In my past life I was an endurance rider, and hydration was a huge part of keeping our horses healthy. I’d like to pass on a few tidbits that I learned along the way.
Clean fresh water is very important in the summertime. A horse can drink 10+ gallons in a day. I personally try to clean my water tanks out every other day and fill them daily.
Always let your horse drink when it wants to. To most of us this is common sense, but years ago out on the trail I came across a group of riders crossing a creek, and they would not let their horses drink. I politely I asked them why. They said because the cold water will make them colic. I quickly jumped in with a little bit of advice and explained to them my experience and the thousands of miles I have ridden. By the time we had left the watering hole these folks had allowed their horses to drink. And I felt much better going down the trail knowing I had helped someone that really just didn’t know and was going by what they had been told over the years.
One good trick I learned from my dear friend Lynne. She has flown all over the world with her horse and has lots of experience trying to get a horse to drink. If you have a horse that is not drinking, take a couple hands of sweet feed and put in a cold bucket of water. More than likely they will dive right into it.
A few things I do when traveling with my horse during these hot times: I want to make sure they are tanked up on water the day and night before we trailer out. so I always feed a wet mash and I add one scoop of Enduro Max electrolytes. Not only does this help them tank up but it also helps if they were to have sore muscles after a ride. It’s kinda like us drinking Gatorade.
When I arrive at my destination and don’t feel like my horse is drinking exactly like he should I will then again give him only one scoop of electrolytes. I’m very lucky all my horses will eat them in their mash. Some folks have to give it to them orally.
Listen to your horse. That’s another good piece of advice that was given to me many years ago. If you feel like your horse is overheated, it’s more than likely it is. Stop take a break. Sponge the horse off; let it cool down; find shade. All these things that we think are common sense, but sometimes we’re in a panic, and we don’t take time to apply them.
I love to be able to give my horses fans when it’s hot out. I open up the stall doors and let them roam around with the fans on. This not only helps keep them cool but eliminates a few of the flies.
Enjoy your summer riding because winter will be here soon enough.
Happy trails, Paulita