Horses Vs Heat : Fact Vs Fiction

We are currently experiencing a heatwave here in the UK. This means that there are several posts regarding the dangers of horses and heat. THEx thought we could clear up a few horses vs heat myths!

  • “Never let a hot horse drink all they want or drink cold water” A hot horse will drink up to 5 gallons, if you restrict their intake then they will lose their drive to drink again resulting in them taking in less water. A horse will drink as much water as needed to stay hydrated or so that they feel rehydrated.
  • “Never put cold water over a hot horses’ large muscles” The colder the water the quicker the horse will be able to cool down to more manageable body temperature.
  • “Only hard and fast work can cause dangerous overheating” Strenuous muscular activity can cause heat however a fit horse can work at a high level and much less heat will be generated. Further to this an overweight pony trotting up a hill is a more risk over overheating than a racehorse.
  • “You should add electrolytes to your horses diet in heat” A horses baseline requirement of salt is 28 grams per day, without sweating. A standard dosage of electrolytes does not supply enough to replace the baseline plus sweat losses.

Providing your horse with an unlimited supply of fresh water 24 hours per day as well as not working them during the hottest part of the day or beyond their fitness level as well as overall proper care will mean that you avoid any danger zone in the hot weather.