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!
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 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.