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Horses make wonderful companion animals, but they require a lot of attention. That means adequate shelter, plenty of space to move around, daily feeding, watering, and exercise, routine grooming, and regular medical attention. With summer on its way, many riders are looking forward to spending time in the field, out on the trails, or in the arena with their animals, but even experienced riders sometimes become overwhelmed with the amount of care that horses require. Read on to find some tips for taking care of horses during the summer months that will improve the animals’ health and riders’ relationships with their horses.
Pay Attention to Signs of Stress
Just like people, horses experience stress. This can happen after spending too much time in the arena or during long periods of rest following an injury. Horses can even get stressed out when their riders are experiencing extreme emotional discomfort, which is likely to happen more often than ever during these trying times. The best way to reduce stress and improve horses’ health is to purchase and administer CBD for horses. Just like people, horses respond well to this natural substance.
In some cases, the cause of the stress can be physical discomfort, coming from their accessories to the environment they spend their day. For example, wrong horse saddle pads can cause major stress and discomfort to your horse. An ill-fitting horse saddle pad can put a lot of strain on the horse’s back, shoulders, and withers, potentially leading to a breakdown in performance. To make sure that saddle pads are the correct size for your horse, you should measure its length from the point of shoulder to point of the hip as well as the width of the withers area before purchasing or ordering any custom-fit horse saddle pads. Or you can start using dressage saddle pads for horses, which have extra cushioning and the moisture-wicking fabric is used to keep your horse comfortable.
Perform Seasonal Maintenance on the Enclosure Now
Horses need protection from the hot sun in the summer. That can mean a stall, trees, or even a shade cover depending on the local climate. Horse owners should check their summer paddocks now to ensure that the fences are in good repair, the pasture is free of poisonous plants, and there is plenty of shade available for the animals.
Adjust Feeding for the Season
Horses that are pastured in the summer will have constant access to fresh, green grass. That doesn’t mean horse owners don’t have to supplement their diets using high-quality feed and hay, but it does mean that the animals will need less hay than they do in the winter. Make sure to avoid hay with excessively high concentrations of proteins in the summer, especially if the horse isn’t getting out as often as its owner would like. Excessive protein without enough exercise can lead to hoof problems.
Don’t Neglect Grooming
Routine grooming is an essential aspect of horse ownership. It should be a part of every horse owner’s daily routine. Daily grooming strengthens the bond between the horse and its rider, gives owners the chance to check on the animal’s health, and acts as a form of preventative medicine by increasing blood flow to the skin and keeping the hoofs clean. Since most horse owners ride more often in the summer, grooming also helps to reduce the effects of constant exposure to dusty trails.
Lighten Work Loads on Hot Days
Have a working horse? Don’t assume that just because the animal has been diligently doing its duty every afternoon throughout the spring that the horse will be fine doing the same amount of work on a 90 degree summer day. Horses can overheat, just like people, so it’s better to either lighten the workload or split it up into several sessions to avoid health complications. This goes for riding as well as work.
The Bottom Line
Horse owners across the country are looking forward to hitting the trails, but they shouldn’t let their excitement about riding get in the way of their responsibilities. Horses require a lot of care, so start making adjustments to daily schedules now to accommodate their summer needs.