SUMMER REMINDER......................CHECK YOUR HORSES OFTEN..........................!
Provide ample fresh, clean water. Check daily that buckets or troughs are not contaminated with bird droppings, insect larvae, chaff, or algae growth. Try to keep the water cool. Horses may not want to drink warm water. Ponies and foals may have trouble reaching to the bottom of a shallowly filled trough. Make sure everyone in your paddocks can reach the water.
- Elevated respiration in an inactive horse (normal range is 4 to 16 breaths per minute).
- Elevated pulse in an inactive horse, pulse that does not drop after several minutes, or climbs once exercise has stopped.
- Profuse sweating or no sweating at all.
- Elevated body temperature above 103F.
- Irregular heart beat known as ‘thumps.’
- A depressed attitude.
- Dehydration. Test for this by observing your horse’s flanks. If they look caved in, he is probably dehydrated. Pick up a pinch of skin along your horse’s neck. If the skin snaps back quickly, the horse is sufficiently hydrated. If the pinched area collapses slowly, the horse is dehydrated.
Use shade, cool water, breezes, or fans as best you can. Stand your horse in a pond or stream. Sponge or spray the large blood vessels along the inside of the legs and belly. Offer sips of water.