Summer HorseKeeping Tips

Summer tips and product suggestions for horse owners.

The average horse person longs for the arrival of spring. With it comes new grass for our pastures, balmy days to ride, an end to breaking ice in water buckets, and packing away the horse blankets for another year. However, our brief respite ends as summer looms. The onset of hot weather brings a new set of challenges to the horse owner. Getting everything done without suffering heatstroke can seem like a daily challenge. Whether you are schooling, showing, trail riding, or just horse-keeping during the summer, here are a few tips and product suggestions to help you survive until fall.

Keeping cool while riding and working around horses can sometimes be a compromise. However, Equine Couture has a great line of cool summer clothes that are horsey, cute, and affordable. Horseloverz.com has a great selection including this fashion tee with jumping horse logo. Wear this to the barn, between classes at a show, or to the grocery store to advertise your passion. For your equine friend, how about a new summer saddle pad? Cheap saddle pads prices mean you can buy more, so you have to do less laundry! During the summer, I wash all soiled pads and baby pads every week to prevent skin irritation.

Summer is high season for flies. Stay on patrol with a good fly spray. Sprays are available in a wide range of styles and prices. I find that economical sprays work just as well as the expensive ones. Fly masks keep bugs and debris out of the eyes and ears. The Cashel Crusader Fly Mask with Ears is a popular choice for equestrians. For all over fly protection, the Kool Coat Airstream Combo horse flysheet will protect your horse's body from those irritating bites. It also offers UV protection to prevent sun fading.This spray is SPF 8, so it helps prevent fading while keeping the coat shiny.

Stay hydrated! It sounds simple, but most Americans so not drink enough water. Keep water on hand for yourself and make sure your horse has ample access to fresh water. Check your horse for dehydration by doing a pinch test on the side of his neck. If the skin stays tented after pinching, your horse is dehydrated.

Lastly, wear sunscreen and a hat when you are working outdoors. Besides the damage sunburn causes your skin, it is uncomfortable to clean stalls with a sunburn. You might also consider applying sunscreen to the faces of horses with blazes, snips and white lips to prevent their skins burning as well.