With the heat, humidity, thunderstorms and bugs arriving any day now, all of the horses are finally starting to fully shed out and get ready for summer themselves! The grass is growing in full force at Mountainview and all the horses are starting to get their "summer bellies" back, plus they are changing colors while they are shedding that thick winter coat!
A couple things to keep in mind during these summer months for any horse's general health, care and well-being are.....
Fresh Water! All horses need to have access to fresh water, especially during these hot summer months! A dehydrated horse is asking for problems! Supplying electrolytes in the summer months is a great way to help with this issue and keep them hydrated properly.
Storm Shelter! Horses that are out 24/7 in pasture should be able to find shelter in big storms either under trees, or in an actual shelter when the weather starts getting bad. Especially if thunder and lightning are in the forecast! Lightning strikes horses quite easily in a big open field, when they have metal shoes on their feet too it's like asking for it to happen! For those horses that have the option of a stall, hopefully owners, managers and trainers alike will agree that if the weatherman calls for big electrical storms it's better to be safe than sorry and simply keep the horses in for the day or night!
Bugs! (Or as my mare is convinced... Mutant Horse Eating Vampires!) These pesky things sadly come with the territory of horses, location and climate. Whether they are the B52's, Green Heads, Black Gnats, etc. they are all out on the same mission, to annoy the heck out of humans and horses alike and eat everyone alive. Some helpful things to keep handy in the barn to attempt to deter these creatures are....Fly spray, Belly Balm (for those spots that the gnats have already attacked), fly masks (ones with ears are nice because then the bugs cant eat the insides of their ears), fly sheet (if your horse is that much of a wimp like mine this is helpful!), fly traps, fly paper, and a big fly swatter. Oh and anti-itch cream or triple antibiotic ointment for after they've attacked...
Cooling Off! After a ride or workout when your horse is drenched in sweat and hot as can be, always make sure to cool your horse out properly by walking him/her out for a decent amount of time. When it's summer, walking in a shaded area, or pulling tack off and hand walking is a great option too to help them cool off faster. IF your horse is having a hard time cooling off and can't seem to stop huffing and puffing it's most likely because they are overheating. If this is the case, cold hose their hooves off, and most importantly run cold water over the big vein that is clearly visible on the inside of both hind legs. Then keep them walking!
Hopefully some of these tips will help some people survive the next several HOT months to come! :)