By Glenye Oakford
BarnManager is the Official Barn Management Software of US Equestrian.
Summer’s sultry weather can be more than uncomfortable for your horse or pony; it can be dangerous. It’s important to know the symptoms of heat stress and how to respond to them.
Horses that don’t sweat enough or who are engaged in a lot of physical exertion — like three-day eventers, polo ponies, or horses in sports that involve a fair amount of galloping — are most obviously at risk of overheating in hot, humid conditions, says Dr. Laura Werner, a surgeon at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, KY. Werner specializes in equine emergency services and also has worked as a Fédération Equestre Internationale Veterinary Delegate at three-day eventing competitions in the United States.
But your horse or pony doesn’t have to be an Olympic-level competitor to be at risk in summer conditions, Werner notes.
“Horses can get overheated if both heat and humidity are high, and with the physical exertion that we ask them to do, that can happen pretty easily, just as it does with people,” said Werner. “Certainly, if the heat is in the high 80s and the humidity is about the same, it’s pretty easy for horses to get overheated quickly.”
Things To Consider
One thing to consider is whether the animal is accustomed to the particular climate.
“Some horses are more acclimated to warmer temperatures or higher humidity than others,” explained Werner. “Horses that are imported from Europe, for example, might not be used to heat and high humidity straight away. Just like with a person, it might take them a little bit to acclimate.”
Did you know? Users can keep track of horses’ vital signs with BarnManager’s list feature.
Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!