The hot summer weather in Columbus, Texas, does more than just make humans sweat. It can also make your horse uncomfortable. If he gets too hot, that can even put his health at risk. The following tips will help your horse stay healthy and cool in the dog days.
Always Do a Cool Down Walk
No matter the time of year, you should always give your horse a chance to cool down after vigorous exercise. This is as simple as taking your horse for a quiet stroll for 10 minutes or until he’s done blowing hard. You can stop with whichever of those happens first. There are a few extra steps in hot weather, which we’ll get to later.
Don’t forget to loosen the noseband and girth as well. These steps will make it easier for the horse to relax. Once your horse regains normal breathing, take him inside and put a breathable rug or blanket on his hindquarters in cooler months. Alternatively, you can just leave the saddle pad in place. Leave it there while you untack.
Extra Considerations for the Cool Down
After a strenuous exercise in hot weather, start by taking all the tack and equipment off your horse. This will allow for evaporation and airflow.
Give the horse a quick wash down using cold water. Be sure to scrape the water off instead of leaving it there to evaporate. At this point, you can take the horse on the cool-down walk.
Your horse may not stop blowing just from this process. If that’s the case, repeat it. Start with washing him with cold water. Then, scrape it off. Then, walk him again.
Remember to Watch Your Horse
Don’t forget to watch your horse after you cool him off. You want to make sure that he doesn’t start sweating again. This is more likely to happen if his respiration rate is still high.
Be on the lookout for this. If it happens, repeat the cool-down process. That means rinsing, scraping off excess, and walking.
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Let Him Drink His Fill
After tough exercise, especially in the summer, let your horse drink as much as he wants. The best method of doing so is to give him a small amount of water, then wait a little and repeat.
Remember not to give him anything too heavy to eat for at least two hours after vigorous exercise. Nibbling on grass is fine because it is mostly water.
You always want to make sure your horse cools down properly after strenuous exercise. This is especially important in the hot summer weather. Consider adding a few cooling methods to help your equine beat the heat.