Horses need to spend a significant amount of time outdoors so they can get fresh air and exercise. That’s critical for their health, but being outside during the summer can expose horses to risks.
Although horses can handle a wide range of temperatures, if it gets too hot, they can succumb to heatstroke. A horse that is overheating can experience changes in its breathing, heart rate, and behavior. In some cases, heatstroke can be fatal.
How Summer Weather Can Affect Horses
If you have horses, you have to take steps to safeguard their health in the summer. Horses need to be protected from harsh sunlight and high temperatures, but keeping them indoors all day is not the solution.
Why Keeping Horses Inside Is Not a Good Idea
Horses need physical activity and mental stimulation to be healthy. Keeping them cooped up inside a barn all day might shield them from the hot sun, but it can lead to other significant problems. Barns often have inadequate ventilation, which can cause horses to breathe in dust, dirt, and bacteria from their feces. That can lead to serious respiratory issues.
How to Protect Horses from Summer Weather
Horses are rugged animals, but they’re still vulnerable to the effects of summer weather. Letting horses spend as much time as possible outdoors while providing them with access to shade is the best way to protect their health. You can buy a shelter that you can place in a field so your horses can spend time in an outdoor environment where they can thrive and have access to shade when they need it.
One option is a run-in shed. This simple structure has a cover that provides protection from harsh sunlight, rain, and wind. A run-in shed is open on either end, which makes it easy for horses to enter and leave whenever they want. If you have several horses, a run-in shed should be large enough to accommodate multiple animals at once. You can place feed, hay, and water inside so your horses will have access to everything they need to stay healthy.
A corral shelter is another type of structure that can keep your horses safe in the summer. If you already have a corral or fence, a corral shelter can be attached to it. This versatile structure can be completely enclosed in the winter to protect horses from cold temperatures, snow, and wind so they can spend as much time as possible outside.