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  • Writer's pictureDerry Vilcans-Moody

Horses in the heat wave ..

Having made the decision to cancel all coaching sessions on the 17/18/19th July 2022, doe to the excessive heat it feels sensible to talk about how we can keep organised and cool for at this time.

Remember to keep hydrated- ensure your horses have access to clean fresh water - if offering water with electrolytes in, ensure you have a bucket of plain water available also. You could also try adding some apple juice or chopped apples to your water buckets to make the water more appealing; but again make sure there is a plain option available also.

Cooling - @Dr David Marlin scientist is the expert on cooling horses, but cold hosing, sloshing liberally over the entire horses body (where they will let you) and allowing to

drip dry is the most effective way to cool the horse - do not use a sweat scraper, your horse will not ‘boil the water’ and the water will not ‘trap the heat’ it’s physically impossible. I will cold hose in the morning return at lunchtime to repeat and then again in the evening.

Ensure your horse has access to shade - this could be in the field from of

shelter or trees, or it may be more appropriate to stable if it’s cooler in there- but be aware some stables can get extremely hot. Temporary structures may be needed . Shade is essential.

Avoid exercising and working your horses. Heat exhaustion is a real possibility for them (and you) in most cases a couple of days off is an ideal solution - but if you must exercise your horse do this very early or very late, it may be a more appropriate temperature.

Older, overweight and unfit horses are more at risk of heat related issues.

Use high factor sun protection on pink areas (noses etc) factor 50 is ideal.

Fly protection - we all see

how frustrated our horse get at the best of times with fly's, the heat will make this worse as they fidget and get stressed by the attack, protect them. Personally I use Power Phazer as i think this is the most effective and long lasting for my horses. but there are lot of options.

If your wanting to get more fluids in to your horse using your usual feed as appropriate to make a wet mash will help - DO NOT add a new mash or feed to your horse's diet for this purpose changes to your horse's diet should be made gradually- soaking hay will also be helpful but DO NOT leave hay soaking for hours in the sun as it will ferment and the bacteria will build this poses different risk to your horse.

Make some ‘horse ice’ to add to water buckets ( I’ve frozen some carrots and apples in small tubs with water)

Look after yourself also - complete strenuous tasks early morning or late evening, for example poo picking fields and mucking out, keep hydrated.

Unless essential do not transport your horse - the heat on lorries and trailers can be significantly above that outside.

Look after yourselves and your horses NJoy.Derry

To book a treatment for your horse or a coaching session with me, contact me on 07971599909 or

I look forward to working with you and your horse, supporting the horse and rider as one.

Enjoy your horses..


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