What you see. The starting point for addressing any equine health related issue is your observation.


Excessively Hot Weather


Excessively hot ambient temperatures can be a source of stress for horses. In my experience, many domestic horses are less tolerant of extreme heat than extreme cold. However, horses adapt surprisingly well if you provide them with basic relief from the heat.

  • Code Green

    Contact Your Vet to Obtain Useful Advice & Resources
    • If the conditions are extreme and you have questions about management.

your role


What To Do

Maintain airflow in enclosed areas with fans. Misting fans are the most effective. Provide shade and ventilation. Keep trailer windows open for ventilation. If horses are worked in severe heat, provide more rest than usual and reduce your expectations. Ensure that your horse is adequately conditioned for the work expected. Provide electrolytes and frequent access to fresh water.

Assess the horse's general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), and share any abnormal findings or concerns with your vet.

What Not To Do

Do not overwork horses in hot and especially in hot and humid conditions.

your vet's role

Your vet may offer other management advice, however if your horse has related health issues, they may want to examine them for that.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • How hot is the weather?
  • Does the horse have access to shade and fresh water?
  • How does the horse seem to be handling the heat?
  • Is the horse eating, drinking and urinating normally?
  • How much work is the horse being asked to do under these conditions?
  • Do you notice signs of any other problem?
  • Is the horse sweating?
  • What are the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE)?

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP