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Helping Your Horse Cope with Hot Weather

May 20th, 2018

Helping Your Horse Cope with Hot Weather

As temperatures steadily increase we are all enjoying a lovely period of sunshine here in the UK but how do you best manage your horse in warmer temperatures when riding and fufil their needs and requirements? World Wide Tack take a look in their latest blog. 

We all love the sunshine, including our horses however when exercising them in hot temperatures it is important we fully understand how to effectively cool them down post exercise and what temperature is normal. The horse’s normal rectal temperature at rest is around 37-38°C(98.6-100.4°F) but when the body works during exercise, the muscles produce heat. Though a normal process in itself, if the horse overheats through exercise it can be highly detrimental to their health. High body temperatures (above 41°C) result in high sweat rates and large sweat losses means a loss of both water and electrolytes. This can lead to dehydration, a reduction in performance, or more serious consequences.

Respiration. The horse will act to cool themselves down through breathing. Around 15% of heat loss can occur through breathing. After competing or a tough training session monitor your horse’s breathing and assess his respiration rate. It should be higher immediately after exercise but reduce over a period of a few minutes. If you are jumping, cantering and working hard in hot temperatures or walk your horse off gently to allow their breathing rate to return to normal.


Heat is lost when sweat evaporates from the horse but this mechanism actually doesn’t do much to keep the horse cool and can be in some instances simply wasted fluid loss. Walking your horse after applying water as the walking promotes skin blood flow and the movement of air aids evaporation. If possible, carry out the cooling and walking in the shade.

Convection. When heat is produced by the horse’s muscles it is carried to the surface of the horse’s skin by the bloodstream. If the surrounding air is cooler than the horse, as the horse moves through the air some heat will be lost by the process of convection. If it is a breezy or even windy day this will help our horses cool down post exercise, if it is not and the air is still or the weather is particularly humid our equines will need more help from us to reduce their temperatures such as applying cold water.

Cold Water Cooling

If you horse is hot after exercise cool them with cold water. If your horse is very hot post exercise this should be done as quickly as possible. Liberally apply cold water to all parts of the body but particularly target the hindquarters. This is because this is where most of the large muscles used for movement are located and because of this it can help to reduce the core body temperature most effectively.


So be mindful of your horse during hot temperatures and always cool him down effectively after he has been exercised hard. World Wide Tack has a huge range of stable and field equipment alongside tack and bits. Why not visit our website today to see the wide range of products available?



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