During the summertime, horses are just as prone to dehydration as we are. Aside from the hot-weather hazards, preparing your horse for summer includes a number of tasks that range from healthcare to making them show ready. There are almost too many to list, but the following are a few that you should get started on right after you finish reading!


Overall Well-being

Even in the UK’s colder summers, you’re guaranteed to have at least one day that’s scorching during the afternoon, and very humid at night. To help it meet the higher energy expenditure, raise its feeding accordingly. The inactivity of the last few months means your horse may carry more weight than before, and if your horse is out of shape at all it’ll find it harder to battle the heat.

Your horse will struggle with the summer sun if their overall health is weakening. Sickness, injury and internal parasites will make them more vulnerable to heat exhaustion or stress, and they’ll end up using a lot of energy trying to get away from biting insects. Check with your veterinarian on whether it’s time to begin the next rotation of deworming, as well as seeing to their vaccination and dental needs.


Summer Horse Grooming

Preparing your horse for the summer is as much about showmanship as it is about well-being. Before the season starts, now is a good time to clip everything (including ears, muzzles and bridle paths), to shorten the mane and banging the tail. Get a curry comb, and begin getting the dust out of the coat, and using it to distribute your horse’s natural oils, and using high quality finishing brushes to achieve the shiniest coat possible.

Preventing Heatstroke and Summer Sores

Horses are just as vulnerable to the sun’s rays as we are, but they have their own individual concerns too. It is of course vital that you provide plenty of shade, water and electrolyte supplements (in case their salt levels drop due to excessive sweating), but it is equally important to watch out for signs of heatstroke, such as elevated heart and respiratory rates, lethargy in their behaviour or an increased temperature.



Summer sores are also worth watching out for. This is a condition which has become increasingly rare in recent times, but still gives many horse owners cause for concern. It’s caused by a wrong turn in the life cycle of certain stomach worms - the larvae hatch from eggs in the horse’s manure, and use maggots to get into wounds or moist membranes around the eyes, the sheath or the vulva. The result is a is a raw, swollen lesion, which oozes a blood-tinged fluid. The best way to prevent summer sores (also known technically as habronemiasis) is effective pest control, regular paddock cleaning and a selective deworming program.

Following these general guidelines will give your horse the best possible start to the summer months.

Post By Rebecca Clark