Keeping your horse in top condition can be difficult with the extreme environmental conditions summer can bring. Whether it is the heat, bugs, or sun exposure, we have tips and products to combat these challenges.
The sun may not seem like a huge concern for some horses, but it can burn a horse’s skin just like a human and on black, bay or darker horses it can cause sun bleaching. To combat sun damage a sunscreen spray is an effective tool. There are a variety of formulas with other added benefits to fit your horse’s needs. Ultra® Sparkle Light Oil with Sunscreen is a clear moisturizer with sunscreen that prevents bleaching and protects sensitive skin from burning. If you want a fly repellent spray and sunscreen combo the Farnam® Tri-Tec 14™ Fly Repellent Spray offers an aerosol fly spray that is long lasting and contains sunscreen to prevent damage to the skin and coat. For a shining spray that has sunscreen and conditioners to prevent sun damage and repair damaged hair, Farnam® Vetrolin® Shine Equiveil™ 360° Sprayer is a great option. All of these are non-greasy and easy to apply.
Fly sheets don’t just offer insect protection but can shield your horse’s skin and coat from UV rays as well. Our Soft Interlock Mesh Fly Sheets offer up to 80% UV protection without being hot and heavy. They also protect against barn flies, mosquitoes, and gnats. We have a size and fit for every horse from mini’s to draft horses!
Flies and other insects can be a huge nuisance to our horses. For sensitive horses we use a three step system to ease their summer time woes. First, we feed a bug repellent supplement like the Bug Check Insect Repellent Supplement. It deters bugs from biting your horse and from breeding in manure. Second, we use a fly sheet and mask for turnout. Depending on your horses needs you may want a light and airy fly sheet or a heavier, more durable fly sheet. For a run-down of our flywear options and what horses they work best for, check out this blog. Third, we make sure we use fly spray for riding, turnout, and in our horses’ stalls. There is aerosol, continuous spray, trigger spray, lotion, and wipe versions and they are all effective, but some may work better than others for your horse or situation. A tried and true favorite for many people is Absorbine® UltraShield® EX and it comes in a 32 oz. trigger spray bottle or gallon refill size. For faces, especially for riding, the Espree® Herbal Horse Fly Repellent Face & Body Wipes work well and aren’t messy which is always a plus.
The heat is one of the hardest aspects of summer to combat. Maybe your horse isn’t a good water drinker and you’re worried that they’ll get dehydrated. Electrolytes are an easy way to help with water consumption. Most horses will eat a powdered electrolyte like Horse Health™ APPLE-DEX™ without an issue. It’s apple flavored and made for horses on low sugar diets. If your horse is a picky eater a pelleted formula may be more palatable. Uckele™ Pro-Lyte Pellets have no sugar added and are less likely to be sifted out by finicky eaters.
Keeping your horse cool after exercise or in extreme heat can often be time consuming and ineffective. But Coolaid™ products like the blanket and neck wrap offer both wicking and cooling properties. They can cool your horse down 30% below their surface temperature. Cold therapy and ice boots and wraps are also perfect for reducing inflammation caused by heat.
What are some of your summer horse care essentials? Are there other issues you and your horse battle with in the summer?