Don’t forget horses require calories to keep cool in the heat.
Posted by Clair Thunes, PhD | Aug 2, 2021
Q. With the extreme heat this summer I’m struggling to keep weight on my horse. I’m not used to dealing with summer weight loss. Our pastures are pretty dried out, so we are feeding a good amount of hay. Typically, I just feed a balancer, but this doesn’t seem to be enough. Do you have any advice?
A. We often think of weight loss in horses as a winter issue, when they need more calories to keep warm. However, we don’t often consider that horses also require calories keep cool in hot weather.
Thermal neutral zone (TNZ) is the range of environmental temperatures horses need for minimal metabolic regulation to maintain their internal temperature. When horses are within their TNZ, the basal rate of heat production equals the loss of heat to the environment. They neither heat up nor cool down...