Without keeping a balance of your equine’s level of sodium, his ability to maintain body water equilibrium can be greatly compromised. Here’s how to handle the heat:
The summer months are coming up close, and the sun will be glaring upon us and our equines. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to review some facts and tips on properly hydratng your Top Trail Horse.
Did you know….A horse can drink between 5 – 20 gallons of water per day.
The best way to fight dehydration is by catching it before it has a chance to do any damage, so first I’ll give you some tips on preventing dehydration:
- Ride early or late, so as not to be out in the peak summer hours.
- Do not ride if the temperature rises to 90 degrees. Here’s a link to a handy “horse heat index” guide to help you calculate the actual temperature along with the humidity to help you decide if it’s okay to ride or maybe you should wait for better weather: https://equusathletics.com/horse-heat-index/
- Soak your hay before feeding the morning of a ride. Hold back on feeding grain until after the ride.
- Use sprinkle-on electrolytes to induce drinking.
- Keep your horse’s water container clean, and out of the sun.
- Keep salt accessible to your horse at all times in the form of a block or loose salts.
How can I tell if my horse is dehydrated?
- Elevated heart rate (normal is between 38-40, however, can raise to near 80 in heavy exercise – not recommended in the heat of summer)
- Pale to white colored gums
- Sunken eyes
- Positive “pinch test”
How can I do a pinch test?
Pinch a small bit of your horse’s skin near her shoulder, flank or neck. See the pic below, which I just took Saturday of a horse at our barn who happened to get dehydrated as I was writing this article. This shows what you DON’T want to see:
How often should I bring my horse to water while on a ride?I’ve found that most experts suggest every two and a half to three hours.
As always, I’d love to hear your comments and tips in the comments section below. I hope I was able to give you some information that you can use in order to keep your Top Trail Horse in tip top shape!
Challenges—Ways to win with Top Trail Horse
Top Trail Horse Challenge
Leaderboard is monthly, based on total mileage for the month, has three divisions, awards given
Top Trail Rider Challenge
Leaderboard is quarterly, based on total mileage for the quarter, has three divisions, awards given
Trail Master GPS Rider Challenge
Based on the number of rides logged by the rider for the quarter, has three divisions, awards given