We're in the process of MAYBE getting a horse (our neighbors have four of them and they've offered us one of them). I'm bidding out the shelter and fence right now. I've been trying to do a crash course in equine science, management, care, etc. I know horses can get sunburned and need UV protection. The horse we are looking at getting is a brown/white Saddlebred, so he's got quite a bit of light coloring. The neighbors keep them in their barn on really hot/bright days (which is what we're having right now). But we're not always going to be home to pull him in/out of the barn at a moments notice should the weather get hot. The acreage we have has quite a few large trees on it that offer a fair amount of shade if you stay under it.
So after all that, here's the question:
Are horses generally smart enough to seek shade/shelter from the heat/sun on their own? I would have thought yes, but the neighbor says he has to round them up as they won't go back into the barn on their own. I just don't want to end up with a baked horse if we leave him out in the morning (or whenever) and aren't around to pull him back inside should the weather get bad. Obviously I can keep track of the forecast, but we all know that's not 100% reliable. I think the trees we have would be more than adequate to give him a break, I just want to make sure he's smart enough to use it :)