Summer is here! Forget about rugging and breaking ice and begging farriers for borium. Short winter days have given way to the long, lazy days of summer. Spring and summer represent the height of riding season, and with the delicious warmth of the days, nutritional strategies for a winning season must begin anew.
Horses have adapted well to demands placed on them by humans. Sweating allows horses to cool themselves after sustained bouts of exercise. For the most part, this mechanism works well. The exception may be in hot, humid weather, according to Kentucky Equine Research nutritionist and endurance enthusiast Kathleen Crandell.
"Endurance horses have the most problems in humid weather because the sweat does not evaporate, which delays cooling. Instead, the sweat stays wet on the coat. As long as horses are trotting or cantering, it is not a concern because the wind cools them. But, as the horses slow to a walk or stop, humidity can present major cooling problems because the wet coat acts as insulation, holding the heat in."