5 top tips for dealing with the heat


1. Don’t overwork your horse or pony during the hottest part of the day if it is not used to the heat. Exercise when it’s cooler in the early morning or evening.

2. Make sure that your horse has access to water at all times, and do not restrict water intake before or after exercise.

3. Learn the signs of heat exhaustion: very hot to touch, sweating all over, lack of interest in surroundings, unsteady on feet, and/or deep and laboured breathing. If in doubt, cool your horse by continuously hosing it all over until its breathing returns to normal. This could take 15 minutes.

4. If your horse needs a fly rug, ideally it should be white and breathable.

5. If your horse shows signs of heat stress, make it more comfortable by spraying it with water every few hours. You can wet fly rugs too.


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About Author

Dr David Marlin is a physiologist and biochemist who has worked in academia, research and professional sport. He has worked in the equestrian and veterinary world and in human sport, healthcare, medicine and exercise science. In 1989 David obtained his PhD from the UK’s leading sports university, Loughborough University following a four-year study on the responses of Thoroughbred racehorses to exercise and training, undertaken at the renowned Animal Health Trust in Newmarket. You can read David's full biography in the Our Website section.