n The summer show season is in full swing. Keep
an eye on your horse for signs of overtraining or
traveling stress, such as weight loss, decreased appetite and changes in personality. Take steps to help
him train and compete more comfortably.
n As the temperatures begin their upward climb,
monitor your horse for heat-related issues, includ-
ing lethargy, dehydration, colic or diarrhea.
n Ask your vet to show you how to evaluate
hydration levels and mucous membrane changes,
and ask about adding electrolytes or additional salt
to your horse’s diet.
n Remember to increase your own hydration
as the weather heats up, and monitor yourself for
heat-related issues. These can be headaches, nausea,
muscle cramping, and profuse sweating followed
by no sweating.
n Before the heat of summer returns, refresh your memory of
the signs of equine heat stress and heat stroke and the steps to
n Take time now to gather baseline data for your horse’s nor-
mal vital signs: heart rate, temperature and respiratory rate. Ask
your veterinarian to show you how to evaluate these if you’re
not sure. These will be important later as you monitor your
horse for heat-related stress.
n Start now to avoid sunburn. A fly sheet can help protect
gray or white horses. Long fly masks that cover the nose can pro-
tect pink noses, and equine sunscreens can be applied to other
white markings or hairless patches.
n Clean, repair, and store your horse’s winter blankets.
n Be sure your truck and trailer are safe and ready to roll.
Check fluid levels (and have them changed if necessary), tire
pressure, tire condition, and be sure the spare tires are filled and
that tire-changing tools are ready.