Remember our horses and ponies are not acclimatised to this heat. A few little reminders to keep your horses happy:
• Even the best travellers use up energy and can lose body fluids during transport; allow adequate time on arrival at event/show for your horses to drink, have something to snack on and even have a cool wash and scrape off.
• After exercise get into the shade, cold wash-scrape off-cold wash-scrape off repeat!
• Horses that do not drink well at competitions can be offered water with a little apple juice, mint cordial or the water from soaked sugar beet to encourage re-hydration before travelling home.
• If possible avoid riding midday, morning is coolest.
• Where no shelter is available, allow horses into their stable through 11am-4pm in the hottest part of the day.
• Wet hay can be offered to increase water intake.
• If there has been excessive sweating (eg. white lather) a little electrolytes or salt/salt lick should be available. Horses lose more electrolytes through sweat than us humans.
• Older horses have less body water volume than youngsters, so exert additional caution with them in the heat.
• Clip feathers or any wooly/fluffy coats, you would not want to keep your long sleeve top on in the sun!
• And finally, after all this rain and sun beware of grass sugars and an increased risk of laminitis, especially in previously affected horses and ponies (grazing muzzles in action or time off the grass in the stable).
Enjoy the sun!