Caring for horses or other livestock? Find out why a livestock shelter is crucial to maintaining animal and horse health, particularly in the summer season.
How Hot Weather Affects Horse Health
Horses cool off just like humans do – by sweating. Yes, it’s true! Horses have sweat glands much like humans. Just like us, horses sweat when they generate energy. Unlike (many of) us, however, horses spend most of their time creating energy outside, which in turn generates heat. Since horses spend so much of their time generating heat outside, you can imagine why it’s important that they be able to cool down easily and quickly.
So if horses spend their time generating heat, how does the hot summer weather affect their health?
Without an easy way to cool down, horses can overheat which can be detrimental to their health. In fact, when horses cannot effectively cool off, they begin to show signs of overheating through dark urine, reduction in skin elasticity, lethargic behavior, high body temperature, and other indicators. Once they display such symptoms or reach internal temperatures of 105 degrees are higher, it’s important to cool your horse off immediately. If not taken care of, the risk of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or even death greatly increases.
Preventing an Overheated Horse with On-Site Shade
There are many ways horse owners help keep horses cool in the summer months. Horse owners often spray animals with water, utilize electrolyte supplements as cool-down methods, or move them to a shaded area. While horses should always have access to water and electrolytes to keep them healthy and hydrated, it’s equally important to provide them with adequate and easily accessible shade. However, quickly getting your animal under shade to cool down is much more difficult on the field without an already assembled structure. Not to mention, stabling horses inside the barn the majority of the day as a preventative measure can not be beneficial for their health or well being and prevents them from exercising easily (as mentioned here).
Whether on the field or away from the barn, don’t ignore the importance of shade as an effective cooling method. Temperatures can feel up to 15 degrees cooler under shade, giving your horse the chance to cool down more easily. For dependable shade right where you need it, utilize a portable, durable, and well-ventilated livestock shade solution.
Run-in sheds and corral shelters are livestock shade solutions that provide horses and other livestock essential shelter and shade you can place virtually anywhere. Run-in sheds consist of a completely covered frame with open ends on both sides. Corral shelters attach to corral panels to transform a typical holding unit into a shaded retreat. Both solutions provide a cooler area for animals to unwind and enjoy the breeze without the sun beaming on them. And, compared to a barn, these open-style units allow horses to come and go as they please for more freedom, comfort, and outdoor rest.
Reliable Shade Improves Horse Health by Preventing External Parasites
Horse health does not begin and end with overheating and exhaustion. Being outside, horses are often susceptible to diseases, parasites and more. With a reliable shade solution you can combat insects and parasites – a major problem for horses.
Insects such as black flies, deer flies, and horse flies feed on horses on hot, still days and in sunlight. Their bites cause painful scabbing and bleeding that attract even more flies. However, under a shaded run-in shed or corral shelter, you easily help prevent attacks without confining animals. See more tips on preventing external parasites and insects here.
Shop Run-In Sheds and Corral Shelters
Our run-in sheds feature a professional-grade steel frame with a premium powder-coated finish to resist chipping, peeling, rust, and corrosion. And with a durable, waterproof, and UV-treated fabric cover, this unit effectively withstands the elements and provides effective shade. Or, customize a corral shelter with a powder-coated or galvanized steel frame and choose a cover in your desired color and weight for your ideal level of protection.
Utilize these on-site shade solutions to ensure your horses and livestock stay cool and healthy throughout the entire summer season. Shop more equine essentials here at ShelterLogic by clicking below.