BATON ROUGE – Summer means hot, humid weather in
Just like humans, horses cool off by sweating, so they must consume more water. Owners should regularly offer clean water to prevent overheating. Horses that are worked in temperatures above 70 degrees can easily consume up to 25 gallons of water a day,
Another way to prevent heat stress is to ensure that barns, paddocks and stalls are properly ventilated. Barn doors and windows can be kept open when safe to allow airflow,
When feeding, owners should pay attention to protein content. Excessive protein can cause additional metabolic heat during the digestion process,
Crude protein should not exceed 12 to 14 percent of the total ration for a working adult horse,
Horses’ rations also need salt – 0.5 percent for idle mature horses and 1 percent for working horses daily.
While premixed complete rations contain salt, free choice salt or mineral blocks should be provided because each horse’s salt requirement varies,
“Enjoy riding your horse this summer, but make sure to prepare yourself and your horse properly before attempting the beat the heat,”
Signs of heat stress include weakness, stumbling, increased respiration and a body temperature in the range of 102 to 106 degrees.
If you suspect heat stress,