Happy first day of summer everyone! Today is the longest day of the year, and it is a full moon tonight – a “strawberry moon” apparently! As we head into the summer months, we must remember to adjust our horses’ care for the heat so that we can enjoy plenty of summer fun with them 🙂
Obviously, they must have access to plenty of clean water; that is a bit of a no-brainer. Electrolytes, salt, and plenty of walk/stand in the shade breaks while we ride them are also vital for conquering the summer months! I also like to ride early in the morning, or around 6pm. I try to avoid the hottest part of the day, for Chance’s sake!
The barn I board at switches many of the working horses to night turnout during the summer, so that they are not melting in the sun all day. That also helps to prevent fading in dark colored horses. They have fans in their stalls, as well.
Rinsing off horses after a ride is important to help them cool down, and regular baths help to keep that yucky fungus they tend to get during hot weather under control. I find that waiting until Chance is mostly dry before putting him in his stall helps to keep fungus at bay, as well.
We must always pay attention to how much our horses are sweating at the beginning of summer. Even good sweat-ers can suddenly stop. Supplements like Tru-Sweat and One A.C. can help them to sweat more if they are struggling, and their breathing must be watched. They also must have plenty of breaks to cool down during rides, and long cool downs afterwards, so that they don’t overheat. Spraying their chests and shoulders with the hose during a ride can help too.
During the summer months, some horses may need extra days off, but if we are observant and intentional about their summer care there is no reason that they cannot work and even show. So I hope you all had a wonderful first day of summer, as well as a summer filled with equestrian fun! Hopefully the sky stays clear and I can see what this strawberry moon is all about 😉