Tips

Wrangler Run In Horse Shelters

Preparing Your Horse for Warm Weather

The temperatures are rising, the sun’s out, and we don’t have to worry about the snow anymore. Spring and summer are on their way! Without proper preparation, warmer weather can lead to dehydration, lethargy, and added stress for your horse. As the weather continues to get nicer, here are some tips and reminders for getting your horse re-acclimated to the warmer temperatures. 

  1. Take it Slow – Your horse just spent several months taking it easy as we waited out the cold winter. The worst thing you can do is jump right back into the saddle (literally) and expect to train as usual. Slowly incorporate more riding time throughout the next few weeks. The heat can be especially fatiguing even without physical activity involved. It is important to monitor your horse to ensure they acclimate to the physical activity and the heat well before increasing riding time. 
  1. Prepare for Bugs – Everyone likes being outside when the weather is nice, including bugs. Besides being annoying, insects can carry diseases and irritate your horses. Make sure to treat outdoor horse shelters and portable shade structures for insects to keep them away. 
  1. Provide Shade – If your horses are outside most of the day, provide some form of shade for them to escape the hot sun. Run-in shelters and portable shade structures are great ways to offer shade for your horses away from the barn. Run-in shelters are also great at keeping your horses dry during spring showers and summer rain.    
  1. Electrolytes and Cold Water – Make sure you are changing their water frequently as it can warm easily in the sun. Not only do horses not like warm water, but it can also pose health concerns if left for too long. Make sure you provide them with cool drinking water that is easily accessible. Drinking water isn’t enough to maintain healthy horses when the temperatures are hot. Make sure to provide a source of electrolytes, too, like a salt block for added minerals.   

Even if you follow all these tips, make sure to closely monitor your horses in hot weather as heat stroke can sneak up on them. If you are concerned that your horse could be suffering from heat-related issues, bring your horse into a cooler environment and contact your vet. 

Horse standing under a run in shelter in the winter

Protecting Your Horse from the Elements 

Whether it is the dead of winter or peak summer, protecting your horse from harsh weather is important for their overall health and well-being. Here are some preventative measures you can take to keep your horse healthy when the weather isn’t great, along with things to look out for during the winter and summer months:

  • Horse Shelter Kits: Give your horse protection from the elements with a horse shelter kit. In the summer, it provides much-needed shade from the hot sun, and in the winter, it protects them from hail, snow, and rain. Whether you choose a portable shade or a run-in shelter, you can ensure that your horse is protected from unruly weather. 

  • Horse Hoods, Turnout Blankets, and Coats: When the temperatures drop and it starts to snow, consider putting on extra layers for your horse. Although they have a natural coat that thickens in the month leading up to winter, they may still need extra layers to stay warm and dry. 

  • Sun Cream for Horses: Horses with lighter pink or white skin on their nose and face are more prone to sun damage in the summertime. Along with a shade structure, like a horse shelter kit, sun cream can help protect your horse’s skin from sunburn. 

  • Fly Protectants in the Warmer Months: When the weather gets warmer and the sun comes out, so do the flies. Although flies might seem like a mere annoyance, they can transmit disease to your horse, cause welts and skin irritation, and even cause damage to your horse’s hooves from aggressive stomping. Using a mix of fly repellent, like citronella, and leg bands can help keep flies away from your horses. 

  • Keep Your Horse Hydrated: Dehydration is a big problem in the summer, but did you know that the winter can be just as dangerous to keep your horse hydrated? Horses get a lot of their hydration from grazing on moist pastures in the fall and spring, but that moisture is gone in the summer and winter.
    • Summer- Just like humans, horses sweat when they overheat which, on its own, can lead to dehydration. But water can grow algae when it is hot outside, making it taste different, which means your horse may not drink it. To avoid this, make sure you are cleaning their trough regularly and checking it for debris. Also, make sure that the water is cool to encourage your horse to drink from it. 
    • Winter- Keeping your horse hydrated in the winter poses its own challenges. Water troughs are prone to freezing and horses don’t enjoy ice-cold water, especially when it is already cold outside. Make sure automatic pumps aren’t frozen so water can circulate. Adding a few apples can also help keep water from freezing thanks to the bobbing motion. Adding salt or electrolytes to their food can also encourage them to drink more water, but consult your veterinarian before doing so regularly. 

Knowing how to spot signs of distress, dehydration, or discomfort when the weather changes is vital for maintaining your horse’s health. Having the right tools at your disposal helps you avoid the consequences of bad weather and sets you up for success come summer or winter. Along with the tips above, adding a horse shelter kit is a great way to protect your horse from bad weather. 

horses in the hot sun

6 Ways to Keep Your Horse Cool This Summer

Those hot summer days are approaching and it’s important you know how to properly care for your horse when temperatures near triple digits. Neglecting to do some of these tips could not only be extremely uncomfortable for your horse but also cause some serious health concerns.

Here are some of the best tips for keeping your horse cool and comfortable during those hot summer months:

1. Quality Horse Shelter Kits

On those brutal summer days, any kind of shade is a relief for your horse. Besides drinking water, shelter is the most important aspect of caring for your horse in the summer. Trees with large foliage can be great for a quick rest but if the heat is too much, quality horse shelter kits are great for keeping horses cool, comfortable, and out of the heat.

Make sure you’re taking the sun’s positioning into account so that your horse can always have protection from the sun. To maximize comfort inside these horse shelter kits, place fans, light sheets, and a cool water source.

2. Never Overdo it in the Heat

According to the University of Guelph, horses can get heat stress 10 times faster than humans during a workout.

If you’re going out riding, especially during the middle of the day, be sure to keep the session short. You should never push your horse beyond his or her fitness level, but it’s imperative to be extra cautious during extremely hot days.

3. Keep Them Hydrated and Well-Fed

It’s crucial your horse remains strong throughout those hot summer days. Keeping your horse hydrated and well-fed will ensure they’re getting enough nutrients and will be able to better manage excessive temperatures.

Provide cool water and make sure your horse is drinking it. If they’re refusing, try placing a block of salt nearby (horses love it) – that should encourage them to rehydrate afterward. Also, make sure you’re using quality square or round bale feeders. Certain horse hay feeders are great for helping your horse eat freely, preventing overeating and other issues.

4. Frequent Baths, Mist, and Fans

Though providing frequent drinking water breaks during the summer is crucial, keeping your horse cool with baths, mist, and fans is just as important. After your (brief) ride, consider spraying your horse with a cool hose to help.

When misting or bathing your horse, it’s recommended to start with the chest and neck areas to cool the veins near the heart, which can help cool off the rest of the body quicker.  

5. Trim Any Excess Hair

Although clipping horses is most common in the winter because of the extra layers of coat, keeping them well-groomed in the summer is a great way to help them stay cool. Removing sections of your horse’s coat can reduce sweating during exercise and keep them comfortable throughout the day. Make sure you’re using quality clippers, too. Use clippers that can remove hair underneath the tact, which prevents irritation and constant rubbing.

6. Pay Attention to Signs of Heatstroke

Overall, make sure you’re paying attention to your horse’s mood, appearance, and movements as much as you can when it’s extremely hot. Give your vet a call right away if you notice any of the following signs of heatstroke:

  • Elevated heart rate
  • Temperatures above 103 degrees
  • Exhaustion or lethargy
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dehydration

Make sure you’re prepared for the heat. Contact us today if you want to find some great horse shelter kits, round bale feeders, and more!

Keeping Your Horse’s Coat Healthy and Shining: 3 Tips

Your horse’s coat is extremely important to overall health. Shedding and dryness could mean something is wrong, and not enough cover or nutrients could lead to all sorts of health concerns. Follow these few tips to give your horse a shiny and healthy coat:

Run in Horse Shelters

Run in horse shelters are great for providing shade and cover for your horse’s coat. Since too much sun exposure can be damaging to your horse’s coat, it’s important to offer protection during those hot, sunny days. A run in shelter will allow your horse to find cover when they’re too hot or feeling dried out.

Focus on a Healthy Diet 

Make sure you have quality horse hay feeders to keep your horse well-fed. The majority of your horse’s calories must come from hay. Similarly, it’s recommended that your horse eats 1-2% of their body weight in roughage daily. Do a little research and purchase some quality round bale feeders and square bale feeders. Our Hay Saver Horse Hay Feeders ensure that hay stays in the feeder so there is less waste.

Pay Attention to the Signs

Make sure you’re consistently grooming your horse and paying attention to their coat. If you notice strange discoloring, dryness, or brittle coats, that could be an indication that your horse is not feeling too great. Also, a lack of shedding could be cause for concern.

As long as you’re monitoring your horse’s coat as much as possible, sticking to proper nutrition, and giving them enough shelter, your horse should be healthy and able to show off a nice, shiny, and glossy coat!