to avoid the midday sun by riding in the early mornings or evenings.
When the ground is hard, you may also need to take it steadier when riding or driving to minimise the risk of injury.
After exercise, be sure to wash off your horse to cool them off and remove any sweat. The NAF Cooling Wash is a nice addition to help refresh tired muscles.
If you horse wears boots during exercise, remove them immediately after to allow the legs to cool. We like using breathable boots like the Equilibrium Tri-Zone All Sport Boots which help to maximise air flow. You can then either cold hose the legs or ice boots are great if your horse has worked hard or competed.
All that's left to do is enjoy the summer! If you're looking for interesting ways to have fun with your horse this summer, then check out our blog: A Guide to Summer Fun with Your Horse.