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help for the horse that can't stand summer heat?

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  • help for the horse that can't stand summer heat?

    Today was about 90 degrees as it will be for the next few months, I came into the barn and my poor guy was soaked in sweat from just standing, we had an amazing lesson and I rinsed him with a liniment in hopes of cooling him down a little but does anyone have any other ideas to help keep him cool?
    My Horse Show Photography/ Blog

  • #2
    A fan usually works pretty good.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      He has a fan, and he just sits in front of it all day, unfortunatly its not helping him enough (all the other horses are fine) I'm just trying to find out if there is something else I can do for him that is a little outside the box?
      My Horse Show Photography/ Blog

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      • #4
        I heard somewhere that adding witch hazel to a bucket of cold water when you cool them down can help?

        Comment


        • #5
          misting system?

          Comment


          • #6
            Two fans? Hahaha no I'm kidding, it may help though I'm sure you've thought of that. If you can, get him move to a stall where there is an air current, in front of doors and at windows. If he can stand it, maybe move to all day turn out? If the pasture has trees that are good for shade that will help and he'll have more open space. Bed with shavings rather than straw if you can because straw retains heat. Feed electrolytes and provide a salt lick and lots of water. Whenever you're in his stall dump some ice cubes in his water. Keep him body clipped if you can.
            Mendokuse

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            • #7
              Use actual livestock fans. Not the box fans all the horse people use, but like the giant barn fans the dairies use. They are actually safer (electrically) to use in barns than the box fans are when mounted properly, and give a far better air current than the box fans do.

              If you can, I would do a mister system. This will help a lot.

              Really make sure your horse is remaining hydrated and that you are either providing him with a salt lick or supplementing with a balanced electrolyte (I like Apple A Day by Finish Line) if he can't be trusted to lick the salt lick regularly, or if you want to really control his electrolyte/salt intake. Remember that there are always electrolyte pastes (Summer Games makes one that is buffered so it doesn't cause stomach upset) if he has a really tough day and you are very worried about his hydration levels.

              Ride as early as possible. I'm not joking, like if possible, ride before work. You'd be surprised at the difference getting them out at 4 or 5 am can make.

              I have found that the horses usually do adjust to heat. At our barn, many horses come from Germany and my horse came from San Francisco. The barn is located in the valley, where the air is still, somewhat humid due to agriculture (lots of rice fields and orchards, yay!) and it gets up to 100 regularly during the summer. It takes these horses a year to acclimate, but eventually it doesn't really bother them. We ride at crazy hours (4-11AM, then 8-10PM) provide plenty of water, supplement with electrolytes, and we will pull fly sheets on the hottest days.

              Refreshmint by Farnam? I believe, is cooling and seems to make my mare more comfortable after working when it is warm outside.

              If you must ride when it is hot out, hose the horse before you ride as well as after. It helps, and has gotten my horse and I through some ill-planned hacks at 95 degrees outside.

              Don't turn out during the day, switch to turning out overnight. This allows the horses to get out and enjoy the cool.

              Hopefully this will help, good luck!

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              • #8
                bluebuckets is right about the livestock fans. They are $$ but worth it.

                I think we should be using similar instead of AC in a lot of human places, as it would be better in terms of energy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Kat, what breed is he? Is there even the slightest chance that he could have EPSM? I'm asking because my Perch cross used to drip sweat in the summers - just standing still. He’d get so hot that I worried about heat exhaustion and working him was out of the question. He has never had an episode of tying up which is why I never thought to have him tested for EPSM. Since this is about your horse and not mine, the short version is that my guy is positive for EPSM and was put on the high fat diet about three months ago. We’re also going through a heat wave right now and Tucker has stayed dry and comfortable. No heaving sides, dripping sweat, or lethargic attitude! I haven’t had to bring him in from his paddock and stand him under his fan at all. Please don’t think that I’m saying your horse has a disease! It’s just something that I wish I had looked into years ago. I always assumed the symptoms were clear cut and it turns out that they often are not. Testing for the type one gene is very simple – hair analysis or blood test.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    He's an oldenburg, so I'll talk to my trainer about getting him checked out and overnight turnout, I was just redoing his supplements (he has some hoof problems) so I added apple a day to see if it helps him. I can't add any extra fans but there are two livestock fans at either end of the barn and he gets pretty much direct flow of one of them (he's the second horse from the door so its also well ventilated) Thanks so much for the help everyone!
                    My Horse Show Photography/ Blog

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kat. View Post
                      He's an oldenburg, so I'll talk to my trainer about getting him checked out and overnight turnout, I was just redoing his supplements (he has some hoof problems) so I added apple a day to see if it helps him. I can't add any extra fans but there are two livestock fans at either end of the barn and he gets pretty much direct flow of one of them (he's the second horse from the door so its also well ventilated) Thanks so much for the help everyone!
                      I added the supplement "One AC" to my horses feed to help with the heat. It increased his sweating which cooled him down and it helps with electrolytes that are lost in the heat.

                      In case you haven't already done it ... clip him. I had to do that a couple of weeks ago to help my guy cool down.

                      When he is out in the sun, don't stand around on the sand as the sun reflection will heat them up really quick, take lots of walk breaks, and, if possible, avoid the direct sunlight hours.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Everything bluebuckets said. It's hard. I also had an oldenburg who just never got fully acclimated with the heat in the South. The early rides (we tried to be done before 7AM during the peak of summer) helped immensely. We also gave him a salt block for a time until he started trying to throw it at things--like people.... but electrolytes helped too, especially at shows where we didn't get much say as to when we were in the ring.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am no EPSM expert but I believe that all of the warmbloods can potentially carry the gene. You could try contacting Dr. Beth Valentine and ask if the heat intolerance is a symptom. She is an expert on the condition and was very kind and supportive when I emailed her.

                          Besides the addition of high amounts of oil, one the the things that Dr. Valentine suggested was a vitamin E/Selenium supplement and, if your horse isn't already on something like that, it may be another thing to run by your vet.

                          The oil, vit e/sel., and a slight increase in exercise were the main changes I made for Tucker. We're on day four of a very hot/humid heat wave and he's still cool as a cucumber and even the crazy numbers of horse flies aren't bothering him much. A very big change from every other summer where he would have huge sweat rings around his eyes, heaving sides, and look like I'd taken a hose to him if it was 90 or above.

                          One last suggestion; I'm not sure if you're experiencing the high humidity that we're seeing right now, but be careful with wetting him if the water won't evaporate well. Just getting Tucker wet made him hotter and more miserable unless the air was dry. I used a healthy dose of alcohol (usually wintergreen but plain in a pinch), a splash of witch hazel, and a glug or two of vinegar in a bucket of cool water. That cut the sweat and evaporated pretty quickly - especially under the breeze of a fan and seemed to be the best way to help Tucker cool off.

                          Hope you find a solution that works best for you and your horse!
                          Last edited by MyKindaFlower; Jun. 2, 2013, 10:18 AM. Reason: brain fart

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