The summer heat can be brutal in the Grand Strand area! Here are some tips to keep your horse cool!
ANY shelter is better than no shelter! Anything from top of the line barns and run-ins to even a tarp strung between trees will help keep your horse out of the sun. If possible, build a structure with good airflow, as many times stagnant air, even in the shade, is really not much better than being outside in the sun! Scroll through the pictures to the left for shelter options in all price ranges!
Water and Electrolytes
Providing your horse with plenty of clean water is a no-brainer, but there is more you can do to keep your horse well hydrated. Scroll through the pictures for some ideas to get them to drink!
Also remember that a lot of electrolytes are lost in sweat, so if you are just providing your horse with water, they still may be lacking in electrolytes. There are many options out there to help - electrolytes are available in powder and paste forms, as well as in salt and mineral blocks. In a crunch, Gatorade and Pedialyte also work! You can add electrolytes to their food or water to make sure they are getting them. If you place them in water, be sure to offer plain water as well, as not all horses will drink electrolyte water.
*HYPP positive horses may have issues with electrolyte supplements, so please contact us before administering any to these horses!
Keeping them cool
Cold hosing can be a life saver for some horses, but there are some techniques you can use to increase its effectiveness - click on the pictures for tips! Hose them off as frequently as you can, and do it for at least 10-15 minutes each time.
If you have a fire-safe structure with electricity on your property, we highly recommend setting up fans.
*Don't hesitate to take a rectal temperature on your horse! A normal temperature for a horse is 98-102°F. To make life easier, buy an inexpensive digital thermometer. Quick-reads with flexible tips will make it even easier on you - just make sure to clean it when done!
Monitoring for dehydration
There are several areas on your horse you can check to see if they are dehydrated.
- Gums: They should be pink and moist just like ours.
- Skin tent: On the neck, lift up a small piece. Just like ours, it should immediately snap back in place. They more sluggish it is, the more dehydrated they are. Keep in mind that they will be at least 5% dehydrated before there is a noticeable change in the skin tent.
- Eyes: If very dehydrated, sometimes the eyes will look sunken in.
- Attitude: If severe enough, they most likely will be lethargic, not interested in food or water, and not moving around much.
*Dehydration can be fatal very quickly!! If you suspect that your horse is having issues, call us right away!