We’ve had a few scorching hot weeks recently, with the sun shining down relentlessly making even the most simple of yard chores exhausting. This is why in this blog post we aim to give some great advice on providing sun protection for horses.
Whilst it has been swelteringly hot, sunlight is actually very good for both us and our horses; it helps with the absorption of Vitamin D, relieves muscle and tendon stiffness and even alleviates soreness!
However extra care must be taken with horses with pink-skinned areas, such as the muzzle, which can very quickly become sunburnt if overexposed. This can become very uncomfortable for your horse, and can even lead to an increased risk of them developing skin cancer.
So what are the dangers of overexposure to sunlight?
The greatest concern regarding sun exposure is photosensitization, which is a condition that causes skin sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Any area of skin with low pigmentation may be affected, including white markings on your horse’s legs. Affected areas tend to be sharply defined and show signs of classic sunburn.
Secondary photosensitization, the most common form seen in horses, is the result of liver damage that causes a build-up of photosensitive toxins in the blood. If you think your horse may have issues with this then consult your vet. Keeping dangerous plants i.e. ragwort out of the field helps to prevent this.
Many people opt to use children’s sunblock on their horses. However the trouble with this, is that they often contain harsh chemicals such as petrochemcials, parabens, synthetic fragrance and irritating emulsifiers. Eczema and allergies are on the rise in children and things like these may well be the cause. The pH level for human skin is 5 whilst for horses the pH level is 7, so just imagine what damage overexposure can be doing to your horses skin!
UVB radiation is the ray that can potentially burn the skin, it is also the one that can cause skin cancers. Whilst UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin they are generally responsible for ageing.
One of our EcoGreen Equestrian ponies ready to face the sun!
How can I protect my horse from these harmful UV rays?
Below are our top three products which we would highly recommend you try if sun protection for horses is important to you.
If you already have a cupboard stocked full of sincere products, then you can minimise sun exposure by ensuring that there are shaded areas in your field if your horses are turned out – i.e. natural shelter, trees, hedges etc. This just gives them a space to cool down and escape the rays if it’s getting a little too hot for them!
As always, if you have any questions about any of our products, please do feel free to get in touch and we can help find the best product for your horse!
This is a readymade paste that offers protection against both UVA & UVB rays and contains zinc oxide and the cooling properties of lavender. Simply paste onto the nose/lightly pigmented skin or thinly-haired animals.
3 in stock
Nifty Pet Equine Aftersun
For those that missed a bit we have Nifty Pet Equine After Sun which contains soothing aloe vera & seaweed.
This sunscreen contains beeswacx, zin oxide and coconut to offer protection from UVA & UVB rays. It’s water resistant and incredibly moisturising too!
Fancy some more tips?
Check out the video below of Emily, one of our brand ambassadors applying sunblock onto her ponies nose…