How to Protect Horses From the Sun
No matter how hard you try to keep your horse protected from the summer heat, it’s almost impossible to be by their side 24/7 keeping an eye on them. There are, however, certain things that you can do to help to protect them and keep them safe. The last thing you want is for your horse to come out in blisters or burn their backs, which are both very common, so take a look at the following top tips to see how you can care for your horse this summer.
Sunburn is one of the most common issues that horses face during the summer, especially on their nose and back. The sun can get extremely hot during summer and when your horse is stood enjoying their time in the paddock or field, the sun will beat down onto them and result in them becoming sunburnt. Sunburn can affect your horse in a few different ways, with one being that they won’t be able to be ridden for quite a while. You won’t be able to use your saddle or sit on your horse at all whilst they have sunburnt backs, so it can be quite a while before they get to go out and get the exercise they need! To prevent your pony or horse from catching sunburn, ensure they have plenty of shade in their field to retreat to when the sun gets too hot. Some people do opt to keep their horses in the stables during the hottest part of the day, just to be on the safe side. If your horse is unfortunate enough to catch sunburn, there are ways in which you can treat them. By applying the Barrier Aloe Vera Soothing Gel from Petwell to their skin, you can soothe their sore patches and irritated areas whilst helping to heal. If you’re unsure on how to handle your horse’s sunburn, give your vet a call for some expert advice on how to treat the sunburn properly.
How to Recognise Photosensitisation
One of the biggest risks for horses when spending time in the sun is photosensitisation. This is a condition that causes the skin to become sensitive to UV rays, which is not ideal during the summer months. Areas of the skin with lower pigmentation are at risks, such as white patches on your horse’s legs or neck and when affected you’ll notice classic signs such as sunburn. Another effect of photosensitisation is liver damage. If your horse suffers from this, there will be a build-up of photosensitive toxins in the blood. If you’re concerned that your horse may be suffering from any type of photosensitisation, you should consult your vet immediately to ensure your horse gets the treatment they require to heal and recover.
If your horse has particularly white patches on their coat, then you should apply some suncream to these areas before taking them out to the field. The suncream will simply protect them from the sun and the UV rays and prevent photosensitisation. You’ll find that products containing zinc are perfect for this. The Lincoln Sun Bloc from GSEquestrian is a really useful product to keep in your horses stable throughout the summer, as it provides protection to exposed areas of skin.