We’ve already enjoyed some hot and sunny days this year and with more (hopefully) to come we’re looking today at some advice about keeping your horse safe when the weather is good.

It may sound extreme, but do be aware of the warning signs of heat exhaustion in both horses and riders – and don’t try to ‘ride it out’.

A horse with heat exhaustion may stumble or appear weak. It may breathe fast and have a rapid pulse. In extreme cases a heat-exhausted horse stops sweating. Best tips to deal with the issue are to offer small amounts of water to drink, hose down the horse with cool water or stand it in front a fan if possible. Call your vet if you are concerned.

Riders who feel faint, sick and dizzy – and have skin that feels cool and moist to the touch – should also be treated for heat exhaustion. Firstly, get them out of the sun, take off their helmet and loosen their clothing and give them water or a sports drink.

If it’s a really hot day try not to ride when the sun is at its height. If you are competing and you have no choice about when you ride, try and stay in the shade with your horse until the last minute and have water kept ringside for you.

Hot weather brings out the bugs so you and your horse may need fly spray and insect-repellent especially if you are going to ride in wooded areas.

Farnam Tritec InsecticideOne of our newer products on the Pegasus Health website is Farnam TRI-TEC 14™ Insecticide which kills horse flies, stable flies, house flies, face flies, horn flies, deer flies, mosquitoes, deer ticks, gnats, lice – which may all be carriers of infectious diseases.

Riders should always wear sunscreen – but be aware that horses with white on their muzzles are also at risk of sunburn and should be protected against the sun’s rays.

If your horse is kept outside, make sure he has access to fresh water to drink and if he is stabled make sure the stable is well-ventilated. If possible consider plugging in a fan as long as it is safely out of the horse’s reach and won’t cause an accident.

Riding in the sunshine is one of life’s great pleasures, so get out there when the sun shines but take some sensible precautions and all will be well.