The heat of the summer is quickly approaching (or already on top of you, depending on where you live!). This leaves pet owners frantic to ensure their pets remain healthy all summer long, and horses are not an exception.
Horse owners know they require special treatment during summer months, just like a dog or a cat.
If you are not sure you are covering all of your basis, take these tips into consideration when you are planning your horse’s safety for this summer.
The Summer Hair Cut – What You Should Clip and What You Should Leave
It is very important for horse’s owners to think carefully about when to cut their pet’s hair. It is not recommended for you to cut your horse’s mane or tail before summer begins.
Tails are important because they help your pet swat away flies. The mane provides a screen to protect their neck from fly bites.
If your horse does still have their thick hair left over from winter, you can clip certain areas of the skin to expose some skin in order to keep your animal cool.
Along your horse’s side, along their flank, and in the area where the front legs meet against the body, you can use electric clippers to trim hair. It will allow the heat to escape, which is important because this is where a lot of heat builds up.
Everyone who owns a horse knows how frustrating flies can be in the summer months. The way to control flies vary from person to person, but there are some popular options that range from chemical means, to natural repellents.
- If you are worried about flies biting the legs of your horse, you can purchase special socks. Since the legs are one of fly’s favorite places on a horse to bite. These socks allow your horse to be more comfortable, which drastically calms their stamping habit.
- Setting up fly traps away from the areas your horse hangs out will help deter them from biting your horse. Use a plastic milk jug, place some bait inside.
- Use fly repellents around barnyards to keep them from swarming to manure piles.
- Use a horse friendly repellent spray directly on your horse, reapply it often.
- Use a fly mask around your horse’s eyes and cover the top of the head. This will keep irritating flies out of their fate. Make sure to choose a mask that your horse can see through.
- One of the best ways to repel flies is to keep your horse’s living area as clean as possible. Whisk away manure piles frequently throughout the day.
Bathing Your Horse
In the summer time, it is important to hose your horse down after a long ride. It helps them cool down and become comfortable again. If you have noticed that your horse is attracting a large number of flies, you may want to consider shampooing them after your daily ride.
Importance of Sun Screen and Shade
If your horse stays outside a lot, make sure you provide them access to shade that has plenty of fly repellent. You must take into consideration that your horse could get sunburned, especially around their nose. Because of this, you should take the time to apply sunscreen to your horse’s nose to prevent sunburn and increase their comfort.