As we start to feel the heat of summer, it’s important to up our horsemanship skills to make sure our equine partners are feeling their best!
1) Avoid riding in the heat of the day (2pm to 5pm) when possible, especially if the weather has changed drastically.
2) Make sure your horse has been properly cooled down before putting him/her away. His/her breathing should return to normal and nostrils should not be flaring.
3) Sweaty horses should be hosed off to remove salt build up and to cool them down. If you see white foam, keep hosing.
4) TACK MUST BE KEPT CLEAN! Dirty tack and create sores at the girth and head and makes your saddle stiff (yes you must clean UNDER your saddle). Dirty bits cause mouth sores. Make sure you get all the white grime off your leather every day. Keep saddle pads clean to avoid rubbing under the saddle.
5) Horses that are sweating a lot should have electrolytes added to their daily grain. A salt lick should be available to them at all times as well.
6) Watch for rain rot associated with areas that accumulate sweat and water. Rain rot or scratches most likely occur in the following places: front and back of back legs, on top of the hock, saddle area, rump, under the belly towards the hind legs, on the tips of the ears, on the face below the browband, on the cheekbones, and under the jaw. Fungus looks like patches of dirt but when rubbed, the hair will fall out in clumps. In addition to being uncomfortable for the horse, it can lead to infection and possibly lameness in certain areas.
For those who lease through the lesson program - the camp children will not take proper care of your horse so please make sure that you are paying attention to their health and wellness.
For those who lease or own privately, please do not make me come up with consequences for failing to care for your horse properly! Our friends work very hard for us and the least we can do is show them we care by keeping them healthy over the summer.