12 Potential Summer Hazards for Horses

How to Care for Your Horse This Season

Horses Running with Spirit in Open Field, Playing
Learn to care for your horse in hot weather. catnap72 / Getty Images

We often welcome summer as a time when we have more time to ride and work with our horses under sunny skies. But, sometimes the hot weather and all that it brings, including insects, humidity and hot sun can be challenging for both you and your horse. Here's how to care for your horse during the hot, humid days of summer.

  • 01 of 12

    Keeping Your Horse Cool in the Heat

    Horse getting cooled.
    Cool your horse down with a refreshing splash. Image: Al Bello/Getty Images

    Horses can cope with cool weather better than hot weather. Their internal heating system is much better at keeping them warm than cooling them down. Here's how to help your horse keep its body temperature cooler as the temperature soars. 

  • 02 of 12

    Protect Your Horse From Mosquitoes

    A mosquito, close up.
    Mosquitoes carry diseases dangerous to horses. Image Credit:Frank Greenaway /Getty Images

     One of the biggest problems during the warm weather months is the pesky bugs that bite and spread disease. Mosquitoes and other biting insects can harass your horse in its pasture or stall causing them to be stressed and lose weight. And they make riding a misery. Here's how to give your horse a bit of relief from biting and disease-carrying insects.

  • 03 of 12

    Why Horses Lose Weight in Summer

    Skinny White Pony
    Even when there seems to be a lot of pasture grass to eat, horses can lose weight during the summer months. Getty Images

     You'd think that horses would put on weight during the summer when the pasture is abundant. But, unfortunately, the opposite can happen. Heat and bugs can cause horses a lot of misery, and make them drop weight just when you think they should be putting it on. Here's how to help your hard keeper ​or any horse affected by insects and the stress of the hot weather.

  • 04 of 12

    Horses and Sunburn

    Horses grazing at pastue.
    Even horses can get sunburn. Image: Getty Images

     If you have a horse with white on its coat, its skin can become sunburned.  Even white noses or other white markings on your horse can become sunburned under the hair. This can be quite painful, just like sunburn on human skin. Imagine having to wear a saddle on top of painful sunburned skin. Some plants can even make horse's skin more susceptible to sunburn. Here's how to protect your horse's skin from the sun.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Transitioning from Cold to Hot Weather

    Horse with blanket in stable
    Horses may need help transitioning from cold to hot weather. Robert Rowe / EyeEm / Getty Images

     When the weather changes rapidly, your horse can end up wearing its warm winter wooly coat in hot weather. Learn how to help your horse make the transition from the cooler days of winter and early spring, to the hotter summer months.

  • 06 of 12

    Stable Ventalation

    Teen Girl Caring for Horse in a Stable
    Get your stable ready for summer. Image: Getty Images

    Sometimes the coolest spot on a hot day is in the barn. Good ventilation in your stable can help your horse stay cool while it's in its stall. In any season, healthy indoor air is very important for your horse's delicate lungs. Learn how to keep your horse's indoor air fresh.

  • 07 of 12

    Sweet Itch

    Brown horse scratching
    Horse scratching its haunches. Donald A Higgs / Getty Images

     Summertime is biting gnat time. These can cause sweet itch. Sweet Itch isn't so sweet. In fact, it can make your horse desperately uncomfortable. Learn what causes sweet itch, and how to help your horse.

  • 08 of 12

    Caring For Your Pastures in Summer

    Mare and foal in pasture.
    Mare and foal in pasture. Image: Getty Images

     While summer is the prime growing season, heat, drought and the constant pounding of hooves can easily turn your pastures into dust bowls. Here's how to maintain your pastures and keep the grass and soil as healthy as possible during the hottest months of the year.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Should You Use Electrolytes

    Veterinarian examining horse
    Electrolytes might help your horse in hot, humid weather. Caiaimage/Agnieszka Olek / Getty Images

     Electrolytes may help your horse when the temperature is extremely hot, or when your horse is sweating hard due to hard work. Not all horses need electrolytes and it's important to give the right kind when you do use them. Here's the whys and hows of electrolytes. 

  • 10 of 12

    Anhidrosis In Horses

    Horse bucking.
    Horses that are working hard and sweating may need electrolytes. Image: Tim Graham / Getty Images

     Anhidrosis is a serious condition. Also, called non-sweating disease, it can cause a serious health risk to your horse during the hot months of summer. Unfortunately, there's no sure cure, but it can be managed. Here's what it is and what you can do about it. 

  • 11 of 12

    Fly Spray Recipes

    horsefly, tabanus bovinus, female, blood-sucking
    Protect your horse from biting pests. Bob Gibbons / Getty Images

     Everyone seems to have their favorite homemade fly spray recipe. Some work well, and some don't seem to work at all. This selection of fly spray recipes is from readers who have shared their most effective concoctions for beating biting bugs. 

  • 12 of 12

    The Importance of Water

    Horse drinking from a water trough
    Horses need fresh water in hot weather. vaderbreath / Getty Images

     Water is always important. During the summer, when horses are sweating just standing in the shade, they need to hydrate with clean, fresh water. Here's how to provide fresh water to your horse in the summer, or at any time during the year.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.