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Caring for Horses in the Heatwave

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

The summer and especially the current heatwave we are in can cause some serious health issues in horses. It's important that as responsible horse owners, we do what we can to keep them safe and healthy in the hot weather!

A horse suffering from heat stress can develop:

  • colic symptoms

  • collapse or diarrhoea

  • excessive sweating

  • loss of appetite

  • increased breathing rate, high temperature

  • Shivering

Overweight, unwell or very young horses are more vulnerable so need to have a closer eye over them.

What to do if you suspect your horse is suffering from the heat:

  • Move them out of direct sunlight as soon as possible

  • Hose them down with lots of cold water all over their body

  • Offer them water to drink

  • Use fans for them to stand under and enjoy the breeze

Prevention is better than cure!

There are things you can do to help your horse (and other equines!)


  • Exercising during the day

  • Excessive rugging

  • Transporting

  • Grazing with no shade


  • Exercise at dusk and dawn, or don't exercise at all

  • Provide shade

  • Stable during the day and turn out at night, if you can! If you are bringing them in, make sure their is good ventilation

  • Encourage water drinking by adding apple juice or molasses to their water, always provide plain water too

  • Clip off thick coats

  • Hose them down with cold water

  • Provide electrolyte supplements in their food

  • Put some horse safe sun cream on their pink noses or white areas - we stock some horse sun cream so call us to order some if you need it.


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