Worried about the heat and humidity and my horse!
I am new to this forum, and this is my first post. We have been dealing with extreme heat and humidity here in southern Michigan and I worry about my horse. There are no fans allowed in the barn and my horse sweats in his stall. I go there every night to check on him and tonight I hosed him down a bit to get the dirt and sweat off him. He was put away damp with fly spray, but I am worried that with the humidity so high, he won't dry and will be even hotter!! Any words of wisdom?
Horses and humans are the only mammals that sweat to cool themselves. Your horse's sweating is normal in this extreme heat - just as it is for you. In this excessive heat, you probably sweat without exerting much energy yourself.
Make sure your horse has access to water at all times. Adding some salt to salt to his feed or having access to a salt like will help replenish some of the salt he loses through sweating. You can also add electrolytes to his water or feed.
Hosing or sponging down your horse will feel good and help keep him cool. If there is not much air flow in the barn, set up a fan on his stall if you can but make sure he cannot reach the cord or the fan itself. Make sure it is plugged into a ground fault interrupt electrical receptacle if there is any chance of electrical wiring coming into contact with moisture, such as a spilled water bucket or a curious horse’s mouth.
I would be more concerned about a horse that is not sweating in this excessive heat.
Don't worry about it too much. It's like that here, too (not too far from Michigan). Like stated above, make sure he has plenty of water. All horses sweat, even when they're just standing in a stall. If I were you, I'd let him into the pasture (if there is good shade) so he can stand in the breeze and fresh air.
My horses are outside in the pasture 24/7, where they have access to lots of shade and a creek so when it gets really hot they wade in the water & splash each other :lol:.
Don't worry too much. Horses are more acclimated to the heat then we are since we like to stay inside where we have air conditioning going 24/7. Just make sure he's drinking plenty of water like everyone else mentioned. You can even add some liniment or rubbing alcohol to your water when you soak him to cool him off. Might keep him cooler as the water on his coat dries.
Be wary with hosing a horse off too often in humid conditions. The cold water feels great at the time, but it will start to heat up once the hose is turned off, and will track heat in against the horse's skin, particularly if there is not a substantial breeze.
Lots of water and electrolytes, and if you MUST hose him, scrape him off thoroughly to remove excess water.
Unfortunately, the barn where I keep my horse is not conducive to flexibility for owners and their horses.... The horses are on a very strict schedule and are only allowed outside in the pasture from around 8am-4pm, the pastures don't have ANY shade and there are NO FANS ALLOWED. Very frustrating/worrisome to say the least. Also, if it is raining outside, the owner wont turn the horses out at all because she doesn't want the grass to get ruined....sometimes the horses can be confined to their stall for 24-48 hours. My horse will start to rub his tail due to the stress from being confined. I am pretty much stuck between and rock and a hard place as I cann't move to another barn for financial reasons.
I heard that before about getting the horse wet in very humid conditions and that causing the horse to heat up even more. I always scrape him off after a hose down.
Thanks for listening! Today it is goig to get over 100 degrees... I am praying for all the humans and animals that will be suffering in the heat/humidity!!! : (
A stable I rode at as a teen was designed to move air. Altho it was a long low barn, the cupola in the middle helped draw air in from both ends. The south doors were partially closed to allow air movement yet to block the sun. It was always quite pleasant in there no matter the heat and humidity. Is this barn not designed to move air without fans?
I am not sure actually. Each stall has a seperate smaller window to it that was only just opened by the barn owner 2 days ago (they are nailed shut each winter....)..... other wise, it was like they were in an easy bake oven!! there is an indoor arena that the door is finally opened to the outside which I believe helps with the circulation a bit. Luckily, my horse has the end stall closest to the outside door.
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