Summer in the middle east is completely different than that of the rest of the world. It is not only hot, but humidity levels are insanely high, making it difficult to continue regular riding sessions.
I have a few tips below to help get though the summer, along with some signs you should watch out for with regards to heatstroke:
1. Water 24/7: Access to clean cool water for your horse is so important in order to avoid dehydration.
2. Fan/AC: Keep the air moving round by placing a fan or having your stable Air Conditioned to avoid overheating.
3. Choose cooler turn out/ riding times: Make sure you check the weather forecast on a daily basis to insure temperature and humidity levels.
4. Electrolytes: You can use a lick, powder or liquid salt form. If your horse is sweating too much, you can place some electrolytes in their water. (importance of salt in your horses diet).
5. Clipping: Even though the coat tends to adjust to the seasons, it would be cooler to clip your horse short (clipping machine review).
6. Sunscreen: For those who have horses with pink skin, make sure you apply sun screen lotion or spray on those areas in order to avoid a sunburn.
7. Less work: Your horse won’t be able to continue regular exercise in the heat so make sure you lower your workload and extend the after riding cool down time.
8. Reduce feed: Due to less exercise, it is best to reduce your horses feed to avoid weight gaining and overheating.
Tofino is sponsored by Reverdy feed from Cavalos UAE ❤
9. Hose down: Run water over the horse’s chest, the jugular grooves of his neck, and the lower legs. These areas have many superficial blood vessels that can be rapidly cooled by the water and will carry the cooled blood to the interior of the horse.
10. Go for a swim: Take your horse to the beach or lake, but again, make sure you check the weather forecast to insure humidity levels and wind.
Some horses take a while to adjust to the summer heat and therefore, it is crucial to know your horse and the signs of heatstroke.
When your horse can’t handle exposure to heat, their body starts to sweat, their breathing becomes heavy, and their pulse increases. This can happen at while riding, turn out, stall rest, or even in a trailer too.
SYMPTOMS OF HEATSTROKE:
- An elevated heart rate that does not return to normal in a reasonable period of time;
- Excessive sweating or lack of sweating;
- Temperature that persists above 39°C / 103°F;
- Depression and/or lethargy; and
- Signs of dehydration: dry mucous membranes, poor capillary refill, and poor skin turgor.
Knowing the horses vital signs range: Adult Horse (resting values):
- Temperature: 37.2-38.3°C (99-101°F)
- Pulse: 28-42 beats per minute
- Respiration (breathing rate): 8-16 breaths per minute
- Mucous membranes (gums): Moist, healthy pink colour
Hope this helps 😀