Hot Weather Horse Keeping Hacks

6 min read
Hot Weather Horse Keeping Hacks

Hot Weather Horse Keeping Hacks

Hot Weather Horse Keeping Hacks

Haygain #SteamTeamers share their strategies for keeping horses healthy and happy in the sizzling season.

Hot weather can happen in just about any season these days. The June 21 official arrival of summer makes hot weather horse management an especially timely topic.


We turned to our Haygain #SteamTeamers for Hot Weather Horse Keeping hacks. Everybody helps their horses stay cool, hydrated, happy and as bug free as possible through the summer – they each just do it a little differently.


So, here goes…


































































Post Work-Out

Courtney Carson – International Grooms Assn.


“When it’s really hot, the best thing you can do is get off your horse, get their tack off, and begin cooling immediately.


Continuously apply cold water or water with ice in it. After you’ve begun bringing down your horse’s body temperature, then you can add in walking to help bring down their respiratory rate.



























If your horse struggles to sweat or cool out quickly, rubbing alcohol can also be added to the water used to cool them off. Alcohol evaporates at a faster rate than water, which will help to pull the water off of the hot horse.


A horse will remain warm to the touch even after they’ve begun to cool out. One thing you can do is look to see if their veins are “popped”- this is where the veins are enlarged and easily visible at the surface of the skin. The enlargement of the veins is the body working to get blood supply to all of the muscles within the body. When horses are overheating this becomes difficult and the body works that much harder, hence the enlarging of the veins.


Focus on vein-rich areas-between the legs, both under the stomach and under the tail. Also, lots of cold water on the front of their neck/chest and between their front legs. These are “hot spots” and water doesn’t naturally run there if just dumped on top of the horse.


Standing in front of a big fan, or after bathing/cooling, can speed up your horse’s cooling process.

Getting ice boots onto their legs as soon as possible can also expedite the cooling process -- use this if you have ice boots that they can walk in if their respiratory rate is still quite high.”





Sara Hassler – Hassler Dressage in Florida 

“We love giving each horse a post work “refresher”! Cold water mixed with Aqua Aid to replenish those electrolytes! Watermelon is also a tasty treat packed full with hydration”










Nicole Timm – Winterhaven Stables in Wisconsin

“Absorbine CoolDown Rinse is the perfect product to use after a workout to cool and soothe muscles. It is made out of herbs and essential oils so perfect for sensitive horses who cannot tolerate the strong liniments but also need some muscle soothing after a tough workout. Perfect to just leave on.”

Veronica Swales – Veronica Swales Performance Horses in Texas

A big thing for us on hot days after thier work-out is giving them paste electrolytes made by Ultra Cruz. And, fresh water always in front of them. 










Asia Vedder – Santa Barbara, California 

“Getting plenty of cool water on as soon as they finish work is key. This is more helpful than walking, in my opinion. I will also put a fan on them in the cross-ties to help cool out.”


Aisa Vedder – Santa Barbara, California 

“All our horses are on electrolytes, or salt, for the retired horses. In heat, or cold, I will increase this to encourage drinking. I also always soak their feed as a way to get more water in them. This has the added advantage of helping to decrease the risk of choke. We have quite a few horses that like to dunk their hay, so they add extra water that way.”

(FYI, Haygain Steamed Hay has up to 3X the moisture content of dry hay.)

“We have the 5-gallon electric waterers, both in stalls and pastures. They get scrubbed 3 times a week year round. In summer weather, water can quickly get scummy and cause horses to stop drinking, so it is very important to keep the water clean.”













JJ Gallagher – groom to globe-galloping Irish jumping rider Conor Swail

“Give plenty of electrolytes. We use TRM Electrolytes. A syringe of that if it’s very warm.”













Courtney Carson – International Grooms Assn.

“You can do a pinch test to see if your horse is getting dehydrated. Pick a small amount of skin, usually on the neck, and pinch/pull. If the skin goes back quickly, your horse is hydrated enough. If the skin is slow to retract you may want to investigate how to rehydrate your horse.”








Bug Beaters

Nicole Timm – Winterhaven Stables in Wisconsin

“Shoofly boots are a must! They are the best fly boots on the market and last a whole season without clinging to their legs and making their tendons hold heat in.


And lightweight fly sheets. At our farm, horses have to wear a full fly set-up to not get eaten alive by our lake flies. My go-tos are either the Weatherbeeta Ripshield fly sheet or the Rambo Protector with a belly guard!”












Asia Vedder – Asia Vedder Eventing in California 

“All our horses go out in fly masks and fly spray. Some also get fly sheets, although not all will wear them. I also use Spalding Labs for fly control. This includes fly predators, as well as a variety of fly traps geared towards what ways we have in our area. We clean the pastures daily.


“Keeping the barn and cross-ties clean and free from manure, dust and hoof trimmings is key for fly control. Dumping muck buckets daily, fixing dripping water, not having standing water, and keeping the manure dump pile well away from the barn, will also help.”


Keeping Cool

Veronica Swales – Veronica Swales Performance Horses in Texas

“Fans always are always on their stalls, and a Portacool at each end of our alley to keep it cool.”



Asia Vedder – Asia Vedder Eventing in California 

“We have fans in the stalls that get turned on in the heat of the summer. We also have shade screens for the horses in their pastures to allow for a break from the sun.”








JJ Gallagher – groom to globe-trotting Irish jumping rider Conor Swail

“Keep the fans going, try not to have them in the sun for too long, and get the riding done as early as possible when it’s hot, and plenty of cold hosing.”


Courtney Carson – International Grooms Assn.

“Body clipping in the summer- this is helpful if your horse grows a thick coat, struggles in the heat, or will be ridden in the middle of the day. It’s not harmful to them or their coats.”


Here’s to happy, healthy horses through the hot summer months!




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