A spring or summer with high temperatures can be intense for us, but even more so for your horse. This is because horses, instead of choosing how to deal with the heat, are partly dependent on the choices we make for them. Horses can handle heat well on their own, but extreme heat can be dangerous for your horse. Your horse can get overheated resulting in dehydration, lethargy and general malaise. It is important for the health of your horse that you pay attention on hot days and take measures if necessary.
1. Cool drinking water
Provide sufficient fresh and cool drinking water, both in the meadow and in the stable. On average, a 600 kg horse drinks about 20 to 30 liters of water per day, but when it is warm this can go up to 40 liters per day!
2. Customize your activities
Plan your activities at different times of the day. Early in the morning and later in the day the temperatures are more tolerable for both you and your horse.
3. Provide shade
Avoid direct bright sun and provide a shaded spot in the meadow. If there is no natural form of shade, you can place a tent/cloth under which your horse can stand in the shade, or put your horse in the stable during the day and in the meadow in the evening and at night.
4. Cool down with water
Cool down your horse after riding by going dry without a saddle, saddle pad, etc. About 15 minutes and then rinse with cool or lukewarm water. Dry your horse afterwards. The head, neck and legs are important, because the blood vessels lay close there to the skin.
5. Pay attention to the electrolyte balance
A horse loses electrolytes daily through sweating, urination and defecation. It is good to balance this loss of electrolytes. During periods of exertion, such as competitions and training, your horse can lose significantly more electrolytes, especially when it is very hot. A horse’s body cannot retain water without the presence of electrolytes. Adding these electrolytes with, for example, HorseFlex Electrolyte mix to the drinking water ensures that both fluid and electrolytes remain in a good balance. The mix can also be added to the daily diet, but also ensures sufficient drinking water.
What are electrolytes?
Electrolytes are body salts that are lost through sweat, urination and stool. A horse then mainly loses sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. So when a horse sweats, he not only loses fluids, but also body salts, or electrolytes. Electrolytes play an important role in the fluid balance in horses. With a shortage of electrolytes, your horse is less able to retain moisture, the elasticity of the skin decreases and stamina deteriorates. By letting your horse drink well, the fluid is replenished, but what about the lost electrolytes?
With a shortage of electrolytes, your horse is less able to absorb and retain moisture, with the result that your horse can become dehydrated. It reduces the elasticity of the skin and also lowers the energy level, making your horse lethargic and listless. Drinking enough water will replenish your horse’s fluids, but replenishing electrolytes is a different story. It is advisable, especially in sport horses, to supplement electrolytes with a supplement such as HorseFlex Electrolyte mix. This product is a pure mix of different minerals (electrolytes) such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium that are important for the correct electrolyte balance. It helps your horse to recover properly after training and to prevent dehydration.
When do you give extra electrolytes?
This is only necessary in very hot weather, during vigorous exercise or when your horse suffers from thin manure. Adding electrolytes to the drinking water ensures that both fluid and electrolytes remain in a good balance. HorseFlex Electrolyte mix can also be added to the daily diet, but it also provides sufficient drinking water.
Register and stay informed of all promotions and news!