Refreshing your horse in the summer is essential. The elasticity of the skin or the color of the mucous membranes and urine may reflect the level of hydration of the animal.
Learning to refresh your horse in the summer is essential to avoid future disturbances. The equine body temperature increases much more rapidly than that of other animals, hence their high sensitivity to high temperatures.
Summer heatstroke is a reality that affects most living things. Generally, the body temperature of the horses must be between 37 and 38 degrees, so if it reaches 40.5 or 41 degrees, their health could be seriously compromised: they could even die.
Below is a series of preventive measures to refresh your horse and combat dehydration …
Tips to refresh your horse
1) Increase the ventilation of the stable: it is essential that there is a re-circulation of the internal air through light currents. Opening windows and doors is important to maintain the right concentration of oxygen. In this way, even the smell of faeces is perceived less, which tends to be stronger with increasing temperatures.
2) The ventilation of the stable must be completed by cleaning it and installing mosquito nets or other types of mechanisms that can reduce the presence of insects.
3) Increasing direct water sources is undoubtedly essential for refreshing your horse. The animal must always have fresh and clean water available. In addition to checking that the amount of liquid is sufficient, you must make sure that the troughs are clean since many farm diseases are caused by inadequate disinfection.
4) Encourage indirect hydration: even if a fixed water source is present, the animal may not drink enough. Moisten the hay or ask a veterinarian for advice on supplements that help curb the possible loss of salts.
Other useful tips
1) Increasing the frequency of the baths: as for people, many times the best way to cool your horse is through cold showers. In order for the temperature change to not be too strong, you have to move progressively from the legs to the back, whether you use a pump or a sponge.
2) Use of insecticides: apart from the already mentioned mosquito nets, it is necessary to use repellent against insects and parasites. From the beginning of spring to the end of winter, the increase of these organisms can cause various problems to the equine; the most common is summer dermatitis.
3) Plan walks out of the barn: the walks or exercise must be carried out during the cooler hours of the day. Furthermore, it is advisable that there are trees or spaces that allow the animal to shelter and, if possible, that there is also a water source.
4) Check the level of dehydration of the horse: skin elasticity is a symptom of proper hydration. To check it, gently pinch a part of the neck or back and check that it returns to its original shape after a while. Also test the state of the mucous membranes (pink color) and that the urine is clear.
5) Check the animal’s ability to recover: after exercising or after a bath, to decrease its body temperature it is advisable to check that the pulse and breathing have an adequate rhythm.
Among the farm animals, horses are those that require more care. During the summer months, they are particularly sensitive and, for this reason, you must guarantee them proper hydration, both internal and external.