Whether you’re a seasoned rancher or in the humble beginnings of your equestrian journey, it’s important to keep your horse’s health at the forefront of your mind. From long rides to weather changes, many factors can affect your horse’s health, especially their skin!
Here are four ways to protect your horse’s skin, to keep them comfortable and healthy.
1) Protect Them from the Sun
Like humans, a horse’s skin can be damaged by the sun. This is especially true for horses with sensitive skin or light-colored coats. Overexposure to the sun can cause their skin to turn red, blister, peel, or become very sensitive. It is important to apply a high SPF sunscreen to lighter colored areas and sensitive areas around the eyes and muzzle. Having a spray with zinc in it that will not come off when your horse rolls is another good way to prevent some uncomfortable burns. Also, be sure your horse always has ample shade to take cover under during hot, sunny days.
2) Keep Bugs Away
Many of the common horse diseases are spread by bugs. Beyond diseases, bug bites can be painful, itchy, and cause major damage to your horse’s skin. A commonly known skin issue that afflicts horses in the summer months is a condition known as “sweet itch.” This is an allergic reaction brought on by the saliva of biting flies like horn flies, stable flies, and small biting gnats and midges.
One of the best things to protect your horses against flying insects is to invest in a high-quality fly spray insecticide. A combination of topical repellents and lethal premise sprays is your best bet to combat insect-induced skin ailments.
3) Don’t Share Grooming Tools
It’s common to use the same brushes and other grooming tools on multiple horses; however, this is also a way to spread skin diseases. One of the skin diseases which most often occurs due to sharing tools, tack, and equipment between horses is ringworm. This fungal infection appears in circular patches on the horse and degrades into small round bald spots of crusty skin that can be itchy to the horse.
Regularly disinfect and sanitize horse grooming tools, even when no diseases are present. Vacuum out dirt and soak grooming tools in a bleach/water mixture, letting the item dry out in the sun. This is a great way to kill any disease pathogens present. Aside from this, don’t use the same tools on different horses. An entirely different set of tools should be bought and kept specifically for each horse.
4) Invest in a Saddle Pad and Blanket
Consider investing in a wool-backed saddle pad to prevent your horse from getting a sore back or irritated skin! Saddle pads protect your horse’s sensitive skin and prevent slipping, shifting, or rocking sideways while riding.
At Cutter Classic, we can provide you with high-quality, custom-made saddle pads and 100% merino wool-backed saddle blankets! Our pads softly mold to your horse’s back, and they won’t soak up sweat and can be easily sprayed clean with water. Our custom horse products are long-lasting and come in a wide range of patterns and colors.
Call us today at (580)276-6126 to learn more about our saddle pad and blanket options to keep your horse comfortable and protected on your next ride!