As the year goes by and the seasons change, so too does your horse’s daily routine. Adapting your management methods to suit the changing conditions is all part-and-parcel of horse ownership – and it’s no different during the summer.
Although the most pleasant time of year to look after a horse, summer equine management isn’t without its sticking points. However, becoming familiar with the season’s potential pitfalls and knowing their signs and symptoms will help you keep your horse in tip-top condition while the sun shines on.
Fly on by
Encountering swarms of flies is one of those problems that’s virtually guaranteed in summer. Tenaciously pesky, they’re bound to get on not just your horse’s nerves, but yours, too.
Not so sweet
Caused by an allergic reaction to the saliva of the Culicoidesmidge, sweet itch is a common skin condition that causes great discomfort. It’s often thought of as a summer issue and, while it’s more prevalent over the summer months, horses can be affected by sweet itch from March to November.
Did you know? A sweet itch vaccine has been trialled in Switzerland, which, if proven successful, could be available in the coming years.
Water good idea
Warmer weather will cause your horse to sweat more – not just through exercise. If he can’t replenish his water and mineral levels, this will lead to dehydration.
Summer is the ideal time to get out and about with your horse, but ground that’s been baked hard can lead to discomfort.
Feel the heat
We’re constantly being reminded to protect ourselves from the sun, but your horse is also susceptible to sunburn – particularly if he has pink skin around his eyes or muzzle.
Create a plan of action for your horse this summer to make sure he’s summer-ready in August Horse&Rider, on sale 27 June.