Horse owners are voicing concerns that the detrimental effects of climate change forewarned years ago by scientists are now taking their toll on horse health.
Despite the care and attention being given by horse owners, the increasing severity of the effects of climate change still affect the health and well being of their horses. The reality however, is that the trend is likely to continue with greater severity, as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions that could make caring for the animals even more difficult for horse owners and breeders.
Nonetheless, veterinarians and horse health experts are giving advice on steps that can be taken to mitigate the effects of paramount weather disturbances.
Keeping Horses Stress-Free as Much as Possible
Inasmuch as climate changes can disrupt the training and work routine of horses, consider implementing structural changes that will allow them to carry on with the exercise they need even during severe weather. As much as possible, make certain not to leave the horses without human care and attention during severe weather conditions. Closely monitoring vital signs as indicators of how the horses are reacting to stressful conditions will enable hostlers to take immediate actions.
During extremely warm summers in which cooler conditions are quite impossible to maintain, help the horses adjust by providing more shady areas and constant supply of fresh clean water. Regularly trimming their coat and mane can help keep horses comfortable as days get warmer toward the peak of summer seasons .
Winters are now more severe, bringing on freezing temperature in open horse stables. Make sure the animals are properly sheltered and protected against winter elements, such as using as many horse blankets as necessary. Yet as much as possible, provide your horses with insulated and draft-free barns that could reduce the harshness of extreme cold temperatures. Supplement their diets with additional calories that can help horses maintain levels of body heat. Keeping the animals in robust conditions can help them go through the coldest periods of the winter season.
When located in areas where floods can reach high levels as a result of continuously occurring heavy rains, having an elevated section in which to temporarily shelter horses will help keep them in good condition. That way, in case flooding reaches the corrals, the horses will have access to drier areas instead of letting them endure flooded and muddy conditions, which could potentially lead to foot and hoof diseases.
On the other hand, some geographical locations tend to experience drought instead of flooding, which can be just as problematic as any climate condition. Horses suffer from dehydration as a result of an over-dry climate in which water shortages can occur. Also, lush green fields can turn into dry and arid wastelands that produce too much dust. Mitigate these effects by ensuring a water system that can provide adequate water supply, as well as keep the turf in which horses roam and graze as drought-resistant as possible.
Additional Recommendations from Past the Wire News Website
In closing, horse racing news provider “Past the Wire” also warns of stagnant and murky waters where biting insects breed and become carriers of infectious diseases. Moreover, as transmissions of viral infections initially occur in animals, make sure that horses are properly protected by way of vaccinations. In addition, through the news website’s article “The BloodHorse — From Print to Digital Masterpiece,” owners and breeders of blood horses can derive important information that can provide answers to other concerns about horse health.