Poll Recap: Readers Share Tips on Keeping Horses Cool

Poll Recap: Readers Share Tips on Keeping Horses Cool

Of the 692 voters, 317 (46%) indicated the main cooling method they employ is providing ample shade.

Photo: Photos.com

In last week's online poll, TheHorse.com asked you to share the main way you help keep your horses cool during the hot months. More than 690 readers responded and we've tallied the results.

Of the 692 voters, 317 (46%) indicated the main cooling method they employ is providing ample shade. Another 229 respondents (33%) said the main way they help their horses stay cool is by providing fans for their animals. One hundred four voters (15%) said they use water, baths, or stall misters to keep their horses cool during the hot months, and 12 readers (2%) said they move to a cooler area during the summer. And finally, 30 voters (4%) said they use a different method to keep their horses cool.

Additionally, 89 respondents provided comments about their individual situations.

Some readers shared how they use shade to help horses stay comfortable:

  • "Mine have irrigated pasture with trees and run-in sheds year around." -
  • "They have ample shade but won't use the shed since airflow is limited."
  • "My 20 Minis have a willow break and run-ins. If humid, I spray them."
  • "They are never confined to stalls and paddock is shady. (Also,) make sure they have fresh water at all times."

Other respondents use natural water sources to help cool horses when temperatures soar:

  • "Sam has access to a shaded barn beside a creek which lowers temp by 10 degrees."
  • "My horses are ranch horses. During the heat of the day they will stand down in the pond, under trees"

Some make use of water in other ways when temperatures rise:

  • "Turn on the sprinklers. They play just like kids in them!"
  • "Availability to nice, clean pond for swimming! He and his buddy splash, roll, and play every day!"
  • "If I don't go out enough and soak them, two of mine will stand in the water trough."
  • "Provide ample cool water to drink!"
  • "Cold water hosings and baths."

Several readers employ ice when summer strikes:

  • "50# ice blocks in water troughs, or freeze gallon jugs of water to float in troughs."

One reader says adjusting horses' exercise regimens is key:

  • "Give them the day off, or work them early in the morning."

And many readers described how they use fans to help keep horses cool:

  • "Our land gets VERY hot here in Oklahoma. We graze early, and then (move  horses) into the barn with overhead fans and misters."
  • "We have fans on all our horses who are in 12 x 12 breezeway stalls with attached paddocks."
  • "In Kentucky, my horse stays in his stall with a fan during the day and is turned out at night."

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com every week!

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, news editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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