Horse Health in the Heat

No Comments Share:
Haygain range lifestyle 750x440 - Horse Health in the Heat

Haygain range lifestyle 150x100 - Horse Health in the HeatWhile we may not have seen the sustained scorching temperatures of last summer just yet, the UK is sure to get a least a mini-heatwave if not a longer spell of hot weather before autumn arrives. With that in mind, innovative equine health company Haygain examine how hot weather can impact horses and what owners can do to mitigate any negative impact on horse health.



Just like people, horses will lose more fluids in hot weather and need to stay hydrated. There was an old horseman’s myth that a hot, blowing horse should not be offered cold water in case they colic but this has been thoroughly disproven, and horses should never be prevented from drinking water when it is warm. Ensure that horses have access to fresh and clean water at all times and check your water troughs are in good working order when the sun is beating down. Feeding forage such as hay and haylage also helps keep horses hydrated as it contains a large percentage of water that is released into the hindgut during digestion, forming a reservoir that is called upon when body fluid levels drop. Steaming hay is a great way to increase the water content, help improve hygienic quality and offset dehydration. Earing et al. (2013) found that steaming increased the water content of hay almost three fold!

Haygain muzzle 300x200 - Horse Health in the Heat


If the weather suddenly takes a turn for the warm, then consider moving your ridden exercise to very early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the hottest part of the day. If you need to partake in strenuous exercise in the sunshine, then try to allow the horse some time to acclimatise first. In hot weather ensure you include a proper cool down – at least 10-15 minutes of relaxed walking – into your training regime. Consider feeding electrolytes if your horse has sweated excessively during exercise to ensure they are able to recover properly and as mentioned above never, ever restrict water on hot days.


ComfortStall horse 300x300 - Horse Health in the HeatTurnout vs stabled

It is quite common for people to restrict daytime turnout when the temperatures rise as they try to prevent their charge being bombarded by flies, overheating in the sun and eating grass right down. The knock-on effect is that horses are then left standing in their stables for long periods of time, where they may then be exposed to different health risks.

Restricted movement in warm temperatures can mean legs begin to fill while dirty bedding getting warm and urine seeping into rubber matting both cause urea to be produced which results in ammonia gas irritating the airway.

Dusty bedding and forage can also cause airway irritation and should be considered. If you can ensure plenty of shade, a fly mask and fresh water (and in the case of pink-nosed horses, some sunscreen) leaving them outside might not be a bad idea. If you have to stable horses, consider using a Haygain hay steamer to ensure forage is free from dust and harmful microbes. The revolutionary ComfortStall flooring system is fully sealed and prevents urine seeping underneath it, stopping urea and ammonia production in its tracks. It also has an incredible ‘spring back’ which boosts limb circulation.



If there is a prolonged dry spell then by mid-to-late summer grass growth will suffer and horse owners will find they may need to supplement grass with other forage sources. Hay is the most commonly fed dried forage in the world, but it can cause airway issues for horses. A recent study showed that 88% of the horses examined suffered from Inflammatory Airway Disease (IAD), and one of the main causes of IAD is respirable dust, a major source of which is hay. Using the Haygain hay steamer has been shown to reduce the risk of IAD by 65%, removing dust and killing other harmful microbes.

Explore some of the Haygain products on their website to find out more about their wide-ranging benefits to horse health. Click here for the Haygain Steamer and here to read about the ComfortStall Flooring System.

  • CandS Web Marketing SS22 Mar Eq Life 728x90c - Horse Health in the Heat
  • EL web banner - Horse Health in the Heat
  • web banner V1 - Horse Health in the Heat
  • EQ Life Jan Feb banner 2021 - Horse Health in the Heat
  • HorseHage Equestrian Life Banner - Horse Health in the Heat
  • Equestrian Life Leaderboard Mollichaff Light80 - Horse Health in the Heat
  • Equestrian Life 728 x 90 - Horse Health in the Heat
  • CandS Web Marketing SS22 Feb Eq Life 728x90 1 - Horse Health in the Heat
  • silver honey leaderboard banner v2 - Horse Health in the Heat
  • EL Sept  Digital banner 728 x 90 - Horse Health in the Heat
CandS Web Marketing SS22 Feb Eq Life 728x90 1 - Horse Health in the Heat
Previous Article

Bonnie Fishburn – Life in the Fast Lane

Next Article

BEDMAX’s Heat Logs Receives Environmental Thumbs Up with Woodsure Accreditation

You may also like

Leave a Reply

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.