June 15, 2005 | By: Aimee Nielson

Summer officially begins June 21, however, temperatures already are heating up across Kentucky with highs in the upper 80s.  University of Kentucky Extension Horse Specialist Bob Coleman said horse owners need to make sure to meet all the basic, summer needs of their horses.

“Water is the first concern,” he said.  “Horses need fresh, clean water available at all times. Routinely checking and cleaning water containers on a regular basis is vital.  It ensures your horses will have water available from a container they will actually drink from.”

Coleman said horses sweat to cool down and that results in water loss.  Horse owners need to supply enough water to meet daily needs and enough additional water to compensate for sweat loss.

“Just because you are not riding, don’t think your horses are not sweating when the temperature rises,” he added.

Another important consideration for horses in the hot summer months is salt.  Salt needs also increase when horses sweat, so it needs to be available at all times.

“Replacing lost minerals due to sweating is common for horses being ridden, but making sure horses on pasture have adequate salt available is a good horse care practice,” Coleman said.  “Provide salt free choice for all horses.  This is a good idea, even if they are being fed a commercial feed or if you are giving them electrolytes, to make sure horses get what they need.”

Horses will take advantage of available shade to get relief from the sun.  Horses in barns are out of the sun, however, owners still need to ensure that the stalls are well ventilated because barns can heat up during the day.

“Just watch your horses,” Coleman added.  “Make sure they are coping with the summer heat by providing adequate water, salt and minerals.”


Writer: Aimee Nielson 859-257-4736, ext. 267

Contact: Bob Coleman 859-257-9451