Swampy Florida Summer
Early mornings to beat the heat. Slow afternoons before a summer thunderstorm storm rolls through to cool things off. The hour counter on the mower in overdrive because the grass grows as fast as we cut it. The daily rain makes the footing top notch. It is summer in Ocala, otherwise known as sweat, sweat some more, rinse, repeat.
With a swampy Florida summer comes swampy Florida skin problems for your horse! Here are a few of my favorite tips and tricks for all things skin.
Paint their hooves with a conditioner (Sound Hoof Conditioner is top) before a shower to protect them from even more excess moisture.
Shower them daily after exercise. This includes under their belly, between their legs, and their head. If they don't like being sprayed in the face, use a sponge. You have to remove the sweat, otherwise their hair might start to slough off in a suspiciously bridle shaped pattern.
Wash their legs from the knee down with soap every day (Green Palmolive is my personal favorite). While scrubbing check for any new scrapes or nicks or missing fur patches that could potentially become a summer sore.
Towel dry their face and legs to avoid fur loss (see number 3)
Spray their tail with conditioning spray to keep it tangle free and healthy.
Cover any scrape/missing fur with generous amounts of silver spray and pray that the summer sore gods take pity.
Use baby sunscreen or a fly mask to protect pink blazes from painful sunburns.
If you discover a scrape that has already become a summer sore, good luck!
While this routine is specifically designed for a Florida summer, proper horse management is essential in any climate. Checking your horse daily for small problems will help prevent larger issues from cropping up down the road!